Craft Lake City Artist: Claire Taylor
Booth # t12
Claire Taylor has an abiding love for animals. Wolves, lambs, pigs—subtly anthropomorphized beasts are her adopted symbols. “I choose animals because I relate to them,” she says, “You can be completely comfortable around animals. They’re totally non-judgmental and accepting.” Though Taylor’s art takes many forms, the process nearly always begins with very lifelike pencil sketches of these creatures. The drawings are then shrunk down on shrinky dink or relief printed onto a variety of surfaces, or even bound into one-of-a-kind books. Whatever the finished product, Taylor’s distinctly spare, dreamy and beautifully sketched style is always readily apparent.
In college, Taylor studied printmaking and nabbed a Fine Arts degree from the U of U two years ago. In recent years, Taylor has had a solo show at the Marriott Library and has participated in various print exchanges and group shows at Signed and Numbered Poster Gallery, Sam Wellers, and Kayo Gallery. Taylor is currently part of a three person show on display at Kayo through the eighteenth of this month. Though her work continues to be recognized for the talent it readily displays, Taylor has no misconceptions about her role as an artist. “Who doesn’t want success?” she says, “I would like to be able to support myself with my artwork but that, I think, is a very farfetched dream. I don’t think that will happen. Even the most famous artists are really poor. You mostly always have to have a day job.” Taylor, however, is fortunate enough to have a day job that also provides a bolstering creative environment. She works for the University of Utah’s Book Arts Program, a creative space for arts and crafts utilizing letterpress, type, photo engraving, and bookbinding equipment. The program is in the Marriott Library and offers classes and workshops for members of the community through the library’s website at lib.utah.edu.
At the Craft Lake City Festival, Taylor’s booth will display a wide range of her chosen mediums. Along with prints of Taylor’s hand drawn designs in a range of sizes, you’ll find relief printed felt badges and hairpins, necklaces, bracelets, and detailed and dainty earrings fashioned from shrinky dink and pencil. Taylor prints on clothing as well: shirts and running shorts will be on sale for $20-$30. The rest of Taylor’s crafts range from $5 to $50. From her work at the Book Arts Program, she’s even bringing a few books—printed, bound and authored by the artist.
“ . . . Maybe in a way it’s a release,” Taylor says, discussing her attachment to the work. “It’s sort of like a fantasy land. [But] I just like to do it, it’s fun for me. There’s something very satisfying about creating, and I like to stay occupied.” For Taylor, crafting is especially applicable to her love of animals. “[Crafts] bring the idea of the animal relationship to us full circle in that a symbol or image of them has been made to be worn—to show this relationship,” she says.
Taylor is currently working on making her artwork available for purchase through an Etsy.com store. After you’ve perused her booth at this month’s Craft Lake City, Claire Taylor can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.