Tom Milledge

Tom Milledge is a whisker shy of his 38th birthday, and is inspired by, “Anyone fighting to make shit better…art, politics, the environment, surfing, food or whatever. Apathy is a slow death.”

Tom has been drawing and doodling “works of dubious quality,” since he was a grom. At what point his doodles became high art, he’s unsure but he’s always enjoyed turning on his creative outlet.

We’re totally sure here at Surfing Life there is nothing at all dubious about Tom’s quality.

Tom recently quit his job in the surf industry to carve his own path in the creative freelance world. Working mostly on branding projects for now, he has his eyes firmly set on picking up the pens again and pursuing more artistic ventures.

Tom’s artistic bloodlines run deep. Very deep. His sister and auntie are professional artists, and for a while so was his dad. Growing up in what he describes as, “hippy circumstances: in a house nestled in the rainforest around Mullumbimby.”

This living arrangement somehow inspired Tom to draw the polar opposite, “complex underground millitary bases, exploding things and gnarly monsters!”

But of all things artistic, it’s surf art which inspires Tom the most:

“Surf art has had a great history of characters, and I’ve always been drawn to the lack of pretension in what they do…Thomas Campbell, Paul McNeil (so great!) & Ozzie Wright are always doing interesting stuff.

I read a shitload of surf mags growing up as well so I was always super influenced by surf cartoons – Tony Edwards (Captain Goodvibes, Ralph the Rhino) is just a genius, and I used to imitate Ben Brown and Roscoe Kermode’s style of perfect waves endlessly.”

So Tom, explain your Finart here, to us:

The main challenge was coming up with an idea that worked within the fin shape. Eventually I settled on the two fins fitting together kinda like a Yin Yang. I had the sads over a girl from the city and was living back at Broken Head so figured I’d work the city/country elements into the Yin Yang concept. I also dig on shitty puns e.g “Fin Yang”.

Is there anything art has taught you about life, Tom?

Yeah. Don’t focus too much on the outcome, relax and enjoy the process.