Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Toni. I create art, written work, and music under the label of Redshift. I still live in the same small British town I did growing up, unfortunately, but I suppose the uncomfortably long bus journeys give me a good time to daydream and brainstorm every day. I was home educated as a kid, so growing up in a very ‘artsy’ household allowed me to really flourish artistically from a pretty early age.
When you create, what inspires you?
I’d like to think that relatively normal, day-to-day things and objects inspire me. I like to take whatever I see regularly and put a whimsical twist on it; it makes life more entertaining. If you’re in touch with your inner child, then any abandoned industrial site or eerie neon sin can become a mystical playground for your imagination.
Asides from literal, physical inspirations, I’d say the thing that inspires me most is being around other innovative thinkers. Passionate, creative people are just the best to be around – they make me want to become a better artist, a better thinker. Inspiration is like snooker balls to me – the ball can only really starts rolling when it bounces of another.
Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted piece.
I wrote “Sit With Your Feelings” when I was still trying to brainstorm ideas for a piece to submit, funnily enough. I got pretty frustrated because I was unable to really convey my feelings – I’m not necessarily the most emotionally literate person, and not for a lack of trying – and wound up writing a conversation between my discarded pieces and my increasingly enraged internal monologue as though I was in extremely tiresome company. It felt remarkably good; kind of like a healthy way of beating yourself up, I guess.
What is your medium of choice? Why?
I really struggle to settle on one singular piece, because I dabble in a number of creative pursuits – textiles, journaling, writing (both songwriting and prose), fine art, fashion, photography… I just generally adore being creative. I’ve been lucky to always have a chance to really explore that side of myself. For this particular piece, I chose the written word as my medium, purely because I think it’s one of the most intimate and honest art forms – writing feels almost like a private conversation. It can be so direct and detailed, but it can also contain things that are just a little too nerve-wracking to say verbally.
How did you first discover your love for creating?
I’d say that a lot of it was through my upbringing, really. I was very lucky as a small child to have such an artistic family who would support me and also leave me to grow and expand in my own way, however I saw fit. In fact, I’m still deeply grateful for that now.
I do, however, think another factor that made me fall in love with it can be put down to where I grew up. I grew up in a very rural area – on a farm, specifically – and even now I live very nearby. It’s a very sleepy town, very quiet, with an aging community. There’s loads of wide open space and beautiful wildlife to explore, which is definitely a positive, but otherwise I guess it doesn’t feel like there’s a vast amount to do here. So I think that really, in a way, I’ve taken it upon myself to seek out entertainment through the arts, media, and culture. It can make life feel a lot more fulfilling when your options are somewhat limited.
fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel anger?
Elitism, hierarchy, alarm clocks, Stephen Morrissey, injustice, bland indie guitar music, and missing the bus.
Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant.
Other places I/Redshift can be found: