Jimmy Taylor’s fascination with the other-worldly began at a very young age. “As a child I always drew and painted, creating new creatures and characters based on mythological legends and folklore.”
As a young artist, he was drawn to the works of H.R Giger – the mastermind behind the creatures and worlds of the Alien series, as well as worlds from that other iconic science fiction series, Star Wars.
“To be able to create a new world down to its botanical life forms, and creatures that only live in the imagination. I began to study anatomy, botany and chemical science to make my world a reality.”
It’s a journey that is now flourishing at The Learning Connexion, where Jimmy has been able to turn the visions of his imagination into physical structures, courtesy of TLC’s ceramics studio.
“Currently I'm creating organic shapes from clay that resemble coral or fungus, using various methods to create texture and bring colour in the firing process. I love tarnished metals, oxidation, how fungus grows on rotting wood and decay.”
Jimmy says he’s found new creative life working in ceramics, and is excited by what he’s been able to create.
“Seeing my first finished glazed piece – that's when I knew I was onto something. I can create the colors and textures that I imagine and make them 3D. A drawing of an idea can only portray so much, whereas physical touch makes an idea real.”
He’s also painting a series of mummies using inks and schlack, creating textured layers to portray the decaying of time.
He’s also finding that in the unique native bush setting of TLC’s campus, and the surrounding environs of the Hutt Valley, inspiration can be found much closer to home.
“Nature inspires me. I'm always exploring mother nature. Collecting shells, skulls and sticks washed on a beach or how a spider catches a fly. The way nature feeds itself and grows inspires me to create new textures and forms of shape.”
Jimmy says he was initially “petrified” of enrolling at TLC.
“I hadn't drawn or created anything since I was a young teen. I had a lot of self-doubt, and it wasn't until I started getting feedback from fellow students and tutors that I started to have confidence in my art.
"It's only recently that I've allowed myself to truly create, to draw, to put pen to paper and make my world a reality.”
“The tutors at TLC have a huge knowledge base about artist techniques that can be applied to a student’s overall vision and encourage new ways of trial and error.”
His advice if you’re thinking of enrolling at TLC:
“Experience everything, taste-test every class that the school has to offer, a new method or technique can always elevate the vision you are trying to create.”
Jimmy says TLC has given him a lot of confidence to take the next steps in his creative journey.
“I've gained confidence in developing a personal style, and confidence in myself. My life hasn't been the easiest of roads – broken home, childhood trauma, religious discrimination, addiction – you name it, I've most likely had an experience of it. Art has been my escape from the world around me and the situations that I've found myself in."
"It's in the odd and discarded where I find most comfortable.”
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