Thomas Traum creates still and moving images using an explorative digital approach. Working for 10 years with clients from independents to multinational brands his work has seen him use technology from C++ to Hollywood tested fluid simulations. Read on as we speak to Thomas about how work and life.
Can you tell us about your background and education?
I studied at ECAL in Switzerland. It was an amazing education. I definitely wouldn’t be doing what I am doing and not be at the same level without ECAL. I was really lucky. I am normally anti education, but when done in the right way it can be amazing.
You have over 10 years of experience in this field. What made you decide to start your own business? What did you want to do differently to others?
Primarily I wanted to create more of my own work and try to get paid for it. I approached it much less like a business, where you look for a competitive advantage but more like an art practice. For me it became a necessity, there was no other option.
You are fascinated with finding new applications of technology in design and art. How has this influenced your work? How is technology used to make your artwork?
Technology is everywhere in our work but not the focal point. Its always a means to an end. We are honest about our use of technology, but we don’t glorify it. We are ideas people who make things.
You have collaborated on many projects from working on branding with multinational brands, to creating artwork for record labels. What has been your favourite collaboration and why?
My favourite collaboration is with KENZO, because I respect them so much and because we have been collaborating for a while. It gets trickier over time, as you also need to make sure you don’t repeat yourself. It’s very challenging and thus rewarding.
Other than that its individuals I like collaborating with, when we team up with someone who has a skill myself or my company doesn’t have, when a very rewarding dynamic is created where the end result is always bigger than the sum of its parts. Mike Tucker is my all time favourite collaborator.
You often create fluid and moving pieces of artwork as well as still imagery. What do you like about moving artwork? Where do you get inspiration for your digital art?
I am mostly inspired by what is happening all around us right now, the clash between humans and technology. I built a small research tool we use to source images – archiv.thomastraum.com I am interested in images I would call sublime, images that are both beautiful and frightening.
I look at a lot of video game recordings as well. Recordings of games on YouTube, I don’t really play games as I am always working unfortunately.
Do you have any new and exciting collaborations you can tell us about?
Projects are getting bigger… thats all I can say. Client NDAs always limit us to tell what comes out soon.
Thomas Eberwein, Creative Director of THOMAS TRAUM
Mind: 10–20 Body 30–40
Making things, creating work
Clean living in difficult circumstances