John Warwicker of Tomato

Great event last night listening to John Warwicker – co-founder of Tomato – talking about his creative and intellectual influences; a great insight into the mind of a design veteran.

As Adrian Shaughnessy pointed out – the 1990s was an era when we started seeing graphic design as ‘art’ and Tomato’s work was key in re-shaping the graphic design landscape.

John Warwicker sights Hokusai as one of his early influences and he now has strong connections to the Japanese creative scene – being the first foreign member of Tokyo TDC (Type Directors Club).

The following is a quote he’d read as a child and has had great influence on his work philosophy:

“From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.”

And some of his more recent work published in ‘A Floating World’ that collates themes, ideas, histories and memories, which have informed and influenced him to form a ‘delicate and fragile’ work.

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