In many ways art plays a substantial role in influencing music, clothes, and our sneakers. Designers in any industry gain inspiration from art and their surroundings. For example, a sneaker starts out from a drawing. Contrasting hues, sketching the specifications, and giving the silhouette a meaning. Just as art bridges a gap between many areas of culture, so does personal style. We were able to connect with an artist whose sneakHerStyle has her painting straight from the SOLE.
Originally a Houston native, Taylor Bailey has a gift of creating amazing artwork stemming from her own dope fashion sense. After taking her talents to Atlanta, she believes in fostering one's creativity through personal experiences, music, and a simple street style. As cool as she is creative, Taylor loves her go-to kicks and isn't afraid to be herself. In her own words, check out what art and sneakHerStyle mean to her.
Let's tap into where your passion for art originated and what continues to drive you.
I’ve been interested in art since I was a young girl. However, my passion for painting and design really developed while attending art school. I graduated from the Art Institute of Houston, funny enough, for fashion merchandising. The curriculum for my bachelor’s program required that I take foundational art classes, such as color fundamentals, art history, observational drawing, painting, etc. I was also exposed to Photoshop and Illustrator. These classes really helped me realize I had artistic abilities. Not only did I fall in love with art, I had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the coolest, most talented people.
After college, I moved to Austin, TX. Austin really helped me come into my own and come to life as an artist. I worked full time managing a clothing store and painted most nights in my little 700 sq. ft. apartment. On weekends, I would hang with friends, go hiking, to concerts, and art exhibits, which are all things that continue to inspire me. It was during this time and experience that I realized I wanted to pursue art as a career.
What continues to drive me are the lives that are impacted by my artwork. I love being able to create a piece that someone can fall in love with and have to keep forever. If I can add a little sunshine to someone’s day through my pieces, I have accomplished something. As far as people that inspire me, hands down my mother, my man, and the artists that live in my Apple Music Library. LOL. They fill me with so much light, love, and good energy.
How art influences your style...
My personal style consists of all things black. I look at color so much that I don’t wish to see it in my clothing. I live by this Johnny Cash quote: “I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.”
In the same sense, my artistic expression does this. It kills boundaries and conformity, hence the name KLR ART [kil-er ahrt].
How do you piece together items to create a dope street style aesthetic?
Working in the fashion industry for over ten years really helped me develop my style. I usually ask myself these things when considering what to piece together:
- How do I feel? This is the determining factor between sneakers and heels.
- Am I comfortable? Can I wear this and exude confidence
- Do I look good? Do my shoes match? LOL – (Must!)
Most days I end up in a grungy band tee, a ripped knee, and sneakers – the ULTIMATE go-to.
You have to share your go-to shoe with us...
My go to shoe would have to be between my 574 New Balances, and my Sk8-Hi Top Canvas Vans. My NewB’s are great for support, especially for long standing periods like LIVE Painting events, festivals, etc. My Vans go with everything, and I’ve always loved a good skate shoe.
How would you say sneaker culture is tied to your world of art?
Sneaker culture and the world of art are definitely deeply correlated. Sneakers are a form of art. They are a form of expression and they reflect the current times. There are classics, revolutionary designs that will be remembered forever, and there are trends that come and go. As far as the culture, both worlds bring hundreds of thousands of people together every year. I love that, like fine art, sneakers are collectible. There are so many shoes that appreciate over time.
Often, you will find sneaker companies collaborating with artists. Some of my favorite are Adidas + Kanye, Vans + Murakami, Jordan + KAWS, Converse + Warhol. Fun fact, I actually used to draw on Chuck Taylor’s in high school as a little side hustle. LOL
What has been Taylor's breakout moment?
I wouldn’t say that I have had a true breakout moment thus far. I have reached many goals this past year; however, they are a mere few steps forward on the path that I am traveling. This past year, I have been fortunate enough to exhibit my work in Atlanta, sell to prominent collectors, and really focus on growing my business.
If you were to give advice to a new artist, what would it be?
The best advice I could give any new artist is to stay consistent. The more you practice and explore your craft, the more you define and perfect your artistic style. Ultimately, this is what separates you from every other artist. Also, remain consistent in putting your artwork out there, despite setbacks or fear of rejection. It is easy to get discouraged as an emerging artist, but pushing thru and ignoring the doubts will in turn give you confidence in your abilities. Your confidence in your craft will increase your audience’s connection with your artwork. (Are y'all taking notes yet?)
An integral component to being an artist is...
An essential component to my work is the environment, whether natural, physical, or social. I think it’s important to always seek knowledge, not just within, but also outside of you, to remain in touch, informed, and inspired.
Another key component is having a business mindset as well as artistic. I am an entrepreneur as well as an artist. Knowing how to self-motivate, create, and market yourself and your artwork are all things that every artist must learn.
If you were to describe your purpose...
I am passionate about affecting the world in a positive way thru my art. I believe in love above all things. I strive to finds ways to contribute to the growth of society and promote justice and equality for all.
CNK is built on a foundation of Chickspiration. What would your Chickspiration mantra be?
Love yourself, and then share your love with the world. Once you truly learn to love yourself for who you are and learn to embrace and utilize your gifts, a world of opportunity will pour into your life.
Catch more with Taylor Bailey below and shop her fave sneakers!