Australian artist Karin Taylor creates art that is full of nostalgia and carries with it a sense of understanding, acceptance, and peace. A part of the Redbubble community for over 9 years, find out about her artistic journey and what inspires her.
"I’m ever grateful to Redbubble for creating the fabulous platform through which I’ve shared my view of the world for nine years during which time, I’ve met hundreds of artists in this community who’ve been like family, supportive, nurturing and helpful. It’s really helped me stretch, explore and grow and find a way that really suits me, to share my creative expression."
Where is home?
A tiny slice of paradise called Lennox Head, Australia. After living in a few towns I’d have to say Lennox is my favourite place. I definitely prefer the coast and country to the city. It has the right balance of everything I look for. Peace and quiet, sun and sea, beautiful hinterland, lots of cows, nature and a very relaxed vibe. If you’ve heard of the more famous Byron Bay, I live right next door. Whenever I’m looking for peace, direction, or perspective, I can rely on a walk beside the ocean to refresh, inspire and recalibrate me.
What is your creative weapon of choice?
In the past, I experimented with charcoal, chalk pastels, ink, acrylics, oil paint, and watercolour. These days I use pencil, paper, stylus, and iPad. I like BIC mechanical pencils as nothing else I’ve used is as good, ie they’re nice and sharp, durable and good for shading. Once I have my pencil drawing on my iPad, I paint in layers using a stylus in Procreate app, as I find Procreate the most intuitive and compatible for my needs. I also use Photoshop CC and my Wacom Intuos tablet for last minute editing before uploading my work.
Please describe your work in 7 words or less
Nostalgic, uplifting, promoting peace, friendship, and interconnectedness.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn’t have any particular aspirations, apart from being a ballerina. I’d always viewed drawing as a hobby, just for fun, so at first, I had not considered the idea of making it into a profession, even when my parents encouraged it. The desire to become an artist came much later after my children started school.
“To touch a heart, to spin a dream, to share a thought, a love, a special memory, these are the things that make life meaningful to me.”
Please share the story behind your favorite artwork on Redbubble.
That’s a tough question to answer as I have over 500 works on Redbubble and a lot of them come to mind as being more popular than this one, but my favourite is Sunday.
I created this painting for a Mother’s Day competition at Redbubble which I won way back in 2010. It’s a self-portrait portraying some aspects of my early life. I have a fascination with animals which likely stems from my family raising lots of wildlife as I was growing up. The little girl hiding behind her pregnant mother’s skirt is me. The red in the painting depicts the Australian outback where I lived during my early childhood. A church is central to the work and everyone’s making their way to church on a Sunday morning. The white wicker pram with the joey (baby kangaroo) took ages to draw, it was a family heirloom handed down from generation to generation and one of the special things I remember playing with from my childhood.
What role do you feel artists have in society?
The role of artists in society is very individual. I strive to bring some light into the world, a sense of peace, harmony, and connection as my contribution. I think about things I see and hear and look to be inspired by the good news stories we seldom hear about. In my view, artists should try their best to be authentic, informed and passionate about what they are creating.
What artwork are you excited to work on next?
I’m currently in between projects, having just completed a series of nine baby animal characters. I have a feeling the next work I embark on, could have an oceanic theme, but that’s all I can tell you right now! It takes a little time in between paintings for new ideas to form, prior to beginning a new process of creation. I’ve learned to adopt an attitude of expectation, and am always open to inspiration, actively seeking it. Once I’m inspired by an idea, I’ll link several other ideas together and start my approach with research, sometimes I’ll sketch the idea in my mind or onto paper first, to see if it has potential. I’ll often see something on tv or hear a good news story, that will trigger the process.
The best paintings usually come about when I’m relaxed and as soon as they are ready to be born, I make myself available to create them, without delay. Time is a luxury, and I am grateful that I have great support, enabling me to take all the time I need to paint when inspiration flows.
What is your dream project?
I hope to become a published author/illustrator. I’d like to develop my writing skills in order to create engaging stories which emphasize ethical and moral values. I really believe what children read during their childhood can have a positive impact on them later in life.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?
To become prolific in order to develop my own style. To explore and enjoy the creative process, reliving the joy and peace I experienced as a child when drawing and when in doubt, to return to the personal reasons I create, staying as true to that as I can. To follow my heart and allow my own ideas to lead and guide me.
If you weren’t making art, what do you think you would you be doing now?
I’d be a writer, student or photographer. I’d like to formally study some of my other interests (eg philosophy, psychology, entomology, sociology, ethnicity, history, zoology, earth and marine sciences, egyptology, and culture). There is a never ending list of subjects that fascinate and intrigue me, making new discoveries every day keeps me fresh, alive, hopeful and less cynical.
What advice would you love to have told yourself five or ten years ago?
That I need not worry too much about what anyone else is doing. That there is a large creative pool, into which we dip. Sometimes I see others creating from a similar idea or the same seed and this has been a challenge for me. I have at times perceived it as people copying and exploiting my ideas. I now prefer to take the view that although everyone is drawing from the same creative pool, ultimately they will be expressing it in their own unique way, different to mine. If I create from an authentic place, the work will have an authentic appeal and receive an authentic response from my audience.
Also, that meditation and exercise are beneficial. Meditation affords me a better quality of life and increases my perspective and ability to reason. Exercise stimulates the ‘feel good’ hormones in my brain. Anything I can do to increase my sense of well-being enhances my response to inspiration, is reflected in the output and quality of my art and decreases my chances of getting artist’s block. When I’m stuck, go out for a walk, preferably into a natural environment, a walk by the water is best. Make time to lead a balanced life, eat well, sleep well, play well, take care of my physical and mental health first and lastly, but importantly, paint what I feel passionate about.
What’s been the hardest lesson you’ve learned while creating a successful art career?
The hardest lesson I’ve learned is not to doubt myself so much. To back myself and what I believe, at the same time, take into consideration other people’s point of view, remaining respectful of their opinion, without caving into pressure from opposing sides. It’s a difficult world to navigate, there are many conflicting and often negative views. The best advice I could give anyone is to consider all views, respect everyone and remain humble, while striving to be true to your own heart and reasoning, trusting in yourself and your own moral and ethical compass to guide you. It can be difficult to hear yourself when there are many loud voices, but it’s important to listen to your own intuition. It can be a challenge to present your truth with gentleness, but if you are confident, you need not shout.
The other thing I learned, which has been difficult, is seeing your work claimed as someone else’s, knowing they’re selling and profiting from something you’ve created is very hard, unfortunately, it happens more often than most people realise.
Is there anything you’d like to share with us?
I’m ever grateful to Redbubble for creating the fabulous platform through which I’ve shared my view of the world for nine years during which time, I’ve met hundreds of artists in this community who’ve been like family, supportive, nurturing and helpful. It’s really helped me stretch, explore and grow and find a way that really suits me, to share my creative expression. Thanks to all the staff at Redbubble who work so hard to make this possible and to every artist and customer who have encouraged and supported me, it’s impossible to express just how much this has meant to me.