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Conversations with Taylor Wilson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Wilson.

Hi Taylor, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I took my first art class my sophomore year of high school, which I actually strongly disliked. We were held down to a specific style and everything I was taught did not stick with me, so any painting I did after that was infrequent and just for fun. I then ventured into many different art forms such as theatre and film, later ending up as a Film major at San Diego State University. My ADHD made me impulsively change career paths multiple times as I started taking more chemistry and environmental science classes than I needed and I decided to leave film behind. It was then when I signed up for a drawing class on a whim and I fell in love with studio arts for the first time. Following the drawing class, I took Painting 1 and after a couple of weeks, I changed my major to Painting and Printmaking, and that is the one that has stuck.

Near the end of my college career, I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to make money as an artist, I didn’t even have an Instagram set up for my art. I was working at a Peet’s Coffee at the time, had not taken a single business class, and was about to graduate. After rethinking every decision I had made in life, I decided to make a plan and go all-in towards my potential art career. I signed up for a couple of business webinars and have been experimenting with different methods of reaching potential clients and marketing my artwork. In my last semester in school, I was part of a team who painted a large mural on campus and figured out that painting murals were another focus I wanted for my career.

Since graduation, I have been painting murals for businesses, making custom oil paintings for clients, working on my personal body of work, on top of balancing necessary business practices to work toward success. I also just released fine art prints of my work which are now available on my website, in a couple stores, and very soon I will be set up at farmer’s markets.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have been a lot of learning experiences along the way. Six months ago, I knew how to make art but not how to run a business, and that came with a lot of challenges. One of the many challenges I am facing right now is the search of eco-friendly packaging for both display and shipping. It might not be perfect the first few months of selling but I am aiming to create a brand that really practices what it preaches about our environmental impacts. Another challenge has been finding places to sell my work other than just online, especially in the midst of the pandemic where socializing was not an option. One opportunity that helped start me off was seeking breweries, bars and coffee shops that featured different artists for a month or so and I was able to hang and sell work out of those.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in oil paintings and murals. My work is deeply inspired by the natural world. Women have a very unique connection with nature, and it’s my personal relationship with the earth that made me really start to embrace my own femininity. Nature has this beautiful and brutal will to survive, and this resilience is a key inspiration behind my work. At the moment, I am working on a series titled “Resilience,” which consists of a series of studies of different types of plants which flourish in the right environment. I am slowly getting to know specific textures, patterns and imperfections which come with the differing species and pairing that with my own intuitive movements and energy I have learned from getting to know myself and how I fit in with nature. Humans have been destroying a once perfectly balanced ecosystem, but nature has the power to be able to bounce back if we give it the opportunity.

Aside from my personal work, I am moving in the direction of working with businesses to create custom murals. Murals help businesses in so many different ways and I am grateful I’ve been able to really help out a couple of local businesses through the power of art.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
David Attenborough has been my hero since I was very young. I have watched all of his documentaries probably too many times. He sparked a very keen interest in science and the environment for me. I learned the importance of biodiversity from him and that has become a central theme in my art career. Every species no matter how small plays a key role in the balance of a flourishing ecosystem and I am so fascinated by that. I recall sitting and studying this one section of the desert where this one plant was blooming and when I looked really closely, there was so much life in it, many small insects crawling, a caterpillar, winged insects were landing, a different species of plant was invading, and it triggered this whole new thought process behind my idea of nature. These smaller ecosystems are like a whole other world within our world. I am constantly trying to find ways to combine this love for ecology with my artwork.

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