Wednesday 27 July 2022

Micro-interview with Toeken

Micro-interview with Toeken, illustrator of “New Day Dawning” and cover artist in The Future Fire #62.

TFF: How did you go about illustrating “New Day Dawning”?

Toeken: Extraordinary tale by Francesca Forrest, truly remarkable. I began sketching several elements—for example the Cacicus cela, the “bloom” and the branches that fire off the choker. Then it was messing around with gouache washes in magnolia and various blues on water color paper before scanning them and arranging the roughs for the two illustrations digitally.

Illustration © 2022 Toeken

TFF: Is there a difference for you between creating artwork to order, and composing purely from your own imagination?

Toeken: I’ll be frank, when I got the chance to read this I initially thought “I can't do this,” and when that happens I usually just jump in and hope I don’t make a mess of it. With my own stuff, it’s actually a very similar reaction when an image starts to suggest itself. If it’s too easy? F**k it. What's the point of wasting your time doing that?

TFF: Who would you most like to meet, living or dead, for a drink tonight?

Toeken: Right now—Harlan Ellison. Mostly just for the incandescent rage convo.

TFF: Tell us about an artist whose work you’re particularly enjoying at the moment?

Toeken: As always, there's a bunch: Saelan Wangsa, Julie Dillon, Fan Ho, Leslie Ragan.

TFF: What else are you working on now?

Toeken: Paintings/illustrations for Shoreline of Infinity, Bag of Bones Press, Archive of the Odd and personal stuff, but the monster that’s chewing up the bulk of my creative time right now is the graphic novel for Android Press, written by the ridiculously talented Phil Emery—that’s Razor’s Edge and it is due out early 2023.

Reminder: you can comment on any of the stories or illustrations in this issue at

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