What do you get when a Mexican American Artist moves to Florida? Bright colors, seascapes, florals, and Frida. Taylor Cavazos works in PR by day, and in her free time, she is either painting or enjoying the water. It is her therapy. Her endless dot-and-swirl patterns are easily recognizable and calming to look at. Most recently she was featured at a booth at 305 Day, and her current show is up at the Gallery at the Zen Zone Miami. It will wrap up at the end of May. The gallery will be open to the public to kick off her last month in the space with a day filled with live painting, mingling, and celebration, Get to know this fun, life-loving, emerging artist in the interview below, and come meet her in person May 5th!
What does your name mean?
My mother chose my name, Taylor, because she was such a dedicated James Taylor fan. Every time I hear the song “Mexico” on the radio, I can’t help but smile.
What three words would your friends or family use to describe you?
Independent, spontaneous and a tad dramatic.
What does being an artist mean to you?
For me, art is an escape. Painting endless dot-and-swirl patterns calm me, drowning out the noise of the busy world. As soon as I pick up a paintbrush, time flies. When I sit down to paint, the stress of work and life disappears and suddenly, it’s 5 hours later and I’ve created an entirely new painting! I love how my anxiety can be transcribed into a colorful acrylic painting. It’s like once the painting is done, I can finally walk away from that problem or stressor. That is until the next one comes along!
What challenges have you faced with your work?
Sometimes, I struggle to put the brush down! I’ll stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. painting, and then have to make it to my full-time job in the morning. I often am consumed by a project, so it’s tough to force myself to take it slow.
Who inspires you?
Frida Kahlo, of course! Frida was a revolutionary Mexican artist and feminist icon known for her passion and perseverance. She often painted colorful self-portraits that were also very raw and introspective. Her paintings serve as a great inspiration for my own work.
Can you describe some key “art” moments of your life? Like childhood how was art apart of it, while up North what was that like, and now being here in Miami, what has your experience been?
Before moving to Miami in 2017, I lived in Downtown Chicago and was extremely unhappy. I’d never lived in such a sprawling metropolis before and found that the combination of “big city living” and the cold winter months was too much to handle. I turned to art and found myself painting more than I’d ever painted before. I really started to solidify my style during this time: acrylic on canvas characterized by dot-and-swirl patterns.
What a great moment that must have been!
I was elated that I finally found my artistic style. I was settling on my vision for my work and was excited to show the world. I signed up for countless flea markets and art fairs, but Chicagoans struggled to connect with my pieces. I wasn’t selling much. Probably because I was selling seascape paintings in the middle of a Chicago winter… Now, I find that Miami- with its vibrant, colorful environment- is more open to my work. I’m eager to see where this city takes me.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to “be an artist?”
Just start painting! Every piece you complete is part of a greater, larger portfolio and you just have to start somewhere. Some artists get so stuck on what their “identifier” or their “style” is going to be, that it inhibits them from actually diving into their work. Color, draw, sketch, paint, whatever it may be- just get in there!
Where can we find you on your day off?
You can find me snorkeling, swimming or surfing at many of South Florida’s gorgeous beaches. I often travel to Key Largo or Key Biscayne- anywhere where I can dive into the water!
How do you want people to feel when they see your work?
The most common response I get when people view my work is, “Wow! You’re patient,” or “Woah, how long did this take you?” People tend to be taken back by the detail in my art, but that’s the reaction I’m after!
What is the biggest problem in our world today and how do we solve it?
The biggest problem in our world today is a lack of interpersonal connection due to social media. I have a 19-year-old brother, and I find he turns to Instagram and Twitter for self-approval. Social media can connect us to people all over the world, but it can also tear us apart. For this reason, I value art and the artistic process even more. I feel so grateful to have a hobby that forces me to disconnect and be creative without a smartphone.