About

James ‘Toye’ Mclean is an Oakland based artist and designer originally from Toronto, Ontario. An accomplished street artist, character artist and designer, James is exploring themes of repetition, movement and play in his current work.
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Find him on instagram @toyesm
Facebook / Etsy / Elsewhere: tyoesm 
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How ‘Toye’ and ‘Toyesm’ started ..
James started using the alias ‘toye’ (pronounced toy) while doing character based street art, sticker and other works in high school and art college in Toronto. ‘Toy’ comes from graffiti art culture - ‘A person who doesn't have can control, no style, not even up anywhere. does really crappy pieces. all graffiti art done by a toy looks like it is mocking graffiti art.’ James wanted to embrace this idea of being an outsider to the world of graffiti and was inspired by artists like Twist and Phil Frost that were going beyond letter art in what they were exploring. James’s pieces were usually playful characters. Toye was also used as his music production alias for trip hop and electronic music in the early 00’s, The name ’Toyesm’ is a variation or evolution of toye, pronounced ‘toy-ism’. An ‘ism’ can be described as a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory, so toyesm became an way of communicating a personality of playfulness that continues today.

Current Works
In many of James’ new works he is exploring themes in nature - repetition, water and a sense of beauty in chaos. He uses water to manipulate the paint and in piques mixing blends like beet juice, coffee and other organic dyes. Some pieces are painted outside in the rain, using raindrops as a collaborator to create unique effects on the paper and paint.