Meet Simon Thompson: screen-printer, artist, Illustrator and the person responsible for your favourite FOMM shirts.
Simon’s vivid work borders on the surreal, tinged with Pop and Japanese culture, a Parisian artist with a truly cosmopolitan style. His bright, graphic illustrations caught our eyes years ago, and we haven’t looked away since.
A long time coming, 2020
We first collaborated with Simon in early 2019, releasing the now bestselling FOMM x SIMON THOMPSON collection. This range featured his signature animal designs, including the Bird of Paradise, Black Panther, King Cobra and Bengal Tiger.
Their popularity prompted a re-release, including a special edition black colourway of the Black Panther shirt which we were so excited to share with you earlier this month.
Now that most of us are at home with a bit of time on our hands, it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know Simon and explore his captivating work.
What are the top five songs on your playlist right now?
Jorja Smith - Let Me Down ft. Stormzy
Colombre - Pulviscolo
Hatik - Abîmé
Christophe - Aline
Lomepal - Ne me ramène pas
Who are some creatives who inspire you?
I’m very much inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s work and many Japanese artists/graphic designers such as Toshio Saeki, Tadanori Yokoo, Yoshikazu Ebisu, also Japanese myths and culture in general. A few American and European painters as well as sculptors, ceramic artists, cartoonists, illustrators and musicians.
A lot of your work centers around animals, how did this theme develop, and why do you enjoy them as a subject?
I’ve always enjoyed looking at pictures of animals and imagining what was going on in their lives. I used to collect them (as well as dinosaurs) as a child and could listen all day to David Attenborough on his various expeditions. But to be honest, they are just a lot less boring to draw than humans!
What is your favourite part of the creative process?
Printing! As a screen-printer, there’s no better feeling than seeing the image you’ve created slowly appearing, layers after layers of ink. It makes it tangible, and when it’s well done, incredibly satisfying.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not making art?
Being outside and spending time with friends and loved ones. I enjoy doing all kinds of sports. I started yoga a few months back, which I’m definitely going to pursue after lockdown.
How are you dealing with lockdown?
I’m home alone, so I’m mainly trying to feel at ease with myself and deal with what the present has to offer. I’m discovering what’s inside and trying to cope with it. This lockdown situation is not a huge source of inspiration for me, but still, I manage to get stuff done. For me, it’s also a good time to work on personal issues.
Where is the first place you plan on traveling to when the lockdown is over and why?
I haven’t really thought about it to be honest. I’d love to go back to Japan, but I try not to use planes too much, and with the virus, it’s going to be a while before we can cross borders. So I think I’ll just take a trip to my workshop and start printing stuff!
Which is your favourite shirt from the new FOMM collection and why?
The black edition of the Black Panther shirt because it’s the latest one, and I enjoyed making the colourway even more the second time around.
But the pattern I preferred drawing was the Bird of paradise shirt which is closer to my illustrative style.
What other projects do you have coming up in 2020?
I will soon be an art teacher at a school in Paris. I’m also currently working on new prints and want to redo my website. I want to keep looking forward and learning more about myself.
To find out more about Simon and his work check our his Instagram
Words by Arabella Peterson