Interview: Toni Mosley

Who are you?
My name is Toni Mosley. 
I have been making prints for almost 15 years, and have loved every moment.
I am a art tutor and have been teaching art for almost as long as I have been printing. 
My practice of creating is a long process due to the time I spend teaching 
and constantly shifting the balance of art, work, and life. 
I think this is the one thing we all struggle with, 
in an ideal world it would be great to submerge ourselves in our work everyday 
but I must say as I dream of that I know that my life inspires my work. 
I had a great mentor that told me you need to have a life to create art, 
this means being involved and having the world outside to work from. 
Currently I have been involved in mostly group shows and will be having a solo exhibition next year.

Toni Mosley, Anchor, 2006
Edition of 13

What is your favourite thing about printmaking?
Process and possibility. 
My passion for print is that it can cross medium borders 
as those working in paint, 3-dimensions and photography can all use print. 
Print has a wonderful sense of tradition but it also allows for experimentation 
and pushing the idea of print beyond that of ink on paper. 
Historically print was used as a way to spread information quickly 
whether by political cartoons, religious scenes to the illiterate 
or even the printing of text with the Gutenberg press. 
Printmaking is a socially based medium, as we work with others and share spaces 
but it is also social as a place for discussion about the image. 

Describe when & how you realised you were a printmaker.
I came from a photography background, 
and had a professor who said I should maybe try some of the historical photographic processes, 
so for my final project I experimented with gum dichromate prints.
This experimentation of mixing that process with other print processes, 
led to me applying for special permission to use the facilities over the summer 
and I had my first solo exhibition from that work the next Autumn. I was hooked.
I still work with my photography as a starting point, but I love drawing and print.
It allows me to use drawing, text, and photography within different processes.

Toni Mosley, Finding My Roots, 2010
Edition of 21

What or who influences your work and/or subject matter?
The simple answer is: People, places and the funny things that happen. 

Can you offer one small piece of printing advice to share with other NZ Printmakers?
Keep printing and learning. 
Push yourself and use the different techniques 
I know how important it is for me to go back and explore the different types of print 
as each speaks a different language and the finish is different. 
So take workshops, see shows, and constantly explore what works best with your image. 
Also never throw out a 'bad' print these can be great places to experiment with 
so try printing a different image on top, or a woodcut, draw, paint then print some more, 
and if that fails you can at least use the back side for proofing other images. 
Paper is expensive so don't let that hinder your progress -
a bad print is still on good paper, so if all else fails cut them up and write a letter to someone on them.