IMR: People: Tysen

[ Tysen ]  
Norton, Tysen
Web: None

I first got to know Tysen through her photography, which occasionally found its way into the pages of Ka Leo in the waning days of my administration.

When I worked with her on the ill-fated 1997-'98 Student Handbook, however, I was introduced to her many other artistic talents. (An example of her work can be found here.) There isn't a medium with which she cannot make a masterpiece, from clay to lithographs to balloons. Yes, balloons. She was a professional balloon artist (dba "Balloonpeople"), and brought out the smiles at kids' parties all over town.

Her house in Kailua was a museum of all things creative and unusual, including an expansive personal library of obscure books, photos of her trips abroad and a makeshift didjeridoo.

She surpasses all definition of cool... even though it's impossible to get a serious picture of her.

She was named Photographer of the Year at the Board of Publications/Hawai`i Newspaper Agency Awards in April 1998... quite an honor despite the lack of worthy competition.

[ Quito Mural by Tysen Norton ]I lost touch with Tysen for several years, but an e-mail (prompted by this page) in 2003 reestablished contact. After UH, she went to Ecuador on a Rotary Club scholarship to study Spanish, and while there she met a craftsman named Roberto. The two of them have since married, and she is living and studying pre-med in Petaluma, California (importing Ecuadorian goods to pay the bills), with long-term plans to return to Hawaii and hopefully attend the John A. Burns School of Medicine at UH.

She never gave up her art, either, and while in Ecuador, Amnesty International commissioned her to do a mural commemorating human rights in the new millenium. Located along a heavily-trafficked streets in downtown Quito, it's quite a sight to behold.


Birthdate unknown. Alma mater unknown. Previously attended the University of Hawai`i-Manoa studying art and political science. Now married and studying pre-med in California, with dreams of returning to Hawaii.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 23 April 1998 · Last Modified: 3 January 2003