Instagram Influencer Spotlight On: Tom Barton @tomsky3

1) Tell us a little about yourself. What are you doing now and where do you come from?

I’m a freelance illustrator who graduated from Coventry University in 2015. Since then I’ve been doing all sorts, music videos, website banners and more recently concept art for graphic novels and games. I come from the Lake District in the UK but I live in Coventry. Right now I’m doing the occasional commission as well as constantly looking for jobs with my favourite companies. I recently applied to Riot games as well as Blizzard and working for either would be a dream come true.

2) What are your topics of interest? What do you post on Instagram the most?

I tend to post comic art or concept art. I focus on monsters, robots, super heroes, aliens and things like that. I mostly enjoy creating cool characters and I hope to one day create a character that’s loved and seen by a lot of people.

3) How did your Instagram name come about?

I was never very good at coming up with usernames for games and things and when I was a lot younger I used a nickname that my mum used to call me as my username in Runescape. A lot of people pronounce it as tom-sky but it’s actually meant to sound like tom-skee. I only really know about this because a friend of mine went home to America and coincidentally met a friend of a friend who knew of my Instagram account and he kept referring to it as “tom sky 3”. Might have to change it to something else…

4) What are some apps you use to edit your photos? Share with us your photo-editing routine!

With my illustration work I usually pre-edit the images using the default software that my Moto X play comes with. As far as phone’s go, this phone has the best camera on any phone I’ve ever used and the editing options are amazing. I tend to bump up the contrast and reduce the brightness to make the images look colder/more black and white. Then I tweak them some more in Instagram afterwards. I’ve started using the filters less and less however.

5) Any Instagrammers whom you really like? Which Instagrammer inspires you the most?

I’m a big fan of “Creaturebox”. But I think the most inspirational instagrammer I follow is “Joverine”. I think as far as marker coloured and inked illustrations of creatures and monsters goes, his work is second to none. His mascot character Balto is great and I really am going to have to get something Balto related to hang up next to my desk at some point.

6) If there’s one thing your fellow Instagrammers just gotta try now, what’s it gonna be?

Take a photographs of your subject matter on top of interesting/beautifully textured surfaces like old wood or grainy looking rock. It looks awesome. Another thing would be pick up your nearest toilet roll tube, stick it over the camera lens on your phone and take a selfie of yourself that makes your head look like the moon.

7) What’s your favorite part about being an influencer?

It’s always nice to hear when you’ve inspired someone else to do something or you feel like you’ve helped someone improve in some way by giving them some advice. People message me all the time, sometimes just to say “great art” or “I really liked that image” and that’s something I think is really great about being an artist on Instagram in particular. You can meet all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds and sometimes you’re introduced (or have introduced someone else) to something that you/they otherwise may never have seen.

8) What are some of your top tips to brands for running campaigns? How do you maintain authenticity?

If you can come up with a something that all your images/posts have in common that only you do, then that’s just about the most powerful thing you can do for a brand in my opinion. In terms of authenticity though, I think you have to have content that seems “behind the scenes” showing people who don’t always look like they’re a model or something. Some things that suggest authenticity to me = bed hair, stubble, pj’s and morning coffee.

9) What would your advice be on the importance of quality and original content?

Original content always seems really difficult to strive for as it often seems like pretty much everything has been done in every possible way already. It hasn’t. And you might as well always aim to create something simple and original because as soon as you succeed in doing it once, you’ll be known for it.

And as for quality, no one wants to be squinting at an image trying to work out what it says/what it is because that’s just annoying.

10) What do you like best about partnering with brands?

Not that I’ve ever done it, but if I genuinely liked a product and felt like I couldn’t do what I do without it, my passion to let others know about it would be unbridled. It’s also a way of saying thank you in a way, “thanks for making it easier for me to do what I enjoy”.


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