Sara Taylor was one of five Creative Ad Open Call Winners whose “Stunning Digiscapes” entry was chosen not only for its bright colors, nostalgic 80’s and 90’s feel, and unique take on simplified landscapes but also for the story behind the art. “I believe my pieces fit with the theme, ‘Artrepreneurs Start Here‘ beginning my career as as an artrepreneur. My pieces are meant to inspire, which is at the heart of the start of any artistic journey. These pieces are my start, and hopefully my forever.” A college student studying New Media at the University of Maine, Sara talked to Brian Young about her very recent entrance into the world of art, creating tangible pieces, and listening to her mom.
Brian Young [00:00:01] Welcome to the Creative Career Center podcast series. I’m Brian Young, content curator for Artrepreneur’s Creative Career Center. In this episode, we’ll be interviewing Sara Taylor, one of the winners of our Creative Ad Open Call. Very nice to meet you Sara, and welcome to our podcast.
Sara Taylor [00:00:17] Thanks for having me.
Brian Young [00:00:19] Thanks for coming in. Would you take a minute to tell us a little bit about yourself in terms of you being a creator or entrepreneur?
Sara Taylor [00:00:26] Sure. I actually started really recently, like just before the contest. Actually, I made my first piece in November and I just stumbled upon the contest on Instagram and I was like, sure I’ll go for it. So yeah, I’m actually really new to creating art for the purpose of actually selling or the idea of distributing my art to other people to enjoy.
Brian Young [00:01:02] I’m super happy that you said you found the contest through Instagram because we pushed out a lot of content on Instagram and I’m proud of our campaign and loved the work that you created and submitted to this contest as well. So thank you for doing that.
Brian Young [00:01:19] I’d like to just ask the initial question about you as an entrepreneur and artist. In your career, what is the greatest influence on your art?
Sara Taylor [00:01:31] With my art, the greatest influence has been this style of taking the concept of simplicity, and then adding hints of a nostalgic feel from pop culture from the 80s and 90s. So, I’ve been working with lots of flashy colors and grid patterns, and creating new worlds with the landscapes, but with these hints of nostalgic identities throughout, if that makes any sense.
Brian Young [00:02:11] It makes total sense and I love the fact that you take hints from the 80s and 90s in your art, and it’s very apparent that you used the grid patterns and the color choices. That was actually my next question. What helps you make your color choices in your art?
Sara Taylor [00:02:28] So, when I choose my colors, actually, my sister, who is going to school for formal art, she always is like you know “you’re not really following traditional color theory when you’re making your pieces”. I really just go with the flow and I feel like when I’m choosing my colors I choose them based off of what emotion that I want the landscape to be, whether for it to be comforting, or actually to be in your face and screaming at you, it’s maybe based off of my mood, really, like how however I’m feeling in the day. I’m like oh I want these colors. And then I just put them in.
Brian Young [00:03:12] That’s great. I feel like art is very much influenced by mood or feeling or what’s going on around you in the world. I think that translates really well in your pieces. I know you said that your sister is in school for formal art training, but as a student as well as an entrepreneur, what advice would you give to other students pursuing a career in the arts?
Sara Taylor [00:03:39] For me right now, I’m attending school for New Media at the University of Maine and it sort of bridges art and technology. But I think my best advice is to keep doing what actually inspires you, because there will be a lot of people that tell you that your art doesn’t follow the rules, or that your art isn’t really “true art”, or whatever, but for me, I’m emotionally connected to my pieces. And I know that there are people out there that will feel that same connection. And there have been people that feel that connection, it just takes time and patience and you can’t let people stop you. I mean it’s important to take into consideration the things that you’ll learn from school, but I think the exploration part and just being yourself really helps the pieces come together.
Brian Young [00:04:32] That’s great. I think art obviously is a form of self-expression, and I think that that a very important aspect for artists and entrepreneurs to consider is throwing the emotion and real feeling into art. Would you say that the best advice that you’ve received is to put your full emotion into art or what would you say is the best advice you’ve ever received as the artist that an entrepreneur?
Sara Taylor [00:04:57] The best advice. Yeah. It was my mother that, after I made the first piece, the original, which is one of the ones that I submitted for the contest, she said that she thinks that it was something that I can build upon. And also not to let other people tell me how I should make art and just make it the ways that I see my world. Sort of shaping these little landscapes to really try and actually make it me, and not try to cater to other people, per se.
Brian Young [00:05:34] That’s great. That’s some sound advice. I love it. Listen to mom. The next question that I have is what is it that you want your art to say?
Sara Taylor [00:05:48] I think that I want my art to show that it’s possible for anybody to be creative because I never used to think that I could be creative myself. And I’ve always been intimidated by like “great art”, like amazing people who create these amazing, complex, intricate pieces. I’ve never really been able to do that. But if I can take my simplicity and my personality and make it into my pieces, I want the message to be that something so simple as these things is really a gateway and an inspiration for other artists, to see that even something as simple as this can actually be appealing. I feel like like my pieces sort of are, they’re possible, they like they look tangible. And so I feel like that would help other artists and inspire them.
Brian Young [00:06:55] What does it mean to you to be an Artrepreneur?
Sara Taylor [00:07:04] Well, when I originally had come across the contest, I had no idea. I was like, “Oh this is a really cool concept”, I went to the site and I checked it out and I made the account. So my own interpretation of being an artrepreneur is to be able to give your art to the world and show them that art is consumable and that it is a thing that is valid and it is worth being presented and it is it has value. And being an artrepreneur yourself, that you’re the person that provides that content in whatever form it is, whether it’s video or sculpting or pictures or anything. That art is in many forms. And you can be an entrepreneur for art just like you could for any consumer good.
Brian Young [00:08:03] Absolutely. That’s a great perspective and it’s true. Artists can be entrepreneurs for art. Hence the name Artrereneur. And it really is about sharing your art with the world and being a promoter of art, your art, and all the arts for that matter. So, as an entrepreneur yourself, because you certainly are, what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the career itself? And then the most rewarding?
Sara Taylor [00:08:30] I think for me at the moment the most challenging thing is actually breaking through that barrier and showing people that what you’re creating is tangible and worth it. Because it’s really rewarding once I do get that through to people and break-through. I am a beginner Artrepreneur, I really haven’t made too many sales of my prints, but I think that it’s reaching people through social media or through Facebook or whatever. That’s really challenging, especially when all of these platforms are very strict on their rules and then it’s very hard to actually put your things on there without them getting taken down. One example is I tried to upload one of my pieces on Facebook and the piece was titled “Vapor” but they have restrictions against advertising for vaping or smoking e-cigarettes. And so they banned my print because it had the word “vapor” in it even though it wasn’t related to that at all!
Brian Young [00:09:52] It can be kind of challenging to find proper venues to promote and share your work. And that is one of the challenges that we wanted to take on at Artrepreneur, is to give artists and Artrepreneurs like yourself the proper venue to showcase your work in our portfolio sections. You also mentioned one of the challenges is breaking through the barrier and when you consider the Creative Ad tagline of “Artrepreneurs Start Here”, where do you suggest creatives begin their career and where did you start your own?
Sara Taylor [00:10:42] I started my own with just creating a piece for the fun of it. I was bored one day sitting in my dorm and I was like, “Well, I’ll just work with this tool that we’ve been learning how to do stuff in class and then I’ll try to make something out of it”. And then it worked. And then I was like, “Oh this is a thing that I could keep going. It’s a theme that I kind of established on my own”, and I think really it’s important to start with searching for things like the Artrepreneur ad campaign casting call because it really felt like a huge breakthrough for me when I got that email that said “Congratulations you’re one of our winners”. I was shocked. I was totally shocked. I was just a beginner. I didn’t think that it had that much value yet and I really appreciate the opportunity for this because it’s really important to receive validation and to seek it out.
Brian Young [00:11:51] Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. And it shows that any level, anybody at any level, any Artrepreneur or artist can, I’ll say using air quotes, “be successful”. But I don’t want to say winning a campaign is being successful, because finishing a piece and being proud of the work that you’re creating is a huge success in itself.
Sara Taylor [00:12:12] Right.
Brian Young [00:12:13] Totally. What inspires you the most to create?
Sara Taylor [00:12:22] I think what inspires me is the fact that I have always had a passion for creating but, ever since I was young, I never felt it had value because growing up, I’ve always been good at math and science. In high school, growing up they pushed the math and science very hard because obviously there is a lot of value to being able to do those things. But I felt like I was stunted with my creativity to the point where I actually ended up going to college at first for computer engineering. And when I got here I realized no, I have to be a creator. I have to do it because it drives me. It’s why I keep going because my mind is always bursting with new ideas, whether I’m writing a story, or writing a song, or making art. I just can’t contain it. I always have to feel like I’m creating some sort of new fairytale land or a fantasy or something.
Brian Young [00:13:32] Amazing. It sounds like creativity is a very important aspect of your life. Is that right?
Sara Taylor [00:13:40] Yeah that’s very much true.
Brian Young [00:13:43] It also sounds like you got into the field of creative arts you know just out of the desire, the need, the passion burning inside, to create something. Is that also right?
Sara Taylor [00:13:54] Yes that’s very true. When I was in computer engineering, it’s not like I was incapable of doing it, I was very capable. But I felt like something was clearly missing and that I wouldn’t be able to keep spending all of my time focusing on stuff that I’m not passionate about.
Brian Young [00:14:15] That’s right. Time is so precious and I never recommend anybody spending time on things they don’t have a true passion for.
Sara Taylor [00:14:31] Yeah.
Brian Young [00:14:32] I know you mentioned previously that you had just gotten into being an Artrepreneur. But what is one of the greatest lessons that you’ve learned so far as an Artrepreneur?
Sara Taylor [00:14:48] I think one of the greatest lessons that I learned so far is to not devalue yourself because my sister also is involved in art and I always thought that she was better than me and she has also created wonderful work, She’s absolutely amazing. But I always doubted my abilities and I just think a good thing that I learned is that I shouldn’t interpret her as better, or my art is better because our styles are so different and what we make is so different and they both have value. Even though mine is less technically advanced as hers, it still has whimsy. Hers is so perfect, she can do photo-realism and stuff like that.
Brian Young [00:15:41] Well that’s great. I see that a lot in the industry or in the world as well. You know different artists, different creators often look for a benchmark to compare their work to and I always say don’t compare your work to somebody else’s work. Your work is your work, and your work can evolve over time. And then I have another question about resources for entrepreneurs and artists. Do you believe that there are enough resources for assisting creatives in their careers at different levels?
Sara Taylor [00:16:39] Honestly, at my college itself we’ve actually discussed this a lot lately because, in new media, a lot of students coming to it like myself assume that it revolves around content creation, but we actually don’t have resources like accessible cameras, accessible equipment that we can use. There’s not even a printer that can print high-quality art prints. So, for physical resources, I still don’t think that there’s enough. Especially on the student end. And then when you get into online resources there are a lot of great websites out there for sharing and presenting art, but there’s a lot of boundaries and restrictions in terms of censorship. And I mean that’s not a thing that I struggle with my art because it’s just landscapes, but for other people there’s censorship. So I think that resources like Artrepreneur that are specifically for art are fantastic and I think that there needs to be more of it, and more acceptance, especially on large social media platforms.
Brian Young [00:18:09] I couldn’t agree more that the widely used social media platforms should embrace art a little bit more and understand that artist’s objective in art is meant to make people think and push boundaries and open up new ideas and worlds to people. There should be more resources like Artrepreneur out there to help artists and Artrepreneurs develop over time from an emerging entrepreneur to a seasoned entrepreneur. So Sara. This was absolutely so great. Thank you so much for joining the Creative Career Center podcast and for sharing your art with us. We look forward to seeing a ton more of your art in the future.
Sara Taylor [00:19:05] Thanks so much for having me. I really, really appreciate this. This has been such a journey and it’s been so much fun.
Brian Young [00:19:12] I’m so glad to have you. Thank you so much and we’ll talk again really soon.
If you have any question for Brian or Sara, please leave them in the comments area below.