Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Balance in Life - Toby

After speaking with my parents, it’s become apparent that they are fully in the Land of Troll. My father was last seen wearing the troll hat in the garden again, holding a stick-like device, with three rocks strung underneath, moving in very odd patterns throughout the garden. My mother is currently trying to translate a very eager yet not quite coherent Troll. She's been trying to write his story down for many days but his language is very jumbled and he does tend to wander off topic very easily, and she’s had to make him 35 cups of tea with one sprig of rosemary, nettle, and just a dash of milk. He's settled himself in her wing back chair and is recounting his tail, so she may be there a while.

Therefore this week I will be writing instead of my parents. Oh, I’m sorry, Hello I'm Toby Froud, son of Brian and Wendy. I am writing to you from Portland OR, where my wife and I live. Even though Portland might be half a world away from England where I grew up, it certainly doesn't feel that far at times. The surrounding country side is beautiful with large old trees and moss covered rocks, mushrooms, berries, and an abundance of wildlife, and without a doubt Faeries.

I am currently working for a company called Laika, who created the film Coraline. I am working in their puppet department on the next feature Paranorman. My life has been lived out in miniature for quite a while. In addition to my work at Laika, I am currently working on pieces for the Animazing Gallery show this December in New York. I am extremely excited and honored to be a part of this show, it will be the first time my parents and I will have shown together.

With that in mind I’m going to put up a picture of a piece I call "Balance". Maybe for obvious reason he is named this; he takes a powerful spot on our mantle. Over the last year, he is the one creation I always come back to, look at, smile, an take a deep breathe. Balance is a very important thing in everyone’s life. We rush through life, through each day missing so much. He reminds me to stop for one moment and just look, maybe out the window or at the place around you and take it in. Believe me it doesn't matter if it’s a mess, mine usually is, but what matters is that you’re actually in it. 

He stands in one place on top of a pillar up on one foot, but always ready to move with his arms out. There he stands smiling out at everything he sees, and he sees a lot. He is balance. 

Here is the story for "Balance"
He started as a young thing, not quite knowing what to do or where he fit in. He could do a few things but none of them very well, and the things he could do very well, didn't seem too important. Everyone around him seemed to know they're path, and be able to walk, held high, knowing they're direction. He tried to be many things, moving quickly, which he was good at but not for very long, holding things up was pleasing but he would always try to hold too much and in the end drop everything. He tried to lay down and just be, but that wasn't for him, his fur got all matted, and his head got all damp. He wasn't sure what to do. So, he sat for a while, but was soon told to get up cause that’s what this guys job was already. He didn't know what to do, who to be, where to go, so he started walking. He walked and walked, first in circles then in lines, until he didn't want to walk any more. He found a stump and stood on it, as he looked he saw someone on another nearby stump standing proudly, but looking at him with scornful eyes. "Hey this is my job stop standing on that stump!" "But I like this" he replied. But he didn't want to move, he didn't want to have to leave. With that, he threw his right leg in the air and planted his left leg on the stump moved his arms in circular motions into the air and stopped, "There!" he said "now I am Balancing!, not standing", he stuck his tongue out, blew with all his mite, and then smiled. There he is to this day planted on one leg Balancing and smiling at the world, for he found his place, and the thing he was best at which no one could take from him.

-Toby Froud


  1. Oh thank you! My day was making me feel tipsy, wobbly... I needed a little balance!

  2. Thank you for bringing this new friend into my world! Balance iz what I need most of all! Best wishes to you and yours!! <3 from NY -Mymy

  3. Oh he's precious... thank you! We definitely need a little balance!!!

  4. He's so cute. And what a touching story! Thank you!

  5. Toby, I don't know if you remember but I met you and your lovely Mum during the Santa Fe Doll Art Show. It was at the Children's Museum and you and my son, Alexander played with these giant bubbles there. Alexander was a bit younger than you...about 5 or6. Anyway, I have some photos of him as a doll at my portfolio website:adriennebrowndesigns.com. BTW, I love Portland...recently visited to study some Tibetan Buddhism...really awesome city!! Best regards to you and your family.

  6. Shwmae Toby, This is the sobbing Welsh woman your Mam and Da met and you met at FaerieWorlds/Eugene in June. I just wanted to say Diolch yn fawr. for intoducing us to "Balance" and you are Enchanting as ever. I promise I am not crying right now and hope to see you and your parents at the next FW event next yr. Be Blessed in all you say and do. Cerridwen Kucera

  7. He remind me of Ludo.

  8. What a lovely little personality and what a lovely biography! Thank you Toby!!!

  9. WOW! This was JUST the story that I really needed today! Thank you so much for helping me stop to get my balance; something that we seriously need to do every now & then. Thank you for such an enchanting way to put a simple truth, Toby! :))

    P.S. I actually walked out into my messy kitchen & stood with one leg up & 'balanced' for a minute. Might even make it a ritual of it when it all gets to me! ;) Hugs for a great coping tool! :))

    - Jo aka Bakki