logo title twitter fb

Hello! my name is Tobin Florio, and I'm a paintaholic. It was obvious to me from an early age, that if I were to fulfill my most burning desire, it would be to spend my life painting, and that's what I've been trying to do ever since.
Both of my maternal grandparents were artists, and a great inspiration. As a child I loved to explore their studios, wonderful worlds of colour and intrigue, a feast for the eyes shared with my brother and sister, both of whom are also artists.

I studied fine art for only 2 years, during which time it became clear that I would have to find a commercial purpose for my creativity, so I went on to study Illustration and animation at University. I graduated in 1999, and began a promising career with a successful design company, but after some years the work became less creative, and the London life style became overbearing. So I took a risk, I resigned, packed my bags and left the country looking for inspiration.
I found it in Italy, where I set up a studio and spent a couple of years just about scraping a living from my art, hopping from cafe to cafe, bar to bar, exhibiting wherever I could and selling quite well. It was a promising start and one of my most prolific periods. A great experience.

It took some time to accept after my return to England that the lifestyle I had become so accustomed to living, and had enjoyed so much, just wasn't a viable option. Words like pension, mortgage and children began to creep into conversation more often, and remain a constant reality check.

So I found work, though this time I had it clear that I didn't want to use my creativity for anything but my own projects or tasty commissions, and I didn't want to return to London.
I am currently based in Norwich, not far from the little village where I grew up, I work 9-5 as a phenotyping assistant at a Research Park, and paint late into the night when I can, and at weekends.

My studio in Milan (left). An old factory in the basement of an apartment block, badly converted into 4 studio flats. Later I moved into another of the Landlady's properties, only to discover after some months that she had not got planning permission or followed building regulations, so one morning I was rudely awakened by the Police, and given notice to get out!

If I can't have a proper studio I try to make sure there is a room in the house, or at least a corner I can use, therefore through necessity I have become a very tidy painter, though if I have the space I do love to make a mess. This of course has an effect on the style of work I produce during certain periods. I've recently sorted out a studioshed after a long period without much space, and can already see the change in my work. I've found myself continuing with techniques I had begun to play with the last time I had the privilege. I'm quite excited by the possibilities.