WINNIPEG, MB - Taylor Dawn is a seventeen-year-old girl from Winkler, Manitoba. She's like many from her age group, attending college in Winnipeg and trying her best to keep up with the demanding workloads from school while still maintaining her personal interests. What sets her apart from other young college students however, is that she is also a successful artisan with her own art making business.
Dawn, a long-time lover of art and creative processes, began her art business quite unintentionally. "I had done a couple paintings and friends kept telling me how they wanted this one or that one. Eventually other people were asking for my art too and that's just how it all started," Dawn says in a light voice.
Since her humble beginnings in a high-school art room, Dawn has partnered with Winkler boutique shop Tiny Haven and Winnipeg local store Shop Take Care, where her paintings of plants are showcased and available for purchase. Dawn is also a regular vendor in multiple Winnipeg market scenes, including this year's Third + Bird markets and Alleyways Market in the exchange.
Her primary source of advertising her art is on Instagram. Here, people can explore her profile that is full of her artwork and available pieces and then message her for their desired prints or even custom pieces. "I've done portraits and custom drawings and I'm always open to new ideas," says Dawn.
Currently, she sells 8x10 prints of her pieces of painted plants for $20 and 5x7 prints for $10. "I like to do pieces according to what I feel like I could see myself buying, too and then there's also the matter of fair pricing. I don't want to charge someone a huge amount and have them not be able to buy a piece they really love," Dawn explains when asked about how she chooses her pieces and her modest pricing. "I also do a buy 3, get one print for 50% off. Lots of people like to buy the prints in rows to put up on their walls." In comparison to other local artists selling their work, Dawn's prices range to about 1/3 of what is being asked for original works.
When asked about what her friends and family think of her art business, she says that they're very supportive. "This wasn't something I did on a whim, I was already generating business before I decided to actually sell my artwork," Dawn says with a laugh. Dawn has aspirations to graduate with a graphic design degree and then land a job for a design firm. "I'll always do my artwork and business on the side, though. I love the idea of freelancing and getting to do my artwork still," she says. Currently, Dawn is working on a mural for Winnipeg beauty salon Bare Body Sugaring, an opportunity she is very excited to work on.
The creative process of making the artwork is one that Dawn invests heavily in. "I'll research about the plant that's been requested or that I'm interested in painting and I'll decide what parts I like about the plant and focus on those. Then I'll sketch it first and figure out the general composition that I want before painting the good copy."
Dawn's personal style for her plant work involves a lot of blending and earthy tones. "You have to blend the paint while it's still wet so once I start a piece I go until it's done. I'm definitely not the type of person to just chip away until it's finished anyway," she says with a laugh. Her artwork is not exclusive to only plants however, as she enjoys abstract work and other styles as well. "Art is something that I've known for a long time that I wanted to pursue. I have so much fun doing it all," says Dawn.
For more information on Taylor Dawn and how you can buy and request artwork by her, you can visit her Instagram page @artworkbytaylordawn or visit Shop Take Care and Tiny Haven, where her art prints are available to buy.
By Rylee McOuat