Tuesday 20 August 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Toni Brown

Hey guys, haaaaaaaaaaaaappie tuesday =)
How's everyone feeling? Good? Tired? Ready for the weekend again already? lol well if you are I've hopefully got a post that'll make you happy it's tuesday, at least for a few mins...and I'm really excited about this week's featured artist as she is actually a writer (ya'll know that alone will excite me!) and also a visual journaler. I hope you enjoy meeting Toni =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Toni Brown, and I'm 51 years old, married almost 27 years, with two sons (22 and almost 26) and four grandsons: 3 months, 22 months, 9 years and 12 years old. I've been writing since the age of 2, when I first dictated a poem about daffodils to my mother. I kept a spy notebook after reading Harriet the Spy in the 4th grade, but officially began a written journal at the age of 14, as I prepared to begin high school. This was 37 years ago now! Oh my! 8 years ago, I became frustrated with straight writing - I needed something different to expand my expressive experience. A co-worker suggested rubber stamps, which I tried, and which led me to discover blogs, mixed media art/techniques of every imaginable sort, and visual journaling. I maintained my written journal throughout, but began to keep one or more visual journals (of various sorts, for differing purposes) as well. 

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
The isolation of being a journaler has always been for me - the nature of written journaling is a solitary act, and no one in my family is a reader, so though I would happily share, reading my journals just isn't something my husband or sons are naturally inclined to. By nature, I'm an introvert, so journaling dates don't come often or easily for me. The on-line community has really proven to be where I most readily and consistently connect. 85% of the time, I'm fine. The other 15% of the time, 'alone' feels more like 'lonely', and I struggle with that. 

What other issues to you overcome to accomplish your art?
I've been managing depression since my early 30s. I can emphatically state that discovering visual/art journaling proved a salvation in ways I could never have foreseen. It's a way to express and document the shadow sides, the doubts, the gremlins and beasties, and to contain them (when I close the journal covers). It's done more to reveal and heal the depression cycles than anything I've ever practiced, and I would pound my chest from any podium, anywhere, to recommend it as a therapeutic approach/practice for those also challenged by depression.

What advice would you offer to any perspective new artist
1. Trust your intuition over all other things - over trends, over other styles, over product, over anything else!
2. Feed your mojo by letting it rest - do other things, have fun in other ways, relax, laugh, distract, leave mojo alone -- it will get curious and come back to you asking, 'wazzup?'
3. For anyone who writes, I offer this blog post as one of the most important/helpful/critical I can give.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
For several years, I did keep a series of blogs (links below), but I found myself creating just to have something to post, and becoming more and more removed from my true expression, so I stopped blogging myself. I invite anyone who would like to email me at antoniafufu@yaho.com -- I'd love it!

Thank you so much for sharing Toni, it was nice meeting you and hearing your story. I loved seeing your visual journal pages and (though I couldn't publish all of your answers here which showed it to it's best advantage) hearing your perspective as a writer first and foremost and the process being the most crucial part of it for you. I consider myself an artist first but feel exactly the same, especially in my journaling....after all if we don't escape and yet explore ourselves in our mediums what is the purpose in doing them??

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
 Thomas Merton

Do you want to be TATed??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)


  1. THANK YOU! I think you edited me beautifully! Love your blog, and I feel stoked to be a presence here for a brief moment.

    Toni Brown

  2. Thank Jenny and thank YOU Toni! I could relate to so much of what you shared Toni. I however 'enjoy' my solitude so much that I'm struggling to get ink/pen/paint/pencil or anything to paper, be it a journal or my art journal. I WILL get over this.

    In my heart I looove journaling and want to have a fabulous art journal to flip through one day. In the meantime I enjoy flipping through everyone else's. lol be blessed both of you - Sue :)

  3. Hi Toni, I am awed by your honesty and your journal pages are fabulous. You are, no doubt, a very talented artist. Thanks for sharing

  4. Thank You for sharing Toni! I can relate to your comment about having to create something so you could post. Luckily that is a rare feeling for me but I can see how easy it would be to the blog dictate your art vs your projects determining your blog. Keep up the wonderful work.

  5. To everyone -- thanks so much! This sort of thing is what makes the 'void' seems full, in such a wonderful way!


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