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Artist Interview – Taylor Rose

Taylor Rose creates the kind of magical worlds you want to step into. She spends hundreds of hours in her studio combining traditional drawing techniques with digital manipulation. She’s an artist to keep an eye on because I’m telling you this girl is going places. In the short time I’ve known her she has spread her wings and it seems like I see her artwork on the cover of a publication every other month. I’ve seen her featured on Threadless, in LadyBug Magazine, and found her artwork at more shops than I can name in Bend, Oregon.

Culture Seen: Give us a little background about yourself and your work.

Taylor Rose: I am originally from a smaller town in New Hampshire, growing up there I was able to experience a little bit of everything from forests to beaches to mountains, and all sorts of beautiful seasons. Being in that environment was always such an inspiration to create art. I had an amazing set of art teachers in high school that were an endless source of support and guidance. I stuck around the east coast for college and graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Since then I’ve gotten to travel and adventure all over the country, and I eventually found my calling in beautiful Bend, Oregon where I’ve been for the past 3 years. Oregon has the forests and mountains and coastline that has proven to be the perfect place to enjoy everything I experienced as a kid in New Hampshire but times that by a thousand! My work has evolved around my surroundings and I am always incorporating nature into my illustrations in some way.

Magical night time forest by Taylor Rose
“The Collectors”

CS: What is your workspace like? What is your favorite studio tool?

TR: I get to work from home and have a pretty sweet setup with nice lighting and lots of birds to watch outside my window. My studio walls are pretty filled these days, all with artwork and creations from artists that inspire me everyday. Storytelling and science podcasts are usually playing during the day, and then shifting into my music playlist if I’m pulling a night shift. My all time favorite and most important art tool is my Pentel pocket brush pen. I’ve had that same pen for so long, I just keep replacing the ink cartridges. Every piece I’ve done during the last 7 years has been inked with that brush.

The creative workspace of artist Taylor Rose

CS: What inspired you to start creating art?

TR: I think it was really all about getting to have so many outside adventures in the woods and in the ocean as a kid. I really developed a crazy imagination and once I realized that cartoons were just thousands of drawings arranged together I was all over it!

Seahorse Underwater Warrior by Taylor Rose
“The Water Warrior”

CS: Which piece of your artwork has the most significance to you?

TR: Actually the most recent piece I’ve just finished up has been the most exciting for me I think. It’s titled “Callan’s Legend.” I created it in honor of the arrival of my amazing and beautiful sister’s first baby boy. That wee lad has been such a burst of light and love. The piece embodies everything I want to express in an illustration; storytelling, fantasy, a love of nature, and capturing a simple moment in time but in an entirely new light. I had a teacher say once, “You’re only as good as the last thing you created.” That really stuck with me, as to say, you can always get better, always create more and learn more. As challenging as that sounds I hope it sticks with me, then every new piece I illustrate could be my most significant.

Callans Legend Taylor Rose
“Callan’s Legend”

CS: Can you tell us a little about your process of creating?

TR: I often start with a written story that I’ve made up for the illustration, and once the written concept is finished I’ll make a hand full of thumbnails to work out a composition. After that I’ll sketch everything out with pencil, then go over that with a calligraphy ink brush and micron pens. Next I’ll add a layer of watercolor, then scan in the piece to begin the digital painting process. This involves hundreds of layers of digital watercolor painting which is accomplished with high resolution scans of actual watercolor markings. Overall most pieces take somewhere between 40 to 80 hours of work.

Taylor Rose Octopus Painting

CS: What are you working on or thinking about now?

TR: These days I am working on building a portfolio of work that could be used for environmental and background designs in the cartoon and animation world. Cartoons are what I have wanted to be a part of ever since I first started drawing as a child. It’d be my ultimate art dream come true.

Trees, Mushrooms and Butterflies in the Forest by Taylor Rose
“The Watchful Forest”

CS: Where can we find your work?

TR: Right now I have shows up at Juno Sushi and Lone Pine Coffee Roasters in Bend, in February I’m putting up some work at Green Plow Coffee Roasters in Redmond, and then I’m always selling prints and updating work at

Photo of the artist courtesy of Photography in Bend.

  1. Timothy Cunningham (Reply) on Thursday 29, 2015

    Well Taylor is a wonderful, creative, whimsical and unique artist, but she is so much more than that. Taylor is such a talented athlete, with her cycling, snowboarding and surfing, not to mention having a sweet jumpshot and slick ballhandling skills, but most of all, she is one of the kindest and caring person I have ever known, and I, as well as a multitude of people here in New Hampshire are so proud of her and all she has done with her art, but more so her life. I call her Little T, and she calls me Big T. Taylor is my daughter.

  2. Lisa Marie Sipe (Reply) on Thursday 29, 2015

    That is so sweet Big T! I think everyone who meets Taylor feels the same way you do, I know I do.