Tonky’s Art World Roots

My journey began at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where I developed a deep appreciation for craft and intention in creating beautiful objects. Moving to New York to study at NYU was a game-changer. I had the privilege of learning from some of the most influential artists of the 2000s, which expanded my worldview and studio practice.

The Inspiration Behind Tonky Designs

After years in the art world, I wanted to bring that art world acumen—its aesthetics, large-scale works, precision, color, fun, and vibes—to a broader audience. The art world is often exclusive, with amazing objects accessible only to a few. I wanted to make art that’s whimsical and fun, but also serious and conceptual, available to everyday people.

Balancing Blue-Chip Art and Blue-Collar Work

Tonky Designs is an art world crossover project. Some of our designs are very large and time-consuming, reflecting high-end craftsmanship, but we also use accessible materials like sign vinyl. This blend of high and low aims to make art approachable and fun, without the exclusive, ivory tower feel that some fine art can have.

Blurring the Lines Between Art and Design

Honestly, I think categorization is silly. Whether you call it art or design doesn’t really matter. I aim to blur those lines. This project is about bringing high-quality, artistically inspired objects into everyday life, whether they’re wall graphics, soft goods, jewelry, or limited editions.

Looking Ahead

Tonky Designs is still a work in progress. I’m constantly experimenting and pushing the boundaries of what we can do. Whether it's adding new products, exploring new techniques, or collaborating with other artists, I’m always looking for ways to innovate and bring more art into people’s lives.

Join the Journey

Just that I hope you enjoy exploring our collection as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it. Feel free to reach out with any questions or thoughts. This is a journey we’re all on together, and I’m excited to see where it takes us. Thank you for your support.

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