Artist Spotlight: Taylor Wilson

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Chey Ward
Staff Writer

Junior Taylor Wilson’s art can be summed up with this quote: “colorful, creative, and happy. Just sort of fun.” Her vibrant designs are reminiscent of those found on Pinterest, a place from which she draws much of her inspiration.

When asked if she had any advice to young artists who may be considering a graphic design major, she replied with, “Just go for it.” This attitude of fearlessness is echoed in her art.

Starting out as a painter in high school, Wilson mastered her use of colors and typography, and brought them into her new medium.

She often uses both skills in her work, such as her piece for Facing Dayton: a project where students were tasked with communicating the story of a Dayton community member’s life through his or her artwork. Wilson explained that this was a very emotional project to complete.

Her subject, a woman who got pregnant in high school and is now battling a brain tumor, cried when she first saw the poster at their gallery opening. It depicts a brain painted by Wilson, its left side in cool colors while its right is  warm, overlaid with the words of her subject’s story in both black and white.

Colors themselves play a large role in Wilson’s design process. She says that she likes to keep it to bright colors to stay with her theme of warmth and joy, but she often branches out with her class projects.

For example, for an assignment she had to create a piece of art based off of a color. Hers being red, she saw it as representative of anger and fear, emotions not generally associated with her personal designs. With these sentiments as inspiration, she decided to make a booklet detailing sexual and relationship violence.

In this project, she had the opportunity to explore photography as a medium to convey her message. Wilson did so by taking photos of two different subjects, one in red and the other in pink, emphasizing the impact that domestic abuse has on a person.

She photographed the two girls going about their daily routines. When the girl in pink would be putting on makeup to feel confident and good, the girl in red was using it to cover up her bruises.

“It’s about how different relationships show signs of domestic abuse differently,” Wilson said. It’s subtle differences like these that Wilson uses to show off the warning signs for domestic abuse. She hopes to continue to develop her photography; she’ll even be receiving a minor in it when she graduates next spring.

Wilson has even seen some commercial success, working both as a second shooter for weddings and selling her designs on redbubble. “That’s my bestseller,” she said as I pointed out a sticker she had on her laptop that read, “The mountains are calling and I must go,” a reference to a popular John Muir quote. Along with this, she makes invitations for events such as weddings and birthday parties.

Looking to the future, Wilson would like to explore the possibility of combining all her interests into a wedding planning company which she could run from her home. She says she sees herself as a “catch-all wedding planner who designs [her] own invitations and does [her] own photography.”

She also has an interest in further pursuing art-based philanthropy, which her art fraternity, Kappa Pi, has recently exposed her to. Wilson is a new member but has already found a deep appreciation for the work that they have done making artwork for Christmas on Campus, as well as for kids at Miami Valley hospital.

Currently, she is exploring incorporating different mediums in her graphic design work. She has been working on an advertisement for a local middle school’s production of “The Lion King.”

Wilson expressed her excitement for the opportunity. “It’s super cute,” she said. “I think it’s really fun because we have to channel middle schoolers. We can’t make it too adult or anything, or they won’t like it.”

This also gives her an opportunity to stretch her marketing muscles. Wilson previously considered pursuing a minor in marketing, but given her major requirements and her minor in photography, she opted to forgo it.

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To see more of Taylor Wilson’s artwork, you can visit her website.