Tom Stoke is a painter who fell in love with a space in Budapest city center, originally a basement next to one he was staying in for a week about three years ago when passing through the city. The place was then absolutely ruined, full of stuff, flooded and burnt. At the time Tom opened a gallery in Amsterdam, but also fell in love with the space and decided to build a studio in Budapest where people can come and paint and draw; the Painter’s Palace. Now he manages the place and has plans to expand it to be more like a network of spaces.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

General appreciation for life itself. Being appreciative for life’s little moments and being grateful for time. Consciousness. That’s the kind of core of being happy and the rest is just joy, laughter, fun.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to have the skills to be good enough to let me run on the big cranes up in the sky, to be skillful enough that my fear wouldn’t exist of falling.

What is your most treasured possession?

I’ve broken down this idea of ownership. It’s more like a skill, like drawing or something that I’ve worked on so it’s something that I do, own, but I could definitely lose it. So drawing. That is a skill.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Narcissus and Goldmund or Siddhartha, characters from Hermann Hesse. I don’t how fictional the characters are, the characters of Hermann Hesse are more semi-autobiographical, they’re all part of the same body.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Personal wealth and the gain of it are definitely overrated and overdone.

On what occasion do you lie?

This one; never.

When and where were you the happiness?

There’s no defining time of happiness, I’d rather keep it consistent.

What do you value in your friends?

Love and diversity.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

The Painters Palace. That’s been a defining point in my life so far.

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