Getting creative – An interview with Tommy Teabag, a Sheffield artist

John Atherley AKA Tommy Teabag, one of Sheffield’s most well known artist’s and one of the creative’s we featured in our Brearley Forge show home, talks to us about how the city inspires his work:

What/who inspires your work?

I’ve been purely working on Sheffield-inspired art. Hendersons Relish has featured heavily in my early creations and I have been lucky enough to gain the respect and admiration of Hendersons Relish HQ, where a few of my pieces have a home. I plan on expanding my appreciation of the north of England to other key cities.

You reference Sheffield a lot, are you a local and a big fan?

I was born here in Sheffield and continue to live here. Sheffield is a wonderful place and holds fond memories for me. Travelling on the 52 bus from Woodhouse to the city centre with my nan and taking a trip through the ‘Oyl int road’ still trigger an emotional spark each time I visit our lovely city.

What is it about Sheffield that makes it such a creative city?

That’s a real good question but where do I start? We have some of the best creative talent here in Sheffield from Joe Cocker, Sean Bean, Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Richard Hawley and Pete McKee! I’d like to say that our universities have a good part to play in creativity but it’s plain to see from our biggest heroes that most of them started off by following their passion without formal training. Joe Cocker was an apprentice gas fitter before his hugely successful music career and Pete McKee (who I great admiration for) started working in a factory before gaining respect for his brilliant artwork. Ultimately, it’s the people we have in our city… they make it the creative place it is today.

Where can fans of your work buy it?

I have a website, but always happy to work on specific custom pieces with individuals or businesses.

My web address is

What are you currently working on?

I’ve just finished a piece called ‘Sheffield’s Cool’ which depicts the cooling towers before they were demolished in 2008. I’m always seeking to create the perfect piece of art to spark an emotion or memory.

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