Monday, June 8, 2009

June Member Interview: Toni Jarvis

Toni Jarvis

1. What inspires you to create?
Everything! I see ideas in everything around me - in nature: flowers, trees, birds; in the patterns on peoples' clothing, on wallpaper. Everywhere I look, I see an idea. Once, I was in a scrapbooking store in Hillsborough when a woman came in wearing a beautifully embroidered sweater. I blurted out, "Oh, I'd love to quill that." Looking around. she asked me what I wanted to quill, and I replied that I wanted to quill her sweater. She went into the restroom, and a minute later her hand appeared with her sweater! Laughing, the shop owner took it and scanned it for me! It’s true!

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I really didn’t think I was creative. I started quilling because my son was getting ready to graduate from high school, and I decided that I needed a "hobby". After following a couple of the patterns, I started creating my own designs. When I look back, I realize that I've always done some sort of art - I just didn't realize I was doing it. I was always making something, or drawing, when I was a kid. As a teen, I learned to crochet and embroider. My first "paid" art jobs were embroidering bell-bottom jeans for friends in college!

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I've always wanted to be a writer, and I hope to take a creative writing class one day. Then, who knows...

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I worked as a respiratory therapist for 22 years - I was a clinical instructor, department director, convention planner, and most importantly, a clinician. I left the hospital to become a project manager for a medical computer company. These jobs taught me how to be self-motivated, self-directed, and organized - important when one is working for herself. My clinical skills taught me to be aware of everything around me, which I think is what helps me to see everything as potential art. I loved teaching and learning new things, and I'm still eager to learn new skills and to pass on anything I can. One area in which my background has hampered me is that it has made me somewhat rigid, and it has been difficult for me to "color outside the lines." But recently I've started venturing outside of my box!
5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
If you had asked me this a few months ago, I would have answered, "paper" or "beads". But the answer now is clay tools. I am so in love with PMC (Precious Metal Clay), that I'm constantly looking for new toys for working with it. I once swore that I would not get into rubber stamps, but they make such nice textures in the PMC, that I'm now buying them like crazy!

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I'd love to learn to quilt, but to be honest it scares me to death! The only bad grade I ever made was in Home Ec because I couldn't get that damn zipper in my skirt!! I've been scared to sew ever since! I'd also love to learn more about resin and alcohol inks. Oh! and I want to make books! Like my studio isn’t filled with enough stuff already! Can I really get into all these other areas? But, of course! We can never have too much stuff!!

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
As I said in #3, I want to write. I've written poetry all my life and I've been journaling since I was a teen. But my greatest desire is to write a book. If I thought I could not fail, I would sit right down and start that book today!
And we'd love to read it, Toni! Thanks for doing the interview.


Jean Skipper said...

Toni, Love your interview, and your work continues to amaze me! I especially love your new PMC creations.

PennyA said...

Another fabulous interview! Thanks, Michelle! Toni, your work continues to amaze! Your quilling has always been phenomenal; and I am thrilled with the new directions you are taking with PMC work. You are truly an inspiration.

Jeanne Rhea said...

Great interview! So glad to know more about you. Coloring outside the lines??? Alcohol inks will get you there for sure!

Jodi Ohl said...

Toni, you are as engaging in person as you are in this interview. I love learning more about you! Your new creations in PMC are terrific!! So happy to learn more about you :)

I'm Toni said...

Michelle, thank you so much for this opportunity to share a little about myself. Thanks everyone, for all of your lovely comments!