Sarah Taylor studied with The Learning Connexion from the comfort of her home in Wanaka. We talked to her about distance delivery study and how it's helped her creativity blossom.
Hi Sarah. Let's get to know you: describe yourself as an artist.
I am a visual artist working primarily with acrylic, mix media, printing and drawing. I love the interaction of different forms and layers to create a composition. I'm an eco-conscious artist keen to source out sustainable materials as much as possible. My art can be chaotic and energetic stirring up imagination and emotion.
What are some of the things you enjoyed most about studying at TLC?
I love the freedom to explore and experiment with my creativity without constraints. I really enjoyed being part of the Spaced In exhibition from an early start in the course. Right there I was stepping out of my comfort zone, but I felt well supported by my mentor.
How do you sustain your creative practice and where do you draw inspiration from?
I’m influenced by my imagination and emotions. I draw inspiration from my children, and by forms, shapes and textures found in many things including nature and the beautiful mountains that surround me at home in Albert Town in the Southern Alps.
Are your skills and approach to creativity transferable into other fields in your life?
I have an openness to new concepts. I'm observant and a good communicator. I have the ability to learn from criticism and be objective about my practice.
Describe a highlight or "wow" moment of a recent work or creative experience for us.
I love how an abstract composition comes to life with a playful spontaneous approach to creating my work without having developed a concept.
Why did you decide to enrol at TLC and was it a good decision?
Definitely a good decision. I researched the college two years prior but I wasn't in the right situation to apply, however I did buy the book Go! The Art of Change by Jonathan Milne.
I gained a Diploma in Art and Design in 1992 but I didn't pursue a career in art, instead I trained to be a nurse. But after 18 years in this field I got burnt out and decided to get back into my creative side. Exploration of art rekindled during lockdown so I applied for Level 4 at TLC and was thrilled to be offered a scholarship as part of the Reinvent your Future programme.
What advice would you give people starting out at TLC and wanting to pursue a creative pathway?
Be consistent, use the creative freedom, be brave and step out of your comfort zone. Learn from mistakes and keep going.
What are your creative ambitions? Where would you like to be in five years?
I hope to keep going on my creative pathway with TLC. I'd like to exhibit and commission my work and get involved teaching art classes in my local community.
How have you transformed during your time at TLC?
I have become more confident and less stressed. I find myself wanting to create on a daily basis, be consistent and not let go. I have always had a hands-on practical approach during my nursing career which has transferred well to this course. I've embraced the free learning style and time to let this creative journey unfold.