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Another thing he brought back from the experience he describes as “an honour and privilege” is a brain bursting with inspiration — inspiration that will have to wait. His participation in Wild at Heart has meant that as he returns to the studio this month he’s looking at a backlog of commissions. (A problem he recognizes that a lot of artists would like to have.) He expects that any new work will have to wait until the summer or fall.
Of course, that will also depend on how many other projects come to fruition along the way. In addition to painting and guiding and DJing, he’s committed to completing the third part of the horror film trilogy he and Banks have been working on, and there’s also the day-to-day of the company he runs with Nash.
The couple operate their own production decorating company, called Shits ’N’ Giggles. From its humble genesis as a club night with weekly themes, the company has emerged as a player in the events industry. Envisioned as a way to introduce city-style club nights to the resort, Shits ’N’ Giggles, now does everything from art openings to major corporate events at enormous venues like the Telus Conference Centre.
“Collaboration is great, it always gives you at least twice as many options,” he says of their partnership, acknowledging that they share a distinct, yet complementary aesthetic.
Thom could be described as collaboratively promiscuous. And everyone appears to be benefiting from his multi-partnered creative efforts. His list of partners and associates reads like a Who’s Who of young and hip Whistler. In addition to Nash, Chili Thom works with filmmaker Feet Banks, DJ Scott Arkwell and former roommate and fellow painter David Barnes.
At the reception of the Paralympic Cultural Cabaret, Thom and Barnes had their shared easel positioned next to DJ Foxy Moron’s set-up. While Foxy spun platters to scarf canapés by, Thom and Barnes performance painted. The painting, a 3’x2’ urban landscape featuring a puzzle of blue-green concrete apartment blocks with purple deciduous trees, their roots threatening to strangle the inorganic people cages, proved that the two, despite mixing acrylics on each others Re-Use-It Centre suit coats, were much more that clown princes of visual arts. Never has watching paint dry been so fascinating.
The confidence of Thom’s strokes and the fact he’s comfortable enough to paint in public is even more interesting considering how relatively new he is to the form.