Artist Spotlight – Taylor Lee
In our latest Artist Spotlight, we spoke to Taylor Lee. Taylor is one of our newest artists to come on board nad we couldn’t be happier. In this blog we spoke to Taylor about how she expresses herself through her art and life in general. This is a good one! Shop for her new collection here.
WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS OTHER THAN ART?
Not much to be honest! I do love to read, mostly nonfiction. I love “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and most other psychology books. I really love reading about how the mind works.
IS ART SOMETHING YOU HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN FROM A YOUNG AGE? WHEN DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN IT?
Yes! My grandmother was a super creative crafter, and that taught me to value creativity from a young age. She stained glass, built birdhouses, and painted – amongst many things. So for me art was always a go-to activity. We watched Bob Ross together on PBS. I became more interested in art as expression when I was introduced to art therapy in 2012.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE OF ART?
My favorite by another artist is “The Gold Fish” by Henri Matisse. I think. It’s too hard to choose, really. My favorite that I’ve created is probably too hard to choose. I have a new one every week. I think this is because I’m super self-critical and so I’m attracted to my pieces that show skill, and whenever I “level up” on a piece I get attached to it. I felt like I “leveled up” on “Revival” and also on “I Am An Avalanche.”
IS THIS YOUR FULL-TIME JOB? WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE ART?
It is! Before I started my business I was all over the place with odd jobs. I have been a warehouse manager for a comic book store, a public school teacher, a chocolate maker (yeah, you read that right!) and a private tennis tutor. All of these jobs felt close to creativity, but never quite enough. The closest I got was working in the chocolate factory. I got to make chocolate all day long! But it was never “my” chocolate. I have always felt pulled toward being the artist, not the artist’s assistant.
HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FOR NEW PIECES?
I think I am the most inspired by color. Usually when I start a piece I’m thinking, “I really want it to be THIS color.” I am also endlessly inspired by flowers, and they are the perfect little vehicle for color.
WHAT PROCESS GOES INTO CREATING A NEW PIECE?
For me, mindset is a key ingredient in my process. I have bipolar disorder, and a lot of times that means that I feel things REALLY intensely. Mania is the word for it, actually, and to be mania is just coursing through my veins a lot of the time. That sensitivity to sensations is something that I think about a lot and try to represent visually. I’ll start my canvas in what’s called a “chaos layer” (I cannot take credit for this awesome term – the credit for that goes to Amanda Evanston). The purpose of the chaos layer is to cover the canvas in color, texture, splatters, shapes, whatever feels right. For me lately that has been a lot of paint-slinging. Then I go back into the chaos and find shapes. Find something that makes my heart say “ooh, let’s go there.” I have been trying more and more to surrender myself to the “flow state,” and just get lost in the process.
WHAT’S THE MOST INDISPENSABLE ITEM IN YOUR STUDIO?
The book “Art & Fear” by Ted Orland and David Bayles. I have read and re-read and dog-earred this book. I turn to it anytime that I’m feeling self-doubt, and self-doubt is the thing that stops me from painting. If I can kick it out with a nugget of wisdom from “Art & Fear,” I’m invincible.
DO YOU HAVE ANY STYLING TIPS FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO USE YOUR PIECES IN THEIR SPACES?
Yes! My work is all about maximalism, so there is going to be a LOT of color and a LOT of texture. I find that my pieces look best when paired with more textures. I love styling my pieces with flower bouquets, figurines, and lots of natural light. If you can get it onto a colorful accent wall, even better! The work is really supposed to help you enjoy the richness of life. To feel ALIVE.
WHAT CAN OUR READERS LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING FROM YOU?
Well, I’m currently working on a collection of originals to launch early 2019. These originals are inspired by flowers! I am not yet positive about my color palette – still in the research and trial and error phase. But you can expect a smorgasbord of colors and textures. This collection is to still use what I call my “celebration” style, which is lots of quick, expressive marks. I’m toying with the idea of naming it “Revival,” but I’ve already used that title on a piece back in May so I’m not quite sure.
LASTLY, DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT SUNDAY.
It starts with coffee and croissants (with raspberry jam). Then I’d go to my local florist and have her surprise me with a couple of arrangements, which I’d take home and use for inspiration. I’d paint for a long time, preferably in the autumn so I can open the window and see beautiful foliage. I love yellow leaves the best. An afternoon latte as well, and lots of snuggles with my pug, Frida.