Meet the artist: Bryanna Pearl Taylor
How long have you been working as an artist?
Realistically; a very long time, but I often hid behind ‘creative’ and not ‘artist’. I took the long route – via an education degree and hard days working in high schools – to come out the other side. I didn’t knuckle down to do the work until I moved to Melbourne last year. There are so many tricky feelings to navigate around calling yourself an artist; many social assumptions and roadblocks that you have to overcome daily.
Do you teach as well? If so, when and to whom?
I do teach. I sometimes teach high school students art, which is what my degree entailed. But more often than not, I’m playing with shaving foam and tactile kinetic sand in special need schools; more art as therapy stuff. I also teach a ‘Meditative Paper Cutting of Sacred Geometry’ course at The Work-Shop, Fitzroy.
How do you balanced your artistic life with work?
I have to ask myself, ‘How do I care for another whilst looking after my artistic life?’ aka ‘How to keep your soul alive’.
Boundaries. Priorities and perspective. Self care, self love.
What inspires you?
Poetry, words, paper, nature, botanical drawings, colour, freedom, vulnerability, Michael Leunig, heart centeredness, feelings, Rumi, living your best life, bikes, creativity, seeing people flourish, punk music, coffee, Emily Dickinson, city life, the ocean, sexuality, seals, Kirtan chanting, folk tales, joy, Earl Grey tea, Greyhounds, children’s books and silence.
Do certain places inspire you? If so, where and in what way did it give you ideas?
I love being near the water. Lakes, oceans, baths. I’m always red hot and passionate, sometimes I need to simmer down and water lets me do this.
Do you travel to find inspiration?
I find small travels inspire me. But my creativity goes out the window once I have to think about timing, planning, budgeting and foreign things. But adventures? Yes! I love catching trams to locations, walking to the Yarra and just generally having fresh eyes in a beautiful city. We need to walk and to listen, to be still enough to let our hearts and bodies hear what we need to say in the world.
When you travel, what do you take with you?
I have collected my life in a series of moleskin notebooks. They are always with me. To jot ideas, collect tickets, find bird feathers and catch phrases and words from the world.
I also carry a mini cutting mat and blade to work on fine skills while out at coffee or making small talk (note to self: remember to take this out before you go through airport security!).
Do you have any packing tips for fellow artists?
Scout Motto: Be prepared. Be prepared to look after yourself and foster your creativity. Pack simply, de-clutter but keep the things around you that you need to keep your li’l inner artist alive. Look everywhere for magic.
What are you working on at the moment?
I always have my fingers in many delicious gluten-free pies.
Paper, paper, paper. My practice has evolved from one layer pieces (silhouettes) to incorporate colour, layers, texture and lighting elements. Always learning new things and experimenting with this fascinating material.
I am working on a series of paper cutting workshops; teaching both cutting skills and mindfulness. My goal is to have people go into a craft class and come out feeling like they’ve been to yoga. Groundedness, awareness and breathing is all encouraged throughout the process of the ‘Peace of Paper’ workshops. I also entertain some fantasies of publishing a book in a similar vein.
I have also recently ventured into the land of spoken word poetry. It’s been a raw journey in self expression, vulnerability and showing up in the world. It’s taken my expression into my body and into my throat and out into the world. Creativity has turned to words and this has thus been reflected back in my visual works: more play, more experimentation, more daring.
Where can people buy your work? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?
Currently it’s best to contact me to buy work. I’ve been too busy doing the work to set up any realistic and reliable online store.
I’ve been doing some cool commissioned work and have been enjoying working with customers to produce high quality paper works. Celebrations and people celebrating themselves is something I love to be a part of. Always available for commission.
Most of my work is on display at Urban Alchemy in North Fitzroy, Melbourne.
What is the most important thing for an artist (or aspiring artist) to do every day?
Show up. Do the thing that you need to do. Reconfirm that what you’re doing in the world is of value, even when the world tries to whisper the opposite. I really do believe we are all creative individuals and our task is to shed the fear about our inner artist. This leads us to become truly unfuckwithable. No apologies.
Everyday. Show up. Do the thing that you need to do.