Okay, why is one of the directors of a Manchester search company writing about something about a local artist and ‘content qween’?

Partly it is because I am so enamoured with the brilliant work of ‘Manchester Tom’, and partly because I am sick to the back teeth of hearing/seeing that anything good from Manchester happened in the 80s/90s and was somehow related to drug use. Let’s move on, eh, Manchester? It’s 2020.

Manchester Tom

Tom QuayeSo, who or what is Manchester Tom? He’s actually Tom Quaye, who describes himself as:

“I’m a 34 year old freelance content creator from Manchester England. I am a writer, a designer, a photographer, a business owner and an artist.”

Which is quite boring, considering the creativity of his work.

And on the topic of his work, let me show you what caught my eye – and also that of the rest of the Embryo team…

We were initially introduced to Tom’s work through his excellent photography seen when browsing the /r/manchester ‘subreddit’ on reddit (if you are old, you may not know what this is).

His photography of Manchester is light years away from what anyone else is doing – or has done before. Tom takes traditional Manchester vistas and turns them into something totally different. His eye just doesn’t seem to work like anyone else who takes photographs of the area.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

Manchester canal image by Tom Quaye

Co-op building in Manchester

and my particular favourite:

Arndale by night by Manchester Tom

With his photography, he has turned a city of buildings and views that I see every day into something that my own eyes haven’t seen. This makes the city so much more interesting and at times, otherworldly. Whenever I pass a building or scene that ‘Manchester Tom’ has taken a photo of, I find myself stopping to take a very different look at it. Is this the sign of a true, quality artist? It feels like it.

And on the subject of art, Tom’s work contains some beautiful graphic design work, as you can see here:

Manchester Tom's graphic design work of Canal Street

Have you ever seen a better image of Canal Street? I haven’t seen anything come close.

Poster for Dance Yerself Clean

His talents do not stop at photography and graphic design. Tom produces portrait & wedding photography, works on projects such as ‘Queers of Manchester’, Manchester Camerata, and Dance Yrself Clean to name but a few. He’s a very talented videographer too, with just one of his videos shown here:

But his talents even don’t stop there. We are also big fans of his t-shirt designs, which are sold under his ‘United Nations’ moniker. 

His shirt designs are something quite special. They are very thought provoking, entertaining, tongue-in-cheek, funny, and many things in-between, too. If we could afford them all, we would. Have a look at just some of his excellent designs:

Ban Jamie Oliver

Sonia from Eastenders

Kwik Save

and my personal favourite, Nic Cage!

Nicolas Cage

I had a look on Google to find out what the term was for such a talented person across multiple disciplines, and the term that covers Tom is ‘Multipotentiality’. Another term (again found by searching), is that Tom is a ‘Renaissance man’.

Whatever the correct term to describe ‘Manchester Tom’, his work is some of the best that I have seen in a long while. He is most definitely one of Manchester’s unheralded talents that really needs to have a wider audience. With this post, I can only try to help more people within the city to see what a truly excellent talent he is.  I hope you feel the same.

Spend some time looking at it yourself – https://manchestertom.com

James Welch

James is a digital industry veteran, and has worked various roles from SEO, head of research, to director level. He is a content nerd, and loves nothing more than demanding that evermore content is added to client sites - as well as the Embryo blog!