Tom De Graeve
'An Artist called Tom'
❝ After finishing university in LA, USA, Tom worked with the biggest music impresario ever, Mister Bill Graham, his mentor and godfather of R&R, who crashed with his helicopter in ’91, on his way to Stevie Ray’s concert.
Depeche Mode was the first band Tom brought to the shoreline amphitheatre in 'Mountain View’ and launched U2, Joshua tree, Echo & The Bunnymen, Simple Minds, David Gilmore and many others in NYC, under the direction of his beloved mentor Bill who called him ‘The Crazy Belgian Guy.’
That name he thanks to his great artistic talent, guts, beautiful and amazing mind, his vision and typically impossible, adorable atitude.
Tom has an unlikely impressive knowledge about EVERY single music genre and voice type, idem dito for all the different possible instruments existing on earth.
He feels and sees the EQ, the character, the syncopate and improvise abilities of every artist, after working with legends, icons such as Sade, Alicia Keys, Sting, Nathan East, just to name a few ..
Being back to Belgium, in the nineties, after working with Bill Graham, Tom finds a space to realise his thesis, in Brussels, 'Tour and Taxis', which he transforms into 'Music City', amongst others.
In 2015 he finalizes the site, 'Gare Maritime', the last part of his first big project in the nineties, which won the MIPIM awards as 'Best Refurbished Building' in 2021.
Moving to Turkey, for a few years, Tom was the artistic director of the 'Tag Istanbul event.'
TAG ISTANBUL, Istanbul, Turkey, 2009
On the evening of October 19th, Istanbul was an open stage for an extraordinary art performance which has never been exhibited before in Turkey. The most famous buildings which are considered to be the “symbols of Istanbul” turned into canvases for these famous artists.
Famous poet’s verses converted into light and glide across Istanbul.
Forum Istanbul Shopping Center, which opened in November, organized the 'Tag Istanbul / If Istanbul was a Canvas” event as a gift to Istanbul when Istanbul turned into a huge gallery for one night.
Different prominent Turkish artists including Ara Guler, Mehmet Guleryuz, Haluk Akakce, Bedri Baykan, to name a few, shared their creative passion through different artistic disciplines such as painting, graffiti photography and literature.
Traveling, working and living all over the world, he continued his career as a Graphic Designer, Art Director, abreacting his creativity and tremendous brain thoughts at several major projects.
A very nice spin off arised in Portugal when he meat his good friend Joao Pestana Dias, General Manager at 'Fadus Special Events', who stands for The Trade Connection * Portugese/ Turkish NETWORK', which has, as main goal, the intention of giving expression to 'The Cultural & Economic Trade' between those two nations.
His love for ART was given to him in his cradle by his other mentor Graba', his father of whom he learned to paint in his very special and unique 'Glacis Technique."
Sharing his gift, talent, knowledge, know how, passion, love, respect and gratitude for children, people, art and music, he is one of the examples of PUSHING THE WORLD FORWARD. ❞
Tom is a freelance designer and art director.
Thirty years of experience have allowed him to hone his distinctive style across a wide range of media.
From conceptual and strategic branding and development, to design and art direction; from events and marketing, to web and graphic design; from photography to fiilm – whether it’s traditional or digital, for print or for the screen, Tom devours all things creative.
After earning his masters degree at the Marshall School of Business USC in Los Angeles, Tom immediately began designing for top agencies and brands.
Past and current clients include, ACT lighting design, Multi Development Corporation, Coca-Cola, Nintendo, Nescafé, ZOM USA, Extensa, Johnson & Johnson, Danone, Diageo, Caterpillar, MTV, HBO, The History Channel, The Biography Channel, Ydreams, Constance Group, Chaudfontaine, General Motors, etc ..
Moving to Turkey in 2009, Tom established AIR, a freelance design and branding agency offering bespoke creative services to a broad range of international clients.
Tom is the creative director and project manager for all work undertaken by the company.
Alongside his commercial work, Tom continues to pursue numerous personal projects, including projection, film, photography, interactivity, digital communication, music and installation art.
His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, garnering many recognitions and awards.
Eager to explore new and interesting avenues of design and communication, Tom continues to embark on new self-initiated projects and collaborations.