An Interview with Local Artist Taylor Seamount

Taylor Seamount

Taylor Seamount

Taylor Seamount is an artist currently residing in the Capitol Hill area.

D: How did you decide to become an artist?
T: I have always been into art, but my family was always into science so they steered me into a science track. And I also really love science as well. But, just more and more throughout my life I wanted to do art. I started getting more focused in art especially in college. It is a means of self-expression and values, and an expression of what I find beautiful.  I can’t imagine doing anything more rewarding.

D: Do you have any big inspiration?
T: I’m really inspired by Klimpt because I like how he combines realism with very whimsical settings. His pieces are dramatic but also very subtle.

D: Who would you say was most supportive of your art career, and who was against it?
T: My parents always said, “We won’t pay for art school.” But they have always been supportive. They are definitely proud of me and all the work I have completed. There hasn’t been a super influential person; there were just certain people that gave me little bits of positive feedback that made me feel supported in my career.

D: How much is art talent vs. skill?
T: With most things, you can only be successful through work. Being a successful artist involves far more skill than talent. I think talent decides what skills you are going to cultivate it. I had a natural ability in art. If I hadn’t cultivated it, I couldn’t have done anything I have today.

D: Do you have any big daily setbacks?
T: I’ll work super hard on a piece and I’ll think it’s awesome, and the next morning I’ll say this isn’t really that good. That is just the roller coaster. You get all the creative highs, and after you say, “It’s just not finished.” I’m my own worst critic for sure.

D: Do you do more abstract pieces? Do you use watercolor?
T: I almost entirely paint. It is the only medium I am interested in. Oils and acrylics are my favorite. I do surreal images such as those distorting scale. For example, I have a picture of two tiny people walking on the antlers of a dear. I have done a painting of a giant’s face, and a normal-sized person is walking on her face.

D: It seems you are adding a more human aspect to it.
T: My paintings are surreal, but they are 20% odd or off.

D: Have you ever painted outside of your studio for inspiration? Do you go out to paint?
T: I have tried painting outdoors; I don’t like it too much. I like having other artists there while I am painting. I seek that out sometimes. It is fun to bounce your ideas off of them.

D: Do you think living in Seattle affects your style of art?
T: I have been hiking much more here, and I have that in my painting. I accidently painted a background as Puget Sound. Yes, definitely. If I need a plant to use for a painting I’ll snap photos around the neighborhood.

D: Where do the ideas for your art come from? Do you think them through consciously or do you just go with ideas that pop into your head?
T: It definitely comes subconsciously. I think of one I like, and play with it in my head. I can be driving around and it comes from my subconscious brain. My mind is not occupied when I get my best ideas.