Portland is well-known for the incredible culture we have and a community that embraces the beauty and uniqueness of our local area. Let’s face it, there are few places in the world that can seamlessly combine big city urban living with an incredible building skyline, water, forests and snow-capped mountains, yet at the same time be a melting pot of amazing, talented and kind people. If there was ever a utopia of goodness, our Portland area would have to be as close to it as possible.
The Portland art community and artist culture is another amazing thing that we have in our metropolitan area that seems to resemble something from time past. Though some of us could easily overlook the artistic talent that we have bottled in Portland, there are times that it just can’t be closed off any longer. We discovered an artist doing some very unique art, which combines two mediums, one old and one new, to create Portland art that might just leave you speechless.
Meet Tobin Floom…
Tobin is a local photographer and artist that is doing some very interesting things using photography and technology, to produce a new art form that is turning heads nationwide. This Portland artist has developed a unique approach to turning beautiful photography into works of art through his computer.
Now most photography followers, enthusiasts and professionals are aware that the computer is an important part of making photographs perfect. Using various software applications, photographers are able to retouch their shots, add effects and otherwise adjust lighting and other elements to ensure that their pictures reflect the mood, emotion and quality expected from a professional. Though nearly every professional photographer is doing this today, most are not taking it to level of unique art as Tobin has done.
Unique Portland Art
Using a proprietary process that utilizes special software and technique, Floom takes his amazing photography to an entirely higher level. His artistic processing creates a painterly look to his works that is unlike anything done before. His work keeps a mixture of light and form true to the original photographic image, yet transforms some of the images to appear as paintings. His post-production photo process makes all of the colors throughout the photo seem so vivid, which is due to his constantly evolving manual processes that he has mastered.
Tobin says that he uses his computer mouse as a paint brush and literally works as if he has a brush and paint palette, only he does it virtually through his computer. Each piece gets its own individual process and he doesn’t use tools with pre made styles to manipulate large areas of each work. Some pieces are spot colored one stroke at a time, while with others he uses simulated brush strokes or carefully smears and blends pixels together on the screen.
Blowing up his original photos to just a handful of pixels, he manipulates one tiny section at a time, creating a masterpiece that many find difficult to determine whether it is a painting or a photograph. The result of Floom’s painstaking Portland artistry results in truly unique Portland art that is breathtaking and transforms an image that is already amazing into something that nobody else can.
Different from many other artists, Tobin prices his art to make it affordable for anyone. His pieces range from a low $30 to a high of $2,500, which are custom large panels for larger homes or commercial design scenarios. However, he says that the bulk of his work sells around the world to everyday art enthusiasts and admirers for a mere $200-$300 per piece. Most of his artwork is married to a special material that is a heavy-duty polymer resin. This resin fiber is so resilient it won’t fade, stain or get damaged from moisture or even liquid spills for 100 years or more. He also gives customers a choice to put his work on any other medium or substrate, such as metal, standard canvas, barn doors or the typical photographic paper.
Getting Artistic Recognition
Tobin’s one-of-a-kind pieces of art were discovered by representatives and buyers of Costco. They were often looking for artists of various mediums to include in their road shows and special events, which are sometime featured inside some Costco stores across the country. They interviewed him and went over his work and were very interested in what he was doing. A month after the meeting, they called Tobin and said that he had been chosen over hundreds of other artists.
Within one week they had him on the road in a 26 foot Uhaul that was filled to the rim with his art. He traveled and displayed his unique Portland art on nearly an entire row in more than 45 Costco stores. His amazing photo and computer generated art was sold out every time he displayed across states including Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana before this unique Portland artist decided traveling wasn’t for him.
Tobin now works with a lot of interior designers for homes and businesses, and also displays much of his art in Portland art galleries, restaurants and at the Portland Saturday Market and other events and has developed a loyal following of customers and art enthusiasts that appreciate the unique artistic spin he has brought to the community.
Pairing Unique Art With Home and Office Design
One of the things that we found to be so incredible about Floom’s art was its ability to seamlessly combine with our customers home and office design goals. This kind of unique art lends itself well to contrasting colors between hardwood flooring, countertops, tile, carpeting, wall and decor colors and patterns to create a pop within any room. His unique Portland art allows both designers and homeowners alike the ability to set their decor elements apart, while providing either a formal or more casual look that any Portland homeowner would love.
You can check out more of Tobin Floom’s work here.