PROFILE: Hampshire Life

Tom Pappalardo was pouring himself a wake-up cup of coffee one day back in 2009 when some Simon & Garfunkel lyrics popped into his head. And that was all the inspiration he needed to come up with the idea for a silk-screened poster that’s become a big seller for him: “Hello Darkness, My Old Friend” is a 10-by-20-inch vertical print that depicts coffee being poured into a mug.

Pappalardo, who lives in Northampton, says some people buy the print to hang in a break room at work; others buy it as a gift for coffee drinkers who regard a well-brewed cup as an “old friend” indeed (maybe their best friend).

But coffee isn’t his only inspiration. Pappalardo, who owns Standard Design, a graphic design firm that does work for local businesses as well as large corporations, says he’s intrigued by the textures of wood, and he’s now producing a series of digital prints that he calls TIMBERRR!

On his website, Pappalardo describes his TIMBERRR! subjects like this: “cute lil’ farm and zoo animals… all woody ‘n’ stuff.” The lil’ owl shown here combines bits of weathered fence and cutaways of tree rings. There’s also an elephant (with oversized ears that suggest hardwood flooring, Pappalardo says), a lamb (plywood and fine-grained walnut), and a pair of birds with twiggy-looking feet (he had to take photos of actual twigs for that one).

Pappalardo says he’s got more animals in mind for the TIMBERRR! line, including his dog – a “slightly overweight hound dog, who always looks sad and grumpy.” Not lil’, but definitely cute.

– Margot Cleary