On "Artist You Oughta Know," we introduce you to artists that you...well, oughta know. Be it for their distinctive style or their sheer talent, these are artists from all over the country who deserve your time, attention and support. Today's artist is the uber-talented designer, painter and fine artist Toni Martin from Dallas.
Toni Martin is a master manipulator. Give her a medium, and she will finesse it to its limits, creating a novel work unlike anything you're likely to see anytime soon.
Some of Toni Martin's work may seem random, but trust her: Every single piece can be traced back to a feeling or a dream. Maryland-born and Texas-based, Toni's work has been featured in nearly 30 exhibitions all across the country.
When we connected with her for this story, Toni was contemplative. She has been in quarantine for months, but she was still keeping busy. Her recent projects include an installation at the Lorenzo Hotel, a painting for the Southwest Transplant Alliance office, and a myriad of other works in progress. Despite that impressive roster of recent clients, and a track record of wickedly cool multimedia pieces, Toni is eternally modest about her distinctive style. She says it might be the color patterns or texture that make her work unique, or it might be the installation design. We think it's both: Each piece is different, yet somehow you can tell it came from the same talented mind.
The pandemic "hasn't really changed much" for her from a productivity perspective, but, naturally, it's led to a lot more alone time. In some ways, what she calls a "lack in connection" has been oddly helpful for her craft. "[The time alone] has made me internalize a lot more, allowing my work to blossom in ways that may never have clicked without a lack in connection," she says.
The pandemic has also given Toni the time to consider her craft and how it's evolved. Her reflections have led to a deeper understanding of art, its power and herself.
"[I've learned] that art isn't something I chose," she says. "It chose me as a form of survival."
Scroll below for some photos of Toni and her work (all courtesy of Toni Martin) and remember to follow the artist on Instagram.