Ok, So... This is me!

I love my life.  It’s a wild, wacky, wonderful roller coaster of a ride full of fun and laughter.  And, like yours, it’s also jammed with jolting ups and downs, sharp turns, and inside-out loops that make my head spin. But you know what makes my heart tingle and keeps me living a life worth loving?  Humor.  And, believe me, I see it everywhere, whether it’s reminding myself that “Life Is All About How You Handle Plan B” or acknowledging that “Real Living Begins Where Your Comfort Zone Ends.”  I can justify a certain addiction by telling myself that “Behind Every Successful Woman Is a Substantial Amount of Chocolate,” and I absolutely “Never Underestimate the Power of a Hissie Fit.”  My bottom line is “Pretending to Be a Normal Person Day After Day Is Exhausting.”  Wouldn’t you agree? 

I guess when it comes down to it my philosophy is that life should be good, whatever it takes. My hope is that my stories and illustrations make you laugh, encourage you to take yourself less seriously, and give you the ability to see that, in spite of any hairpin turns on your particular roller coaster, you truly are living a life worth loving.

So sure, I’m a tad wacky and just shy of crazy.  But I’m 61 years old, I dance the hula  and live in a funky little town called New Smyrna Beach right on the oceans edge and my studio is right across the street. I eat way too much chocolate, (I like the dark stuff), I ride a little red scooter around town and I dance the Hula twice a week with a bunch of the most Wonderful Wacky Women God ever created.  I am blessed to be married to the love of my life, “Big Al,” for 32 years. We have five grown children and 15 grandkids who love me as much as I adore them. No, my life is not perfect but this I believe with all my heart: Life doesn’t need to be perfect to be wonderful. This is the Wild Wacky Wonderful life I lead, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have been blessed throughout my life to be surrounded by the most amazing women…my mother, my daughters, my sister and my friends.As close as l am to all of them, there is one who is set apart from the rest… my best friend, Launi. I call her my “bestie” but in reality we are so much more…we are kindred spirit. There have been times in both of our lives when we’ve clung to each other as if our lives depended on it, and come to find out… they did. Together we have weathered some of life’s greatest storms. When I count my blessings, I really do count her twice. The only woman I’ve ever met who’s life is more upside-down and inside-out than my own, she is, without a doubt, the wackiest woman I know.

Here is my husband Al, enjoying the afternoon at the Sandy Mountain Art Festival in Oregon. I am fortunate to have a man in my life who “gets-it!” He is a fabulous support for me and my art. I often tease him at shows and call him my “Beast of Burden.” But the truth is, without him, both physically and emotionally, I wouldn’t be able to survive in this business. He’s an amazing guy! Today he runs the financial/legal end of our growing studio. Thank goodness he has a left brain that can figure that all out ’cause heaven knows, I do not have one!!!!

I’m often asked about our youngest son… the wacky kid who started it all. The youngest of our five children. Chase is now 30 years old, a computer genius and flies airplanes for a hobby.

He’s married with a baby on the way and living a life worth loving at the base of the Wasatch Mountain in Salt lake City Utah.. Viewing the world from his own wacky perspective, Chase helps out with the business computers and joins us occasionally at shows. To this day we all still tease him about his innocent question that started the Wonderful Wacky Women line. “Mommy, who is she that grew me In her tummy?”

He was the wackiest little kid who has grown into the most amazing man…and he still makes us all laugh. I smile whenever I think about him.

Any questions,comments, or ideas, just call 352-383-8732

Or you can email me at SuzyToronto@yahoo.com

My Creative Process

More than once I have been asked about the creative process I use to create my Wonderful Wacky Women. As the daughter of an artist who is the daughter of an artist, I take it for granted that most of the process comes without fore thought or planning. But everything has a beginning. Since a lot of you are artist or crafty with all sorts of mediums, I thought I’d share my process with you.
It all starts with an inspiration from family and friends who plant the seeds of my creation. Once the idea is in my wacky head, I start with a watercolor paper by Strathmore called Aquarius. I lightly sketch out my characters shape, careful not to press too hard as the paper is horrendously unforgiving. Then dive right in with either a black fine tip Sharpie marker or a Micron Pen. Once inked in, I paint it with a variety of  watercolors sticking only with the transparent ones that include a lot of a brand called Holbien. I really love their paint yet I really can’t pinpoint why. Just great quality, pigment rich color.  (I’m addicted to a color called “Opera Pink”)
 
I make lots of mistakes and start over three or four times… Yes, this is part of the process. Because sometimes it takes seeing what I don’t want to realize exactly what I do want!
I allow my creation to dry a good 24 hours before I then digitally scan my piece and import it into Photoshop. It is there I add the words to the stories I write and the whole piece takes on a life of its own.
As Paul Harvey says, “And now you know the rest of the story!”
Fans of Suzy Toronto