Thursday, April 30, 2009

Talent is in full bloom at Taylor's Eclectic!

I remember the first time I came across one of Taylor's blooming vases. I was absolutely fascinated with them. Since then, Taylor has added more delightful items to her taylorseclectic store, including a fabulous line of intricate, colorful jewelry. I was thrilled when Taylor agreed to be my latest featured artist. Please take the time to get to know more about the talented Taylor and then go check out her store!

How long have you been making paper sculptures? Did you develop the process or did someone teach you?

I have been making paper sculptures since June of last year. I also sculpt with clay, and I had just finished a piece that took me about six months to complete. That piece beat the love of clay out of me for a period. I could not stand the feel of clay on my fingers and did not want to progress with the series any longer. I decided to progress in another direction, and from there I developed my paper sculptures. After a few months of tinkering and working out technical kinks, I developed my first necklace. From that point, my work has progressed and evolved in ways I never expected. Every time I finish a piece, I am amazed at what it has become. I have always believed that life takes you in directions you never planned for, and I am always amazed at the directions life has taken me in for the past year or so.

How long does it take you to make one of your sculptural vases?

Between prep time, working the wire, application of the paper, and finishing details, a ‘Petitie Rosebud’ takes me about four hours. A larger, more complex vessel such as my ‘Harlequin’ series takes anywhere from twenty hours to thirty. The larger versions of my ‘Red Rose Blooming’ series can take fifteen hours, depending upon the complexity of the curves. The series that is the most time consuming is my ‘Under the Sea’ series. Every single bubble is hand formed and hand pieced. To protect the translucence of each bubble, I piece the outer, solid color around each bubble. It is a very time consuming process, so much so that I do not like to keep track of the hours ticking by!

What is your earliest memory of creating art?

I am an only child who was raised in the middle of nowhere...a teacher of mine once compared me and my family to wolves! My parents were very much about teaching me to entertain myself. They gave me crayons and paper, and I, being a bit of a magpie, collected every form of junk that I could find, from little pebbles to empty toilet paper rolls. I wrote poetry when I was younger, and I still do. I used to write poems on empty toilet paper rolls and decorate the roll with feathers, paint, glitter, and anything else that I could get my hands on. I have a picture of me from when I was five where I was wearing a tutu skirt, some white tights with kisses on them, and a leotard. In my hands was some creation that I concocted from bits of paper and anything else that I could find. I think that I’ve always bordered on the quirky line, haha.

If someone gave you a box of 64 crayons, which would be your favorite color?

Hmmm...this is a very difficult question...I guess I would say turquoise, with a close second of the other 63 colors.

What other forms of art or creative expression do you dabble in?

I dabble in a lot of things! I haven’t been able to of late, but there are aspects that I miss. I am a writer. I have written two fiction novels which I have had sitting on my desk for the past year, untouched. I have story lines and characters floating through my head most of the day, fussing at me for not writing their story. I love writing. I love the feel of the keys beneath my fingers and I love watching characters unfold and develop on my screen. I’m usually surprised at what goes on in their heads and what they are capable of, or not capable of. It is my dream to be a successful writer, as well as an artisan. For now, though, I am focusing on my art career.

Do you have any tips for someone that might be suffering from creative block right now? What inspires you?

I had a teacher in university who told us that if you are not doubting your work, you are not progressing. I believe that creative block usually stems from self-doubt. Doubt can either be that thing which allows you to examine your work objectively and see the flaws and the beauty, or that thing that stunts you and gets you nowhere. I have no magical solution for creative block, except for the age old solution: get back to work. Your fingers won’t do what you want them to, and your results will very likely be atrocious, but it is a step out of creative block. Get your fingers working first, the mind will follow later.

What are your future plans for your paper sculptures and your art career in general?

My plans are to succeed. I plan to progress my sculptures as much as I possibly can, and then progress them some more. I plan to get my work out to anyone who will have it, and live a life of creating colorful gems to bring a bit quirky color to as many people as I can.

What is your favorite item in your store and why?

Favorites, as with love, for me, is a healthy balance of adoration, wonder, with a splash of want mixed in. My favorite piece in my store is this piece. Without this clay sculpture, I never would have touched paper. I never would have been an artist. I am grateful for my university education in London which opened my mind to being an artist first, and then opened my mind to possibilities of clay. I began the sculpting process with this clay sculpture, which in turn has led me on this journey to sculpting with paper.

What is West Virginia known for?

I have no idea! Haha. I am originally from Pennsylvania. I moved to West Virginia a few years ago. I can say that on a summer evening, I can sit on my back porch and hear folk music floating across the hills well into the night. I can hear people laughing and I am sure that they are dancing. Every town I go to in West Virginia has an arts community of some sort, celebrating many styles of work, from primitives to outsider art and everything in between. Sitting here now at my computer, I can look out my window and see acres upon acres of trees with fresh green leaves, a bubbling creek, and distant mountains. All of this is what I have come to expect of West Virginia.

Do you have anything else interesting/odd/unique about yourself or your art that you'd like to share?

I’m obsessed with Ghost Hunters, but would never venture to seek ghosts for fear of what I would find. I saw the city lights of London for three years, and still prefer back country roads to all of that blurring excitement. I wear a lot of black, and it never ceases to amaze me how much color my work has in it. I think that the most important thing about being an artist is having respect for other artist’s talent. Without that respect and appreciation, no matter how much talent you have, you will always be stunted in some sort of way.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.”, by Emily Dickinson.

Thank you so much, Taylor for sharing more about yourself and your fabulous art. I'm sure I speak for many when I wish you continued success!


jillredesigns said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Taylor. Her sculptures are colorful, organic and joyful. I look forward to seeing more work by this talented artist.

'fancypicnic' said...

Taylor, this has been a joy to read about your journey. Your work is quirky, colourful and exciting! I love the use of bold colour (that comes from someone else who usually only wears black!), and how much it makes me smile. Colour does that, I think.
Thank you, Valerie, for sharing this with us. Wonderful xx

l'actrice said...

I love Taylor's creations a lot!!!!
Wonderful and very interesting interview, dear Valerie!

Serendipity Crafts said...

PSA - I am going to be so uncouth - Wow! Taylor's sculptures are so fascinating! I love her use of colour, shape and space.

It's amazing to see what a beautiful imagination is capable of.