We had the good fortune of connecting with Toeknee Martian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Toeknee, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
In the past I’ve always been creative. I always drew and painted but my first love was music. Where I was going with the music really didn’t take off as much and lost all the Masters. So I took a break on being creative for a while. Every time I meditated I would see these images where it was like I was at a gallery but it was black and white. I ended up using bright colors at first because I was doing black light paintings, or tried. Still kept the neon after my first buyer told me keep bright colors but not everybody has a blacklight. I remember my brother telling me about 5ish years ago that I had to be okay with doing art even if it sucked so we collabed on painting one night. It ignited another fire that to pursue art in this way. Usually you’ll want to give up a few times then you universe will give you somehow a sign to continue. I’ve had strangers reach out to me and tell me how much they enjoyed my art at my most darkness moments. Tell me I’ve inspired them to start which isn’t that success in itself? Even had opportunities fall into my lap when I felt like just giving up. You’ll know.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art to me is meditation. It is my therapy. I work through my emotions in each piece. The colors acting as a Reiki alignment. I feel just by looking at it others are as well. My colors are the most commented on thing. Which does make me smile.
I got further professionally actually by showing up in person. Asking almost any place with a blank wall to hang my art. Being Colorado, I really set my eyes on the dispensary and I had finally met my goal to do so by displaying my art at Dank. Not that I’m gonna stop there.
I’m pretty excited for the future, with thoughts of making apparel. So many people have told me they want shirts, and I’m figuring out how to do it right. As an artist the business aspect of it doesn’t always come easy so it will take time. Pricing pieces is always a hard thing to do also. Sometimes I’ll look at other artists prices to kinda base it off of at first. I have learned to have cash in hand before thinking you’ve sold something also. A lot of people are just talk.
I want the world to know that we are all artists. We are all creative. As a child we all had crayons. When did you throw yours away? I want to inspire others to start. Doesn’t matter how good it is. Sometimes you’ll surprise yourself with what you can come up with.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First we would to Dank for some goodies for their trip. Then we would have to head to the mountains to take them hiking on the Ptarmigan Trail in Silverthorne. My favorite. After we would eat at Cheeba Hut because the menu item names are hilarious. The next day we would probably go to the Art District on Sante Fe to check out the new local art. I would show them my art on the wall at Denver Art Society and my piece in the alley. Then go eat enchiladas at El Taco de Mexico.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The people in family at have supported me through this venture. My mom especially. Basquiat, Picasso, and late 90s skateboard art for the inspiration. Denver Art Society and Dank Keeping it Kind for hanging/selling my art. The other Cosmic Collabers, Andreas pushed me into making stickers. All the people art has connected me with over all the years. I’ve had some interesting talks at art shows. Last a very important shotout to the people who buy my art. It really means a lot to me.