The LowTides Season 3 Collection features a new Artist Series by contemporary artist, Thomas Paul.
We spoke with the the artist about his inspiration through the years as a New Yorker and the fashion industry that raised him.
How Did You Find Out About LowTides?
I was approached by LowTides founder Brenton who was very intrigued by the vintage nautical look getting a modern makeover. He said it was similar to how he felt about the chair, reimagining something old and vintage into fashionable and new. I am excited to be a part of the LowTides Artist Series to bring my sea-inspired designs to sustainable beach chairs and see them along the water's edge!
How Did You Get Started?
I actually started my career coloring designs for a silk mill specializing in fabrics for neckties. I soon realized that I wasn’t content just creating the color combinations for designs, I also wanted to create the designs as well. This lead me to creating my own neckwear collection, but then I also realized that the canvas of a necktie was too small for me to really express what I wanted to in terms of print designs. So, while still working at the mill, I worked with my employers to develop a collection of printed silk pillows. The pillows took off and thus the thomaspaul collection was born and has since expanded into all different categories of home accessories and fabrications.
What would you say is your signature aesthetic?
My signature is always described as bold. Usually when I make a design it is one large image that takes up the entire space in terms of the size of the item it is printed on.
How did you come up with it?
I rarely do repeating images and if I do it is because it is for a fabric that is going to be sold by the yard. This mainly developed from the start with the silk pillows. I was tired of the small scale repeats I was working with on the ties, our mill also printed silk scarves, which are generally always one large square design, so originally I was going to do a scarf collection, but then I thought it would be a cooler idea to have the designs printed like scarves and have a solid back sewn on and a zipper inserted and to make them pillow cases instead.
What Inspires You?
I have always said the concept of thomaspaul was combining all of the things that I like, which are from very diverse sources, and mixing them all together, but making it all look like a cohesive and modern collection. So my aesthetic is informed by pop art and modern design, but I also love old master paintings and very traditional French and English antiques, I also mix into this my love of Chinese and Japanese art and design and somehow I get to a new design that hopefully doesn’t look like anything else. I think scale and color can do a lot to reign in a very diverse mix of motifs.
We Have To Know, Where Is Your Beach?
Since I am a New Yorker, I have to give our local spots love. Without question Long Island has some of the most picturesque spots from Jones Beach out to the small coves and inlets of the North Fork, and of course the Hamptons on the south shore. However, I never overlook our “city” beaches. Of these, I have a special fondness for Coney Island. I love the idea of being able to take the subway to the water and you can always make a pit stop at Nathan’s before heading home!