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1. How did you get your start?

After graduating I worked as a minion at Sotheby’s Kingshouse warehouse, which gave me a fantastic introduction to the incredible variety of things sold in the art world. The warehouse exposed me to everything from a phenomenal Zoffany to Lady Penelope’s limousine (from Thunderbirds).

2. How did your family influence you to start trading?

I’ve always been immersed in art, and grew up around artists and with walls covered with paintings. My grandfather was the Constable expert Ian Fleming- Williams, who had a great influence on me. My family have always been encouraging and taken an interest in what I’ve been doing, but it was my decision alone to start trading – it seemed like a logical progression from working in the auction world.

3. Do you use social media as a commercial device? If so, how?

Absolutely: Instagram, Twitter and my website. Instagram is great fun and a fantastic way to reach clients, friends and contacts, with interesting and visually striking things – not always art-related.

4. How has the market changed?

I started trading this year, so not much. However, it is more and more image-driven. Every day people are exposed to a deluge of strong images, while the cameras on their phones are teaching them what makes a good composition – training their eyes. Because of this, the most charismatic and strikingly composed pictures are separating from the more pedestrian. I’m sure the gap will widen over the coming years.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

Both – I’d start the evening with real ales, and finish on espresso martinis!

tomrooth.com

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