Tamás Miklós Fülep
Born in Derby, UK, on the longest day of 1960.
My career has been a tangential journey of doing whatever I have wanted to do with a mix of what I have had to. From the elevations of business meetings in the corporate world to the humble of washing pots in a cafe, my working life has been an abundance of variety. These dexterous hands of mine have been shaken by people in high places, yet they are ingrained with the grime of graft.
Like my art, my life has never been planned, but it has always been pretty colourful.
From the day I was born, I never had any idea of what I wanted to do and as I enter later life, I still really don’t.
A brief history.
Throughout school and in every job I have ever done, my talent for drawing was always applied. From cartoons of ‘teacher terminating machines’ and other anti-school doodlings to drawing on soldiers suitcases, renderings of customer vehicles and caricatures of authority, the creativity at my fingertips has always expressed itself.
1965 - 1976
Too many Schools ruined my education.
1976 - 1978
Trainee soldier / part-time prisoner.
1978 - 1979
Office Clerk. Poorly paid, but I loved the garage environment.
1979 - 1981
Labourer/sand-blaster and dogsbody. Much better paid, but too repetitious.
1982 - 1985
Commercial Tyre fitter/driver. Enjoyed the freedom of being on the road, working on farms, building sites, and truck garages, but…
1985 - 1987
I had already dipped my toe into painting murals for family, but following a creation down the gable end of my house, considerable media exposure encouraged me to pursue a new career. One of my first jobs, a giant (14 feet tall) pair of jeans on the wall of a well known Derby jeans outlet, became a very well known local landmark for 21 years.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t quite enough work to provide for my young family, so…
1987 - 1989
Driver/fitter, then branch manager. Back on the road, then promotion, but…
1989 - 1999
A friend, a competent and published cartoonist, and I decided to jump on the sudden trend for adult comics. Without any idea of how the publishing world worked, over several months, whilst still in jobs, we created ‘Smut, the alternative comic’ and officially published in May 1989.
Almost overnight, Smut became Britain’s second best selling adult comic with bi-monthly sales reaching around 100,000 at its peak. The creation of our business took us into a corporate world and led to further ventures involving merchandising, magazines and board games. All a self learning stage in graphics and design for me, especially after I acquired my first computer in 1992.
As Smut continued, other ventures failed. Then a second personal tragedy within six years turned my life inside out. By 1999, our business was in debt and on the brink of collapse, so I stood down, but continued to contribute.
1999 - 2001
For eighteen months I applied for hundred of jobs and wrote more than 200 letters without success. In between, I wrote dozens of ideas and sketches for television shows and completed a screenplay. However, the pressures of business debts and personal complications threw me into depression. It seemed no matter what I tried, nothing materialised. Until…
I was contacted by a previous business associate and offered a free-lance contract, working from home, creating graphics for the mobile phone entertainment craze that had begun with Nokia and ringtones. I was also involved with promotional literature and graphic design. Monstermob was at the forefront of a multi-million pound industry. The pixel logos, wallpapers, animated screensavers and artwork I created appeared in adverts in dozens of magazines and newspapers across the UK and ultimately onto consumers phones.
The company was floated on the AIM and restructured, bringing in various experts and I was offered a renewed contract that I couldn’t accept.
2004 - 2010
Over the three years I free-lanced for Monstermob, my wife was by my side, researching ideas and reference, accompanying me at meetings and events. We worked and learned together. We knew how to create mobile content, but we needed customers. My wife researched the mobile business while I created a catalogue of products and designed a website, ‘Fulep - Graphics with Attitude’. Mobile phone content had progressed from black and green pixels to full colour pictures and animations and was spreading beyond the UK and Europe.
The business was launched within a couple of months, with two or three hundred products to offer and emails to every potential customer we could find.
At the peak of business, Fulep graphics were licensed, advertised and downloaded to mobile phones in over eighty countries across the globe. Our client base averaged around 45 companies and business was doing very well, then…
The stock market crash of 2008 coincided with the move to smartphones, which had an immediate impact and we lost around fifty percent of our clients within just three or four months.
By 2010, the Fulep catalogue contained around 10,000 images and animations covering hundreds of subjects and much of our content was translated into several languages, by us. Unfortunately, as smartphones continued in popularity, our income dwindled to the point were weren’t earning a living anymore.
2010 - 2022
Freelance Graphic artist.
Using all my previous experience, I set myself up as a freelance graphic artist, My murals adorn the walls of pubs, clubs, care homes, shops and bedrooms all over and around Derby. I have sign written shops, boats, A-boards and chalk boards. From logos to illustration, my art and design is visible on vans, leaflets, flyers, advertising, websites and books. I have painted human portraits, pet portraits, caricatures and created dozens of personal designs for birthdays, weddings and funerals. I have even painted on a coffin. Commercially and personally, Fulep art has sixty years of history.
Between the ‘career’ above, I have also briefly portered in a hospital, washed pots and delivered food for a cafe, worked as a plumber’s mate, laboured on building sites, toiled in another factory, been a handyman and decorator. I have enjoyed certain jobs, but have never really been happy working for someone.
I seem to have a ten(ish) year itch in life and reach a point where I want to do something else. Throughout 2022, that itch appeared and needed scratching. Following a heart attack in the December, I decided I didn’t want to freelance anymore and just wanted to be free to create whatever I feel like creating.
Please note, I don't do commissions.