In a competitive market, the ability to create a product for which there is a desire and the added benefit of commercial value, could simply be seen as a profession or vocation. Thomas Mihal is fortunate enough to love what he does and infuses his profession with passion
Thomas finished studying at HGBLVA in Vienna in 1970. Since then, he has been involved in visual communication and worked with many ad agencies and publishers. Having travelled extensively, exhibiting his beautiful art here and in Europe, he decided to settle in Cape Town, the place he terms his “ideal home”. With a background in pre-press picture editing for top quality books, and illustration work on several books on African poetry, he has now set up a large format printing studio for reproduction of fine art and “pack shots” for catalogues and websites.
When interviewed, he had this to say: “In my opinion, anyone who can make a living out of a passion is truly blessed”. And blessed he is, with his many clients finding value in so many of his beautiful works. His ethos is that there are many kinds of value, that real value always improves life in some way, and a picture is valuable if you enjoy looking at it.
A picture is worth more if it evokes feelings and is precious if you discover something new every time you look at it. On the subject of “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder,” Thomas believes that successful art, and therefore beauty, is reliant on the image formed in the mind of the receiver of the message. If the message is visual, it will be received by the eye, and if the beholder experiences the emotion as intended by the artist, the artwork has been successful. Should this reflect in the increase in his artwork’s future monetary value, he would feel greatly fortuitous of course!
Thomas, as an artist and art gallery owner, sees a strong relationship between the creative process and training, and skill and competency on the one hand, and the finished product on the other. He feels that skills can be learned and demand discipline, and that knowledge and skill save the artist a lot of frustration during the process of turning an idea or a concept into reality. According to him, the quality of the picture is strongly determined by the level of skill and effort of the artist.
Over the years, Thomas has found that in the business of art, it helps to be flexible and adaptable.
A true artist must apply the gift of observation and creativity to all forms of visual communication. Besides creating his own original artworks, he is also involved in book illustration and production, interior design (corporate and private), as well as the production and sale of limited edition Giclee prints. Picture editing and printing of supplied images, such as family portraits or your favourite photograph, or any photography, scanning and large format printing also fall within his suite of services.