Tonya Moreton [tonya4su]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I have been an independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator for 4 years, which allows me to fully explore my creative side making scrapbooks, cards, 3-d craft items and home decor objects, but I have been doing scrapbooking and crafting for over 10 years.
I want to try and pass on a legacy to my children and grandchildren that our lives are special each and every day. Through photography, I can capture our daily lives and our special moments and use scrapbooks, which can tell the stories now and long after we are gone. Handmade cards are important too as they express certain feelings in a moment and it is nice to save those moments for later reflection and inspiration.
I try and pass along my passion and vision to everyone through classes, sharing my works as gifts or helping others by documenting their family histories for them.
What is your message?
SnapIt & ScrapIt: Life is a gift, but it is fleeting. Memories are beautiful, but they don't last forever outside our minds. We need to take the time to document our lives for the following generations to enjoy. Be it through pictures, words, memorabilia...whatever it is SnapIt (take a picure) & ScrapIt (write the story behind the photo down). In other words use a scrapbook as a journal to save all of your precious memories & the supporting memorabilia so that others can enjoy the story even if you are not there to tell it.
Your biography in four lines.
I am a stay-at-home mother to two wonderful girls that I homeschool. I have been with my best friend and husband for 12 years and counting. I grew up in various places in southern Manitoba and had the great fortune to travel most of Canada, some of the US and England through elite Volleyball, but it is my life now that shapes me the most.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
Yes. I have a website www.tonya4.stampinup.net and a blog http://snapitandscrapit.blogspot.com.
How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?
I really love using colour and shape as my inspiration. When I am scrapbooking, I try to find a common colour through my photographs which will help convey the feelings or emotions of the moment or to elicit a particular "guided" emotion from the viewer. I also look to shapes - trees, furniture, clothes, building design or materials - any kind of patterns that will help decide on what the final layout will look like. When I am doing my cards I again look to colour and shape to help decide what emotion I want to convey.
Colour and shape affect us on such a deep psychological level that often you don't know why you like something, you can't fully define it, but it just speaks to you. I try to capture and use that unknown to speak to people through my works.
What role does technology play in your creative process?
Technology can play a very minimal role or it can play a large role in this creative field. I choose to use it only minimally. I hardly alter my photos as I want them to be accurate representations - I refuse to photoshop everything to make it the best possible - that is not real life. I also shy away from using too much computer journaling. Our handwriting is a window into our soul and I try to use my pen & ink as much as possible so that the personal side of my work comes through. I also prefer to stay away from digital scrapbooks or cards because they do not speak to people on a personal level through the five senses - touch, feel, smell, hearing & taste (not so much perhaps), which make a much more memorable and lasting experience.
Sending a e-card is quick, easy and free, but who remembers it? A handmade card, invitation, craft or scrapbook page, those are the things that are remembered, appreciated, treasured and saved.
What is art?
Art is expression of emotion. Touching someone else on a personal level through any type of medium that does not necessarily require having physical contact in any way.
When do you get your best ideas?
When something stirs a strong emotion in me.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
That is such a hard question to answer. I find that if it all visually flows, then your emotions will be good, but if it doesn't feel "right" in some way, then perhaps a bit of my favourite activity takes place - Design Modification!!
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
When I realized that not everyone has the time or talent to make their own scrapbooks, cards or whatnot. If I can help by sharing my work, my knowledge and it is appreciated and sought out, then that tells me I am doing something worthwhile.
Why do so many artists and creators have such volatile personalities?
We put so much of ourselves in our work that it becomes part of us, so personal to us. Sometimes it can be hard to distance ourselves from it. This makes hearing and responding to perceptions or critiques touchy. We are exposing ourselves in a way that others will not or cannot.
Is art necessary?
Absolutely. Art allows us to explore our emotions in a healthy, cathartic way. It teaches, inspires, shares and so many other things that without it the world would be a much darker place than it already is.
What types of jobs do you usually do?
Teaching classes so that others can learn how to make scrapbooks, cards, etc. and all the various techniques they can use with the tools available.
Occasionally I will be hired to make a scrapbook for someone outside my family. The client provides me with the photos and memorabilia they want included and it is up to me to make a work of art they can cherish for generations, which is also an accurate representation of the people, emotions and personal characters. It is difficult as I am trying to convey so much about people and events whom I have never met and therefore have no personal connection to or related emotions; that is the challenge and yet it brings so much satisfaction when it is complete and the client tells me I have accomplished that goal.
Which of your jobs or tasks do you most enjoy?
Teaching or as I prefer to say, Sharing all I know about scrapbooking and card making so that others can feel the same joy and sense of accomplishment and connectivity that I do with these crafts.
Which websites do you frequently visit?
What advice would you give to those just beginning?
If you think it looks great, then it is! The only critic you have to make happy is yourself. Even if you are working on a paid piece for someone else, if you don't like it, chances are they won't either. They may give you direction or ask for a certain style or design, but it is your personal touch that will make whatever you are working on beautiful.