Practitioner Profile: Tom Harding
Tom, based in Penwith, has been working in new media, film and video in collaboration with many of the partner organisations and other creative practitioners since Creative Partnerships began in 2002. He is best known for his work as a VJ.
Your Practice (what do you do?)
I work mainly as a VJ, mixing digital images, live cameras and animations live at events, music festivals, and concerts. But this is mixed with making films and documentaries, graphic design and animation.
How long have you been a creative practitioner?
I started AV3 Media in November of 2002, but I have been Vj-ing at events since 1996.
What were you doing or working in before that?
I studied photography at A-Levels, and that is where my fascination with visuals first really stemmed. My degree was Electronic Imaging and Media Communications, which covered many areas of digital video production including filmmaking, animation and multimedia production. I then moved to London for 3 years to work as Technical Director for Bloomberg Television in London. Throughout all of this time I continued to work at Festivals and gigs
Describe your work for us!
I started working with Creative Partnerships in March last year, the projects ranged from vj-ing, dance/vj performances to Flash animation, video production and even pasta making! Every project has been different, working with primary schools, secondary schools, skaters, teachers, dancers and more. Most recently this has included working with Kneehigh Theatre on a joint residential schools project, Skulduggery. Mount Hawke Skate Park alongside CYMAZ musicians, and on Visual Dance Performances like Virtual Hurlers.
What has recently been the most revelatory or transformational moment for you?
Most recently one of the best things to have come out of working with Creative Partnerships has been on the Skulduggery project working with Laura Hardman, Simon Harvey and the Kneehigh Actors. We worked with around 10 students from each of 4 secondary schools in their local village halls doing film making, pasta making, storyboarding, writing, and acting and generally trying to enable a creative space for these students to work in over the week. It has been amazing to look back and see the impact that the residencies had on some of these students, and a fantastic experience for us working with them.
Who or what has had the most profound influence on your career?
I have always been interested in music and producing visuals to music, but probably my most profound influence came from a video by a band called The Orb. It was a mix of images of clouds, underwater footage, space all mixed together and the first time I had seen visuals mixed like that. This inspired me to do the same.
What is the best aspect of your creative work with school children?
I think the best aspect of my work has been seeing how creative children naturally are. Reading their stories, seeing their artwork and seeing what they come up with whilst filmmaking.
What is your ambition?
I want to work alongside The Orb, but failing that continue working with Festivals and bands etc.
If you had three wishes for the future what would they be?
Peace on Earth
A House in Cornwall
Free Chinese food for life
What simple advice would you give creative people setting out on their careers?
Approach people with what you can do, and don’t expect opportunities to just appear.