FOLLOWING THE DREAM
I was named after my Grandpa Ray, who was an amazing pen & ink artist. He believed in me ever since I was little, and opened my eyes to the world of drawing & painting. We would draw on stacks of printing paper, sketch outside, and watch Bob Ross videos together. I always knew I wanted to become some sort of artist.
I attended numerous art courses and workshops while growing up in Minnesota, and studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago during a high school summer break.
As a 90s baby, technology was booming around this era. Computer graphics, software, and games were were becoming more advanced. The internet was taking off too. I really began to grasp towards computer programs. I enjoyed experimenting while playing with certain software programs, and creating animated videos in PowerPoint. I loved the idea of becoming a commercial artist, and graphic design seemed like the perfect fit to utilize my love for art.
My passion for both fine art and graphic design came together.
I graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2014 earning a BFA in Graphic Design, along with taking multiple painting electives. I am currently a full time graphic designer at the cosmetic & beauty distributor, Creative Laboratories, Inc. in the Twin Cities. I create packaging designs, branding, advertisements, videos, and websites for a variety of beauty products.
I am also a freelance portrait painter & designer, creating commissioned artwork for a variety of clients. I enjoy balancing both of my passions for graphic design & fine art.
My greatest inspirations are rock & hip hop music, along with the neon noir & art deco themes of the 80s. My paintings have been admired by some of my favorite musicians including Phil Collins, members in the band Genesis, Boy George, Hall & Oates, Jon Anderson & the band YES, Alan Parsons, Dennis DeYoung (Styx), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Chromeo, Kandace Springs, Offset of Migos, & Mayer Hawthorne. They have been featured on many websites, social media pages, and have been collected by some of the musicians themselves. Many musicians I have painted invited me to their shows and wanted to meet me. Daryl Hall even hung one of my paintings of his late friend and bassist, T-Bone Wolk, at his restaurant and music club in New York. It is seen in the background of his show "Live From Daryl's House" on MTV & VH1.
I am very blessed at the adventures in life, and I enjoy continuing to create a variety of work that will help me grow as an artist & designer in today's progressive world.
Taylor Rae Hillestad xo