One Man and His Dog

Dear Friends,

I can't believe it.

I am almost there.

Almost almost almost, but not quite...

It's been a year to the day since I started working on my dream project, and now it's just about to go to press... I'M GOING TO MAKE A BOOK!!!

We are taking preorders right now, which is WIERD because it only exists in the stars. But we have pre sold over 200. And there will only be 1000 in the whole world.

I have been working with an excellent editor, designer and printer. This book will be the very best I can make it. And although I am surrounded by professionals, this is my first and only attempt at anything so challenging. I have spent 9 months writing my life story from birth to my first one man show. I have been digging through old sketchbooks and dusty transparencies to bring you so many pictures and stories you've never seen before.

I hope to sell it through galleries who like my work. It will definitely not be on Amazon. But I hope one or two independent book shops may want to stock it, because One Man and his Dog will be a beautiful thing. A precious gem for fans and collectors. And for me, it's one of my dreams made real. Like I said, I can hardly believe it. And I never imagined one little thing could be so much work. But I've not had a baby, so what do I know?

It will be a 248 page, hardback, cloth-bound, limited edition, coffee table special. With a mustard coloured ribbon. Over 197 colour plates, a large section on the Mustards, but plenty more besides. Illustration work, cartoons, sketchbooks, greetings cards, college work, wooden toys, puppets, and a 25,000 word life story

Have you ever wondered what your Desert Island Discs would be? Well I've chosen mine! Do you want to know where Mr Mustard came from? Or what I did before he came along? There are so many stories and snippets and interesting bits, but I will leave you to discover them for yourselves. No sneak peaks. But I fondly hope that you will make yourself a cup of tea, get a slice of something tasty and take it back to bed with you. It has taken me 4 hours just now to check it all over and do the final proof read. I'd say that could be a lovely Sunday afternoon for you, with a box of soft centres. And what a special gift if you know a Mustard Fan!

I am self publishing so have decided to make this a very limited edition... And I'm selling it at less than cost price to make it affordable. It's a true labour of love. There will only be 1000 worldwide, and I am going to sign each one. 395 of them are going to be signed and numbered and sold with an exclusive pair of limited edition prints, from my new collection: Fish Hunt and Sea Dogs. They are two of my favourite images from the Show.

Over 200 of the books are presold already. I am keeping 50 for myself. 100 are reserved for my One Man and his Dog show. I wonder whether the remaining 650 will manage to find their forever homes? I hope so. This book will be a treasure.

The book will be £40. The book and 2 mounted prints will be £180

As it's a heavy item and the prints and books need to be carefully packed separately postage will be quite steep. I'm sorry about this. All details are on Mustardshop here. The books will be ready to send out at the beginning of May. They will be all signed and sealed and with the distributor by then, so please note that I cannot write in anything special for you, individually.

So if you want your book drawn in, dedicated or handed to you by my own grubby-uns, please come along to my One Man and his Dog show where you can buy one there! I know it's not possible for many of you to get to London, so you will just have to content yourself with an individually signed, limited edition, totally gorgeous book. It's a hard life...

The show is at Panter and Hall, in Pall Mall, opening 28th April 2015 and it will be the biggest show of my life. Over 50 new pictures. Some of them are actually quite good. I have just two weeks to finish them before we start on the framing, photography, publishing etc. But I have so many ideas. My days are filled with paint and dog walks. And you know what, it's absolutely marvellous!

There's plenty of even newer work ready to be unveiled at the show, but we made two preview videos if you'd like a sneaky peek.  Me showing you round the work I had done up to mid-December and me drawing and adding layers of colour to Best Feet Forward, one of the pictures in the show.

It would be lovely to see you at Panter and Hall. The show runs for two weeks but I will be there only twice: For the Opening on 28th April 6-8pm and on Saturday 9th May 11-2pm.

The first event is more your traditional Private View. It's an evening do, focussed on looking at the original work and dedicating books. Wear a nice frock. Have a glass of bubbly. But if you want to buy a painting I would recommend you give the gallery a call on +44 (0)20 7399 9999 and ask to go on their list for an ecatalogue. Nowadays, most of the paintings are sold before the show even opens!

The second event is a Tofty style Grand Day Out. All the pictures will still be there to look at, but there will also be limited edition prints available of some of the works. No prints at all for the Opening on 28th April, just the originals. For our Grand day Out, Nan Mustard will have a table selling her wares. Cadi will be there selling the Mustard Jig Dolls. I will be doing a bit of the ole Drawing to Music. We will probably have some kind of raffle/ tombola affair going on. We hope to have special Show Only items, like small china mugs with drawings on them, new canvas bags, linen tea towels covered with Mustard sketches, new postcards. I'll have to see how much time and money I have left once the pictures are framed! And I'm sure there will be some bits over for selling on Mustardshop after the event if you're quick. Both these events you can drop in to, but I think it's only nice to contact the gallery yourselves and let them know how many of you to expect

Both these events you can drop in to, but I think it's only nice to contact the gallery yourselves and let them know how many of you to expect.

O and the other exciting thing is that I'm having a bronze statue made. Of Mr Mustard and Doris. Currently in pre production so no details as yet. But it's a sitting figure. If he was standing he would be about 10 inches tall. Solid bronze. Small edition. Probably around the £3-3,500 mark I would think. Available for the first time at the show. We are having the mould made as I type. I envisage him sitting on a pile of old books in a cosy alcove, or on my mantelpiece probably if no one buys the one I'm having made for the Show...

And the other piece of news is that Mustardshop - our online shop - will be closed for a month so that Nan can take a complete rest. She will send the last orders out 25th February, and she will be back to work 24th March. So if you think you may be desperate for a little Mustard in March, plan ahead! To help keep it in the top of your minds, until she closes Nan has a few offers up her sleeve. You will need to call Nan on +44 (0)1326 280976 or email her atmustardshop@aol.com before 25th February to get these super deals:

  • Two calendars for the price of one
  • Half price on two of our special screen prints (found in the limited edition prints section) What's that again, Doris? and Waiting to Receive
  • Buy any signed poster and get another signed poster free.

So, this is your To Do list:

There is so much going on. I could not be busier. But all is going well and I'm sure we will get there in the end. The dogs help. I'm sure if I didn't have our long chilly walks in the morning I would not be able to keep it altogether!

Hope to see you soon!

Sam Toft x

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