Kayla Toney: "Mom and Grandma"
Kayla Toney: “Mom and Grandma”

For one book, I tried to recombine my grandmother’s life by collaging colors, filters, cigarettes, and flowers, things that I have grown up to think of when I think of her. I also made a guide to astronomy and telescopes for my baby cousin. I tried to think as a newcomer to science, and what I would have found interesting or “cool,” and put that into words and watercolor paintings and photographs. Adding in text in these two books helped me convey my discussions to someone beyond the grave, and also discussions with someone who is growing in this world.

I also tried to tie into this work how personal experiences, my academic interests, and familial/child-like themes affect my work. I enjoy putting myself in my work—literally and figuratively—to show my audience that I have a unique self and experience compared to them or someone else.