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Sam Toft: The Wonderful World of Mr Mustard

15 Jun, 2021

Sam Toft: The Wonderful World of Mr Mustard

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Sam Toft is no stranger to an imaginary friend or two. Her charming artwork features an array of recurring characters, from Mr Ernest Hemmingway Mustard and his dear wife Violet to their accompanying animal acquaintances.
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Though fictional, they are fully fleshed-out individuals in Sam’s creative world, and she draws inspiration for their backstories from those she encounters in real life-Violet is based on a no-nonsense elderly friend, and Sam admits Mr Mustard is a “self-portrait”, who even wears the same striped socks as her!
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Frequently found perusing the seafront of Brighton, Sam’s real-life home, their golden-toned adventures never fail to brighten even the cloudiest of days.
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Sam never really envisaged herself becoming an artist when she was younger. In fact, she was never quite certain on her career path, trying her hand at a multitude of jobs: fire extinguisher sales person, yoga teacher, accounting assistant... you name it and she’s probably had a crack at it. Having completed a year au-pairing in France, a Social Sciences degree and work in the Civil Service, Sam found herself feeling like a “fish out of water”, until inspiration struck and she decided to pursue drawing pictures for a living.
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Never one to approach a challenge half-hearted, Toft leapt into her new adventure with all the enthusiasm and determination she could muster, and needless to say it was a success. Sam credits the attentive teachers she worked with on her BTEC in General Art and Design at Liverpool City College for progressing her artistic skills and nurturing her creative passions; she advises those entering the art world to “get good at falling over and picking yourself back up again”.
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Sketching every day, she grew a signature style of drawing, creating her own brand of artwork that is instantly recognisable and highly sought after today. Despite all the critical acclaim and popularity, Sam says she has never quite gotten used to seeing her pieces being treasured in shop fronts or people’s homes: “It’s always an absolute thrill to wander into a small shop in an unknown town and see a Mr Mustard poster on the wall. I’ll never tire of that.”
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Abundantly joyous and bursting with life, Toft’s creations depict the eccentric and jolly qualities of English life beautifully. Using oil pastel crayons and working quickly, with whatever inspiration floods her mind at the time, her pieces are universally beloved for being reminiscent of life’s little pleasures.

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"I am both surprised and delighted that my work has become so popular...I put so much love and enthusiasm into my work, perhaps that what makes it so relatable.

On paper it does not sound very compelling: a man in a baggy coat and tights, spending much of his time with an old fat dog looking out to sea...but I think people see themselves in Mr Mustard as I do too.

I am so happy to be making my living as an artist, drawing my hopes and dreams, being given the opportunity of communicating with more people than I could have imagined." 

 

Sam has also created a number of remarque editions. This is the name given to a limited edition print that features a hand drawn original pencil sketch by the artist and is normally positioned below the main image in the border of the artwork.

Remarque prints are usually only added to part of the edition size, Sam Toft's remarques make up only 50 prints within the total edition of 150. The lower number prints in the edition i.e. numbers 1-50 will be the remarque copies making them a particularly special purchase for collectors - plus they allow collectors to own a little piece of original artwork by the artist at a fraction of the cost of the unembellished limited edition prints!

 

 

Sam's journey into creating art that is both whimsical and easily accessible is inspirational, as is her ability to channel a healing process through her work. In her images we see themes of love, loss, alone-ness and relationships, always dealt with sensitively and with a sense of humour - often with cherished furred and feathered friends along for the ride!

 

To browse Sam's hugely successful collection of prints, click here or we would love to help you find the perfect artwork for yourself or a loved one so please do get in touch if we can help you!

 

By the way, we always like to add a little extra...so all orders from The Rose Gallery receive a card with a Sam Toft sketch to say thank you!

 

 

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