Memorial Concept and Design

Learn where sculptor Lena Toritch gets her Memorial Concept and Design.

It Starts With A Unique Idea…

Creating a memorial always takes time. It is very important to design a statue that reflects just the right idea and emotion so that it becomes a timeless tribute to a hero. The sculptor begins by creating numerous sketches and renderings in a search for “the one.” Sometimes an idea comes right away, just waiting to reveal itself on the page. But more often it is a long process.    Toritch designs each and every monument to be a unique work of art. It takes hours of research and contemplation.  But she always finds the right composition and special energy that defines a subject.  Finding that personality or energy is what makes the sculpture a unique and special portrait.

Finding “the one”

“When I first heard John Borbonus’s story, it broke my heart…I wanted to create something very special for this fine young man and, especially , for his family. I spent days studying his photos and trying to connect to his youthful spirit. A traditional soldier statue composition would not work.  I found myself talking to him. “OK, John,-I said,-” You have to help me out. How do you want to be depicted?”..Then it came to me. I saw in my mind’s eye his sweet smile and a proud, confident, yet relaxed stance. As if John was posing with his powerful M240 for a photo, that he wanted to send home. I saw him very proud of his military skill and being an American Soldier. My heart skipped a beat, and then I knew-this is THE ONE.” – Lena Toritch

Military gear and weapons

The drawing shows a general composition and a “feel” of the future statue. (The drawing was made before our thorough research on the subject, so the gun looks a bit off..) Once the pose is established, the sculptor will research and study carefully all the details of the weapon and a uniform. In the next step, a scale model, the sculptor refines the detail and proportions.

Our military adviser provided authentic uniforms and gear for our research. We were granted an access to study and photograph an amazing M240, impressive piece of machinery, that takes a lot of knowledge (and physical strength) to operate.

After studying M240 up close and personal, we now have a great respect for John’s skills. It takes a very strong, smart and dedicated soldier to master this powerful weapon. John Borbonus was that soldier. He was an incredible young man.


We would like to express special gratitude to our volunteer military adviser- Master Sergeant Gregory with Utah Army National Guard. We sincerely appreciate his help and guidance throughout the whole creative process. Thank you.

We will be honored to create a custom memorial statue for your veteran. Please call Young Fine Art Studio 801-884-9368 or send an e-mail for your free quote.