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Respect the Artist Interview with Tom DeSantis

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Respect the Artist Interview with Tom DeSantis

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into art?

When I was a kid, I thought my dad was the best artist ever, so it made me start drawing.

I realized later that he wasn’t that good, haha, but I still stuck with it and I know he liked that I did. When I lost my dad, it put me into overdrive to make this art thing happen for myself.


What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

I took a few art classes here and there when I was growing up and going through school and college. Most of the stuff I know, though, is just from practicing constantly or Youtube.

On the digital side, my photo editing and graphic design skills all come from watching youtube videos. You can learn ANYTHING on Youtube if you want it bad enough.


What’s your prefer use of medium? (paint, Ink, digital)

Pencils, inks, and markers when I am drawing by hand.

When I am doing digital work, I like my laptop hooked up to my Wacom Cintiq Pro. It lets me draw right onto the screen. When I’m doing digital on the go, I use my laptop or my iPad Pro.

Do you have an Artist name? How did you get your Artist name?

Everyone pretty much just knows me as Tom, but I sign and @ myself @tomde (tom-dee). Its just a little shorter. I think its easier to remember. I always liked graffiti artist’s with short, cool names.


Who inspires you?

Who? I guess if I had to pick out some PEOPLE who have inspired me, I’d go with my dad, mom, brother, and anyone who is willing to give me an honest answer when I ask them what they think about something. My girlfriend, Lauren, is good like that too.

If you can tell me I totally suck, you inspire me to be better. It’s something I think everyone needs around them. People who tell you they like everything are usually just trying to be nice or get you to like them.

Artist I like include people like Takashi Murakami, Ron English, KAWS, OBEY, Jerkface, and people like that. I don’t know all of their names, but there are like 1000 artists that I love and draw inspiration from.

When it comes to WHAT inspires me, I would go with anime, movies, books, life, photography, Instagram, reddit, and a million other things.

What is your goal when you make art?

To make something that I like, because I feel like if I want it, other people will want it.

That’s the way I try to give gifts to people too. I buy things I want - things that I’m sad letting go of.


What's your go to song right now?
I like go back and forth between chill electronic study playlists and hip hop.

What is your dream as a artist?
To leave a mark. For people I respect to know about me and what I do and fuck with me.

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to become an artist?
Do it all the time. Don’t be like,,,, “oh yeah, im getting back into art.” Just be in it all the time. Stop being fuckin lazy. 
Doodle when you’re at work bored. Try to get something done every day. Its a big grind. Its not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. But you’ll feel fucking amazing when its done and people are loving it (and buying it).

Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)
My main presence right now is @tomde on Instagram, but I have tomdestudio.com coming along now, too.
Been posting there more and more. Trying to get myself into blogging. I do SEO full time for an agency, so I know how important it is to be consistent.