Mad Skills Monday 075: Thomas Wightman

Welcome to Mad Skills Monday, where we showcase top work from young creatives to bring you some inspiration and beat the post-weekend blues. Today we’re in awe of the phenomenal paper sculptures and handmade typography of Thomas Wightman.

Power Tools: Illustrator, paper, books, scalpel and loads of double sided tape, lasercutter
Power Song: Simple Minds – Dont You (Forget About Me)
Power Snack: Weetabix Chocolate Minis

For his major project at university, graphic designer Thomas Wightman created a series of paper sculptures to serve as a visual metaphor for the devastating effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder and the panic attacks it causes. These began as a set of book sculptures interweaving typography, illustrating OCD as a plague of damaged butterflies, a sinking ship and a derailed train.


Plagued By Doubt


Drowning From Obsession



Derailing My Train of Thought

MadskillsM_train2_614pxMadskillsM_ship3_614pxThe project evolved into two large-scale paper and board sculptures picturing OCD as troubled ships. ‘Hitting Rock Bottom’ features a ship with sails tormented by obsessive thoughts, balancing precariously on sharp rocks. ‘Anchored’, the final outcome, has a ship stuck between acrylic waves with OCD symptons etched in as glitched type.


Hitting Rock Bottom




MadskillsM_shipfront_614pxThomas also specialises in handmade typography. This includes a series of posters aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues and type made from thistles to honour Scotland.

MadskillsM_roots_614px MadskillsM_stickysituation_614px MadskillsM_thistle S_614px MadskillsM_thistles_614pxSince graduating from Edinburgh Napier University Thomas has worked as a designer, mostly with typography and branding. He currently freelances in London and is seeking opportunities to continue creating paper sculptures and handmade type. You can see more images of his work or get in touch via his website and Behance page.

Want us to show off your mad skills? We’re always looking for young creatives, students and graduates to showcase for our Monday feature, so send us an email with some samples or a portfolio link with the subject line “Mad Skills Monday” to and we’ll check you out!

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