It's a familiar story...Growing up I was an obsessively creative child. I loved to make things, to sew, draw and paint. It's a good thing that creating things was encouraged by my parents. We were allowed to paint on the walls, kept from TV and played endlessly outside. As I grew, this creativity became a life focus.
When I was a young woman I worked hard, saved my money and headed off to college.
It wasn't long before I discovered I was not motivated by obtaining a degree... just the pursuit of art and expression. I loved gaining experience in new materials and techniques but finances were a limitation. After three years of college I left to open my own studio in the Northwest and began showing my work at artwalks in Olympia, Washington.
For many years I supported myself in various carpentry jobs and did figurative sculpture on the side. Eventually I gained more income with a side venture of production ceramic art. This led to the creation of Terroso Studio. Through this new production terra-cotta garden-ware company I began selling at local stores, a farmers market and PNW wholesale. It was a fun and fulfilling adventure, but after ten years of heavy production work I was burned out from the repetition. So when a restaurant commission came up I began a new line of artwork, inventing large floral fixtures and lamps. It hit the big time. So after 8 months of innovation and design, I opened Luminosity Lamp Shoppe and sold terracotta light fixtures and lamps in brilliant color. I installed lamps and lights in over 180 homes and businesses. Unfortunately, it didn't last...the recession hit and all sales came to a sudden halt.
Years later I have now downsized, moved to the country and work mostly in porcelain. I am still in love with figurative work and ceramic materials but I have expanded and often explore new media and inspiration. With the addition of wood and copper in my work there has come interesting challenges and diverse directions of form. I do less sell-selly works and pursue expressing thru fine art- though it would better be descibed as 'decorative arts'.
Learning to china paint has been a grand recent adventure. I love the smooth texture and layered color and the tradition of this difficult art-form. Not only do I paint my own sculpture; but I do more traditional porcelain painting on dishes as well. I also began to draw on a digital device in 2020 in an attempt to be more modern! It's been good to try new things.
In 2020 -during the Pandemic- I finished my lovely new art studio with the help of family and a friend.
It's my fourth art studio, but I still find excitement and wonder in a designated creative space. I feel it's a hard earned privilege to have a beautiful place to create far from the chaos of the world. Even more now than ever in the environment of forest, field and garden. The emersion in nature, its plants and animals has brought me incredible connections to the natural world. A transformation I hear often when reading the experiences of other artists in the last few years.
I want to say it has been to my delight that I finally have the time and space to really go for it.
All those years of 'trying' to make a living have resulted into a debt-free and amazing space for creation... my will and determination to do so paid off. Though it is my theory/experience that through the struggle of working and making an income there is friction created,
and this is perfect to create art against.
I encourage any maker to keep going, to keep believing in your dream until it manifests. It will pay off if you don't give up.
It's been great to reach this more open space and time. I have not been alone in negotiating this change, I have a conscious relationship with my spiritual self and work with that interaction for direction.
I attend and give credit to a magnificent school of spirit, RSE. It has assisted me to learn the mechanics of creating with intent and purpose.
It's an odd pursuit, visual art. You are adored for your talent (but really its just obsessive hard work) and ignored
when art is not understood or valued. There is a fine line between expressing myself and allowing others to express through my work (like anything in life right?). On my 'darker mood' days: What is its purpose besides creating objects that gather dust? Artworks that grow old and out of date? Every day that I make things comes with questions like these....I have only the obsessive drive, a soul's need to fulfill, and the endless adventure of expression itself to answer for.
You can find my work here at my website or these galleries:
www.childhoods-End-Gallery, Olympia, WA
All photos and images on www.loralin.com belong solely to the artist. Copyright 2008-2023, Loralin Toney