Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Cohen.
Taylor, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Oh man it’s so hard for me to be brief because there’s so many wonderful and beautiful details that have gotten me to where I am today. I have incredible parents that opened me up to the world and gave me opportunities to cultivate my interests to find out what I love to do in life. Ever since I was young I would sing songs with the radio in key and it freaked out my mom. I then was handed a baby Taylor guitar at the age of seven and followed through with lessons for three years; the moment I touched the guitar and understood it, I was holding my destiny. I also started drawing and painting lessons at the age of seven and equally loved it just as much as the guitar, but after a couple college classes, nowadays I use it more as my relaxation. Anyways back to the music, I have been writing my own songs since I was about thirteen and it hasn’t stopped since. Music and art aren’t the only things that define me, skateboarding is a huge deal in my life and is one of my creative outlets. I broke the crap out of my arm when I was seven and said “screw that” (or so I thought). I graduated college, travelled to Israel, got back home and sat down on my couch saying “What in the heck do I do with my life?”. Just as I had said that I kicked out my old Zero skateboard by accident, decided to get a new board, hit Chandler skatepark, and the rest is history. I co-own a skate company that creates local community events for other skateboarders around Arizona. You would think this is the last thing on my list but it doesn’t end here, I also have a degree in hybrid engineering. I created a painting with circuits, coding, and capacitive sensing that when you touch it, it makes sound. I haven’t dived much more into that stuff beyond graduation because it is super expensive but who knows I may be back for some grad school… On top of all of that I also am a professional photographer! What do I take pictures of? Oh, you know the usual stuff: people, landscapes, weddings, events, cannabis……. It’s a pretty great job, flexible hours, and is creatively fulfilling. Now I chill on a nice farm, get paid take photos daily, come home to my cute mastiff puppy, practice my music with my boyfriend, and truly enjoy my life.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Music: I mainly write my songs on an acoustic guitar first even if they’re eventually performed on an electric down the road. The context of the song is never fully there until I randomly adlib a melody with a sentence and then base it around that. Writing songs is something I just do, it’s like breathing, existing, it’s a necessity. Whenever I’m on a stage it always feels like the right place and the right time, like I’m meant to be there and I feel the same way whenever I touch a guitar or write a song. The message I’m trying to get across in my music for others is to inspire them to be strong, happy, and that someone is there for them. I honestly just want to inspire people to be themselves. Describing my music is hard, but I always tell people who haven’t heard it that it is a true reflection of myself, my struggles I’ve overcome, and I’m giving it to all of you to do with it what you will.
Photos: I do something called photo adventures where I take my clients on natural hikes or places around in AZ and take their portraits. I love showing others how to appreciate the views, nature, and all Arizona has to offer beyond the heat. I never try to pose people (unless it’s necessary) and capture their natural beauty, so far so good.
Paintings: My paintings vary in medium, one day I could want to use gum, the next vhs tape. I generally like to paint people as well and capture them in the way my mind sees it with the colors, mediums, and brush strokes. I do these paintings to relax my mind after a long day of concentration on all of the other busy life shenanigans. If people enjoy them that’s cool but these are more for myself to keep my creative muscles going in other ways.
Skateboarding: I invent ways to break my bones and it is my favorite way to relax and love my life even more. Skateboarding is all for me, it’s like my meditation. You can do anything you want if you work for it and I love that mindset, it inspires me in all other parts of my life too.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
For music in our current time, I’d have to say it is a lot easier for people to create music, post it, and show more people their stuff compared to going to a random show getting a cd, then becoming a fan. Although it is very easy to make the music and get it out to fans, it’s a lot harder to stand out and make a name for yourself.
In Arizona the music scene is kind of like high school cliques, if you aren’t in one you aren’t really going to go anywhere. There’s a couple of us that band together to do shows, make music, or support each other. There are super open bands that love booking other locals, but some scenes are too tight to barge into and that’s okay man, they’re doing their thing and I can vibe with it.
I also think if the people of Arizona go to more local shows too it would help keep the scene afloat. We’re so lucky to have small venues that house bands on the regular to help us get our names out there to the bigger guys.
I could elaborate the others but the music scene out here needs to be spoken of more than anything else.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Skateboarding: On my Instagram @soleiletlalune
Booking a photoshoot, buying an album, anything helps.
- Website: http://breakingbones.bandcamp.com/releases
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soleiletlalune/
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/bbreakingbbones/
Erica Torres, Heather Mason, Amanda Murphy, Jimmy Caravella, Taylor Cohen.