ART TO ART: TAYST DESIGNS
With only 21 years old and over 23 thousand instagram followers, Taylor St. Claire from @tayst is definitely making a mark with her artwork. From collaborating with huge brands such as Wildfox, Brandy Melville, and many more, she has become a true Instagram sensation. Known for her popular doodles, Taylor is now selling her edits for $45 a piece as well as many different merch items. People are paying the price and let me tell you, it's worth a great feed. I had the chance to interview the artist herself and this is what she had to tell me about her work:
1. What inspires your artwork?
I am inspired by a lot, but within each individual photo, I take inspiration from the shapes, colors and patterns on clothing to try to have the piece flow smoothly. While each piece I make has a similar vibe and aesthetic, no two pieces are identical. Similar to henna art, I love to build mandala style flowers & build the drawing off of each layer
2. What do you think made your drawings unique and appealing to brands and people you have worked with in the past?
I recently graduated with a Digital Art degree & my teachers had always pushed me to try to find my own unique style of art while staying true to my doodling style. Many teachers hated my work because they simply thought it just looked too much like a doodle I would make while zoning off in class. They believed that I was smarter than just my "doodles" and that I could do more with my creativity. One of my favorite teachers however, encouraged me to stick with it. While creating my graphic design and fine art projects to pass my classes, I had continued with my digital doodles on the side. I have been making these for years, but since most of my teachers hated the style, I didn't think any of my friends or instagram followers would like it either, so I never posted any of my art. The first time I had posted an edit like this was for a Wildfox Couture instagram competition. To enter, you had to submit a picture of yourself at Coachella - while I was finishing up my degree, I was unable to leave to Indio for the weekend, so it forced me to get creative. I thought this would be the perfect excuse to add the digital doodles to add the wow factor to the image & partially cover up the fact that I was not actually at Coachella. From that post, I got tons of positive feedback, so I started making custom edits for my friends and at that moment, it became clear to me that since my art was completely customizable, each person felt like they were getting their own work of art. Rather than just an app with a programed doodle, each of mine had unique quirks and little mistakes that gave off the hand drawn feeling. I think right now the style of doodles works especially well for summer style photography, so its really all just good timing that this is taking off so quickly.
3. When did you realize that you had an audience/supporters because of your artwork?
After getting noticed and reposted on the Wildfox account, I started reaching out to some of my favorite photographers, models, and bloggers to see if they were interested in a custom edit. While many ignored my message or never opened it, I had a few that did and by their promotion on their personal accounts, it completely blew my account up. By working with these individuals, it gave me credibility that I could use to propose to the next company or public figure. It was all a bit of a domino effect due to word of mouth and simply the instagram promotion. It seems as though everyday I get a new message from someone who was recommended to my account - its completely mad & so totally awesome!
4. Professionally, what is a goal that you want to achieve through your work?
Before this had all started, I attended Teen Vogue's Fashion University in New York. My dream job was to work in the art department for a teen magazine company. I love all things pop culture, i.e. music, fashion, travel - and was totally inspired after hearing so many of my favorite editors give off their advice. Amy Astley, editor in chief at TV, mentioned that when she receives a new applicant, she always checks out their instagram because it is simply a digital magazine and personal representation of the applicant. This completely inspired me to change all of my social media platforms to create the best digital representation of myself. Because of Amy and the rest of the amazing Teen Vogue editors, I owe all of my success to them. I would never have stuck with the constant design posts after the coachella Wildfox contest. I think the coolest thing for me would be to be featured in their magazine. Since they really got me out of my shell, I think having the opportunity to showcase my work in a publication as big as Teen Vogue would be unreal!
5. What is your favorite thing about your craft?
My favorite thing about my doodles is that no two designs are the same. While I certainly have a distinct style, each one is completely unique and different from the last.