This 1st Community Spotlight goes to someone who I feel deserves it among all others. He is an extremely passionate, kind fellow who supports the gaming community in a huge fashion. He never takes any kind of money for his work, but always producing top of the line fan artwork to the public! His artwork is held of high value and esteem, as well as Tom himself. With his relentlessly positive attitude, he’s a shining example of how most of us should uphold ourselves in day to day life.
I’ve known the Xbox Pope for a little while now here on twitter, and have been lucky enough to get a glimpse into his life and what he’s done not just for himself but for others as well. As busy as he is, he has gone out of his way to produce a TON of fan artwork for the public. Sometimes as a surprise for their birthdays, events for brands or as a simple request by someone. I feel there can’t be enough recognition for this kind fellow. He has come from a rough background, but strives everyday to make it the best it can be.
I posed some questions to him earlier this week, and this is what he had to say in response.
1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your background, like work and such.
My name is Tom I am a Designer. I design million dollar innovation centres and Brand POS in retails stores around the world for big name brands. If I go back to the beginning, I grew up as a foster child so never really had parents I could look up to but the families I was with did get me into gaming. From ATARI to ZX Spectrum and commodore then shifting to SEGA then Nintendo and finally PC. For many years I did not game because of life and falling into the wrong paths of life. I become homeless, got into drugs and crime to feed my habit. I was also at the time drawing Portraits and tattoos to sell; years later a guy came into my life on the street who I found out was a graphic designer. I told him how I wanted to become a designer but I was not good enough but he asked if I could draw a bottle and I said hell yeah! and he said go ask all these people you see in the street and ask can they draw a bottle and you will be surprised how many cannot so you are good enough. I’ve never seen this guy again. That day I went to my local college and enrolled in a 3D design course which I got distinction after distinction. I excelled so much I beat college records for my work after many years of Degrees etc. I even got to design for my Queen of England and winning lots of design awards. I did struggle to get work in my Field of where i lived and would need to relocate which was not an option at the time, but one day I got into an Exhibition design company doing exhibitions near my town designing all over the world and very well knowing for my skills in this business, I got head hunted to where I am today and have been here over 15 years designing for BOSS, Lacoste, D&G, Coca Cola and many other big brands and traveling and meeting very famous business people and designing for them around the world. As I was a master of my trade I began to help others in my field that needed support and advice and they have always looked up to me in the community.
2. What got you into gaming?
I have always jumped around in gaming areas but when I had a big break from gaming I had family of my own and it was not until my son was old enough to game that one day I said lets go shopping and we walked into my local games store and we see blue one side and green the other I said to him which do you want Xbox or Sony console? He chose Xbox because he liked the controller better at the time I was happy he went that way as at the time I felt they had games more suitable for his age group
3. Why specifically Xbox?
I started playing my sons Xbox with him when he was asleep at night and started buying games for myself, then I made the decision to buy the Xbox One even with the hate that was happening at the time of 2013. I just found I enjoyed the community and the online multiplayer so just stuck with it and anything else like the hate was not something I was listening to
4. How has it had an impact on your life?
Xbox has took over my life and my sons life in a huge way. We game together most nights and weekends and we now have 7 Xboxes in the home! 1 = 360, 3 = Xbox One, 1 = Xbox One S and now 2 = Xbox one X which is just amazing and a must buy on a 4k TV! my son does keep asking me to sell the old one’s but I just cannot do that I love them too much and have them set up in other rooms in the house.
5. Do you feel it wouldn’t be the same without the community here on Twitter/other social media sites?
I got into twitter quite late but have got to meet amazing people who also love the Xbox brand and the games I enjoy to play. I got to add these people to Xbox live and game with them having amazing times and memories for ever. I also became great friends with the Xbox Executives like Phil Spencer and Aaron Greenberg and many more that work for Xbox through some of my great twitter friends I follow which was a huge honour to have them follow me. One day a guy asked could I draw a 3D custom controller for Gear of war, said I give it a go and my twitter blew up with notifications then I got can you do a Halo one can you do this and then eventually it was personal requests so up to date I have done over 600 designs for the Xbox community and the gaming world. I do these fan art controllers for free and just for fun but as my twitter fans increase more and more want them made for real so I am in the process of trying to make this a reality watch this space.
6. What has been your best experience so far?
Both in life and gaming Life wise getting to meet and shake the hands of very famous people and design for them. Gaming wise just playing online with amazing people in the Xbox community but my visit to Rare Studios was the ultimate experience.
7. You recently visited Rare studios, are there any others you have been invited or ones you would like?
Rare was just amazing and to meet the developers of some of the greatest games was just a dream. I have been asked to visit Microsoft studios over in Redmond, after I did the famous Sea of thieves controller which only 4 in the world were made and I sent them to Craig Duncan head of Rare and Aaron Greenberg. The Xbox one sits on display at Rare studios and the other In Xbox Redmond which was a huge honor but one day I hope to visit Xbox Studios UK or Redmond and meet the amazing guys whom I greatly love.
Well there you have it! A small insight into the life of the Xbox Pope! Thank you so much for providing this fantastic look into the life of Geordie Tommy! Thank you for being apart of my very first Community Spotlight! It means a lot to me for you to do this, and i hope your future continues to provide with happiness and joy.
You can take a look at just SOME of his artwork below. Yes, this is only a small portion of what he has done for the community, let alone everything else he has designed and produced for companies!