Tispr Stories: Taylor Gallegos is defying the creative world

Every Friday we check in with a freelancer or small business person who is following their dreams and doing what they love. This week, we’re chatting with Taylor Gallegos, a painter specializing in murals and studio painting.

With a focus on love, unity, connection, and creativity, Taylor has plenty to say about freedom, inspiration in the mundane and the hardship of getting started.

To start, tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a creative human. I love people, beautiful places and new experiences.

What made you decide to pursue a freelance career?

As an artist, either you work for a company, creating for them, or you go out on your own. I went that route.

“When no one can solve things for you there's a developed responsibility that builds. The only thing that matters is that the job gets done.”

How did you get into art and painting

I've been painting and drawing my entire life. I started with drawing tiny dinosaurs all over the house. Now I specialize in murals and studio painting and focus on surrealism and abstract style art. I love how surrealism allows complete freedom. I can put different elements together in any way that feels right, and it can get as realistic or abstract as I want.

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because it's just what I do naturally. I've always been a person who loves to look at the visual elements of things, to study the way that shapes and lighting come together. I've always been fascinated by the way that things look.

Where does the inspiration for your projects come from?

Inspiration for projects comes from everywhere. Lots of times it comes from news or new information I learn, or some new insight I've experienced. These elements naturally infuse themselves into my work.

How do you feel when your working, doing what you love?

When I'm working I feel in flow. Time evaporates and I'm totally zoned into the moment. I make decisions, but it seems like they come from a deeper level of thinking or knowing.

What it's like being in your line of work?

It's difficult - it's not easy being a freelance artist. Finding one's self and finding your way is really challenging. There is no one road map that works for everyone. You really have to carve out your own niche and make it work for you.

What have you learned from painting?

I've learned how to see the world as a vibrant and colorful place. I've learned that everything is connected and blends together.

What have you learned from freelancing?

I've learned independence and hustle. When no one can solve things for you there's a developed responsibility that builds. The only thing that matters is that the job gets done.

How has your work, especially freelancing, changed your life?

I now see that my livelihood is so dependent on relationships of all kinds: relationships with my clients, relationships with my fans and my community. My success is contingent on my word and my follow through. Again, it comes back to personal responsibility.

What advice would you give to your younger yourself?

Become aware of your (my) ego and work to let it go! I feel that I thought higher of myself and my place in the art world and that hindered a lot of opportunity and growth that could have happened if I was more humble throughout.

I also would have said to take a business class or two. I bought into the myth that artists don't know business. With that in mind, I just focused on the painting. I didn't get that it's all connected and that "business" is a term that covers all aspects of what one does as a profession.  As freelancers, we all need to know every aspect of our own business.

What does being a freelancer mean to you?

It means being a hunter. It means building and navigating your own ships through life. It means staying sharp, staying true to my own compasses and myself.

"Nothing is guaranteed, so every day we have to get out there and go after what we need."

What has been the hardest thing about being a freelancer?

The hardest thing about being a freelancer really was just getting started. I didn't really know the way, the approach or even the mindset. If anyone wishes to be a freelancer, I would recommend picking other freelancers’ brains so that they can avoid a lot of simple mistakes that get made early on.

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