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Q&A with Tom Waterhouse

Designer and illustrator @ 2DForever

I’m Tom Waterhouse, I’m a designer and illustrator working on a variety of projects under the online name of 2DForever. I’m a freelancer who works across games, web, print and TV.

Software / hardware

Despite my constant complaints I depend on, and deep down secretly love using Adobe Creative Cloud. I use majority of the tools within Creative Cloud, but I somehow manage to find a way to use Photoshop for everything: Illustration, web design, pixel art and even animation.

For hardware, I carry my Macbook everywhere, but otherwise depend on a Wacom Cintiq 13HD and a Apple Cinema Display. Of course they are all great tools, but they are only ever that: tools! Can’t beat a pencil and paper!

© Tom Waterhouse

Ideal work environment

Despite being freelance and the adage of “anywhere is your desk”, I find I work best when comfortable and so I love my workplace at home.

I’m also quite picky on being private when I work; I’m happy to work with others, but if given the choice I’d rather be left to my own creative devices as I feel I can be much more creative this way.

Work inspiration

Everything I make has elements inspired from game design (or I sneak in game references if not!) — video games have such a strong influence on me, I want to recreate some of that experience in everything I do.

I also find the best inspiration comes from my own mistakes: I’m often sketching and it’s when I make those 'happy accidents' an illustration or design can suddenly take a great turn in an unexpected direction.

Creatives you admire most

If it were a specific person, I would have to say my Dad, John Waterhouse. He was a lighting technician and sound engineer — not exactly why I decided to do illustration and design, but it was more in how he lived. He always did what he enjoyed and worked hard to be great at it.

Otherwise, I try to see as much art and design as I can. Thankfully the internet makes this easy, but otherwise magazines, movies, museums and I keep on hand a collection of books that inspire me - especially the gaming design greats, such as Yoji Shinkawa (Konami) and Kinu Nishimura (Capcom).