Your most common questions. Tobi's most honest answers.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW <probably>
This page lives and breaths and is subject to change at any time. Please refer back often for updates.
ART, DESIGN, & COMMISSIONS
Do you take commissions?
"Nope. I'm pretty passionate about freely expressing at the moment. I've always worked for others and am enjoying the freshness to do what I want. This may change. If you are strongly drawn to a commission, please reach out and you will be added to an interest list. I will send an announcement if my direction changes and space opens up."
Do you do custom graphic design work?
"I don't. Graphic design isn't a focus within my business, aside from the abstract digital artwork I do and creating my own brand graphics. Nope, these days I only pull out those skills for me or my ride-or-dies. I sometimes miss doing invitations. If this ever changes, I will definitely make an announcement."
Are you open to project collaboration?
"For sure, but's important that we share similar visions. If you are interested, contact me to get a conversation going."
Do you work with non-profits on donations or charity pieces?
"I do. I'd like to work with organizations of shared values & missions. Please reach out to see if we are a good fit for partnership. Be sure to include any information that will help me quickly make an informed decision, such as your organization name, website, event details, date, purpose, goal, timeframes, contact info, etc. These pieces can be limited in number each year. If you are interested, inquire early for the best chance of nabbing a spot."
FRAMING & CARE
Does your art require framing?
"It really does. Especially with the boards I use. They don't look fully finished and it's a bit of a bugger to hang well without them. The good news is, most of my work comes framed because of this. I felt it important enough to not only present a beautiful, complete piece, but also to remove the guessing for you. In the future, I plan to offer additional options. Walnut is on the horizon.
Original paintings should not be in contact with glass or acrylic glaze (framing glass). Pieces that are sold framed are professionally mounted to preserve the work and protect from damage.
Paintings that come unframed will include framing suggestions & tips.
Prints and posters can be flung around as you wish."
How do I care for my art?
"Artwork comes varnished to protect from the elements. Keep works out of harsh sunlight to prevent UV damage. Avoid water and extreme heat. Art can be dusted lightly with a clean cotton cloth. Avoid any cleaners. Care instructions are also included with purchase."
Can I visit your studio?
"As much as I would love that, I work from home and don't have the right set-up for studio visits. And my 3 dogs would likely eat your face off. It's a big some-day goal. I'll absolutely send out appointment invitations to my ART//BRIGADE folks if that becomes an option. If you haven't yet, be sure to join my list to get word on that."JOIN HERE
Did you go to art school?
I did. I studied visual communications at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA. My most successful class was composition; often referred to by the teacher as an example to follow. Go, me. Can't lie. Felt good every time. Art history was the worst. I left school with only a semester left until graduation. Hey, life.
Is that where you learned to paint & do graphic design?
"Nope. I am self-taught in both. I learned graphic design first. Many moons ago, I worked for the YMCA and taught myself to use a desktop design program to make fun posters for the office. That evolved when I purchased Publisher and began designing at home for fun. From there, friends began asking me to design for them and I would make birthday cards, baby shower invitations, and event postcards. I later worked at a church as the Creative Director and for a Med-Spa designing higher level graphics for events, services, and advertisements. For a short bit I had a stationery design studio for custom wedding and event invitations, but quickly became frustrated and overwhelmed at the custom process. It sucked the life from me and I bagged the whole thing.
Fun Fact: I still don't know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and the like. I solely design on basic desktop applications. My favorite was Publisher. Since switching to Apple forever ago, I now prefer Keynote and Pages. Folks are always amazed at what I can do with those basic programs. It's pretty insane. And I love the challenge deeply. It's all so vintage. I'm like the analog of design. Obsessed.
As for painting, that came in 2014 when I was spiraling into a complete meltdown. I was home alone one night, distraught and at the end of my rope. Out of sheer frustration and lunacy, I grabbed a TV tray, a stack of scrapbook paper, some cheap paint, and a FatHead brayer, went to town, and completely fell in love. 100% self taught in that. I learn as I go."
Do you ever teach or share your process?
"Negative, other than a quick glimpse of paintings in progress on social media. It's not something I am passionate about or believe supports my business."
PROCESS & MATERIALS
What do your paintings mean? What do you think about when you paint?
"Before I started painting, I had this funny idea that this type of artist was maniacally fueled by huge emotional spurts of energy and expression. Bad break up? Empty white room + cans of paint + lover's rage = stroke of genius. Right? Turns out that, for me, painting is honestly a really fun, releasing, work task. It's more discipline than magic. I may have just flung open the curtain of Oz, but it's the absolute truth. There are moments of emotions spilling through a brush, but mostly (like probably everyone in a creative field will tell you) it's a must-get-done part of a work day. Like all workers, a trazillion thoughts climb through the brain while working. It's no different for me. I am a champion of thoughts & ideas. The looseness of abstraction helps me sift while still allowing them all to happily ping around. You can read more about it here."
Do you ever paint other styles? Anything non-abstract?
"Abstract art is my total jam and I have no plans to veer from that lane. If my heart calls, I'll have a listen. For now, it's all of the gritty chaos of abstraction for me. That and some snarky illustration."
Why do you paint on boards over regular canvas?
"I strongly prefer a hard work surface and have found even the most taut stretched canvas just doesn't do it for me. It's rare, but I will sometimes choose the standard canvas depending on the project. Flat or cradled panel board is my go-to; next to paper and wood."