Toby runs Melbourne Street Art Agency Just Another, which also had a gallery entitled, Just Another Project Space. Toby is one busy woman, generally emailing and talking on the phone, whilst simultaneously painting walls in the project space and boosting the profile of street art in Melbourne through talks, projects and of course, the magic of social media. Toby took a few minutes out of her day to tell us about the Agency, and her pathway.
What draws you to street art?
There a a lot of different elements to ‘art on the street’ that I love. Along with the scale and composition of street art I also love the letter form of graffiti. Not tags per se, but traditional graffiti where artists have perfected their craft, to manipulate letter form to create a work of art. The transient nature of this artform also really excites me. It pushes artists to create something bigger and better, it pushes them to reach new heights and techniques as otherwise it will be tagged or gone over quickly.
How did the idea of the agency then project space originate?
Just Another is actually the evolution of my first gallery in Melbourne ‘696’. 696 was a free, low commissioned gallery, dedicated to artists. Ideally giving a lot of them the platform they needed to take the next step in their career. After running 696 for 3 years, it was time to move on and take the best elements of that business to turn it into something else. That’s how Just Another came to be. It was a way of still running events and exhibitions, supporting established and emerging artists, gaining commercial and corporate work and basically anything else creative I can dream of. It was adaptable and allowed Just Another to support other businesses and venues rather than just being stuck in the one spot.
You have over 25 artists on your books, plus the project space. How do you find time to manage them all?
I miss sleep! No realistically, I work a lot; 7 days a week, usually 12+ hours a day, however I love what I do and most of the time it doesn’t feel like “work”. I also have an incredible team of people behind me. I have 1 staff member and 8 volunteers, who help keep everything moving. I think personality is a massive component to running a successful business in the creative industry so each person who volunteers their time, is unique. They have a voice and individual style. I want them to be themselves and put themselves into what they are doing for me. It allows the agency to constantly be genuine and “real”. This also means I don’t have to manage them too much as they have the ability to manage themselves. However my one staff member, Aaron isn’t only my graphic designer, but also the Project Space manager and personal assistant. He is one busy but loved little man.
What are the best and worst aspects about your job?
I get to surround myself with beautiful people who create beautiful things, there is nothing not to love. However, sometimes it can be long, lonely days trapped in front of a computer. I also started to go grey at 23, however I’m not sure if that is a positive or negative thing. Sometimes it actually works to my advantage.
Toby is the Director of Just Another, an agency for street artists based in Melbourne, Australia. Boasting a plethora of tools in their wheelhouse Just Another is quickly becoming known within the creative community as a company fiercely dedicated to supporting, encouraging and providing opportunities for some of the industries best creative talent.
Photo credit: here