Creative Neighborhood feat. Rebecca Hinson by Taylor Adams

During a recent visit to Charleston, South Carolina, I had the pleasure of dropping in to visit friend and fellow artist Rebecca Hinson in her studio. Rebecca is an oil painter and illustrator with an eye for bright palettes and a whimsical touch. From fashion to coral reefs, she pulls inspiration from everything she loves most.

Rebecca's studio is as bright and cheery as her personality, and it was lovely to see what she's been working on in person and catch up over her homemade kombucha (seriously the best). Take a peak inside Rebecca's studio and get a behind-the-scenes look at her new series currently in the works:

To see more of Rebecca's work visit rebeccahinson.com  and find her on instagram @rebeccahinson to follow along with her current work and daily inspirations. 

A Sanctuary of Ideas // Philadelphia's Magic Gardens by Taylor Adams

I recently visited Philadelphia for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised by how much inspiration I took away from the weekend. Simply walking through the streets I noticed a spectacular range of color - from lush greens and earthy brick tones to the dazzling mosaics and unexpected pieces of street art hidden around every corner, I was constantly stopping to snap a photo.  

Among this impressive range of color was of course Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. This visionary art environment created by Isaiah Zagar left me entirely fascinated.

On the vacant lots near his studio, Zagar spent years constructing multi-layer mosaic walls out of found objects. What began in the late 1960's as an attempt to beautiful the South Street neighborhood, these "gardens" grew into a space that not only helped revitalize the area then, but still actively inspire and encourage community engagement. 

TaylorAdams_ArtistBlog
TaylorAdams_ArtistBlog
I prefer work that appears to come out of a changing focus.
— Isaiah Zagar
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From bicycle wheels, glass bottles, china plates, kitchen tiles, and fragments of mirrors... Everywhere you look there's something new to see, and something new to discover that you may not have noticed at first glance. Walking among these walls, you get the sense that they're truly telling a story. Conversations in color and form, every surface right down to the floor is a mapping process of Zagar's thoughts, ideas, and experiences. Through letters strung together tile by tile, anecdotes and personal narratives refer to fragments of Zagar's life. And all of the sudden you feel as if you may be walking through the grottos and stairwells of his mind.

TaylorAdams_ArtistBlog
TaylorAdams_ArtistBlog
I built this sanctuary to be inhabited by my ideas and my fantasties.
— Isaiah Zagar
TaylorAdams_ArtistBlog

This intricate display of visual information creates an impressive space that allows you to be completely immersed within an artwork. It truly speaks to the accessibility of art, for something as ordinary as a bicycle tire can be transformed with a new perspective. I'm happy to know that places like this exist - I think it's important for people to be shown that art doesn't always have to be a painting on a wall. It can be a feeling, a place, an experience. 

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Creative Neighborhood Feat. Zakriya Rabani by Taylor Adams

In a world where I am constantly inspired by the creatives that surround me, both physically and virtually, I want to take the time to celebrate them and show you the great things they're doing. Creative Neighborhood is a video series exploring the studios, process, and inspirations behind artistic figures and their creative paths. 

In April I caught up with Zakriya Rabani, a friend and former classmate from our BFA years at the University of Florida. Upon walking into Zak's studio, I was greeted by dozens of skateboard decks strewn across the floor, stacked in piles, and suspended from giant rubber bands stretching from all corners of the room. Donated by the Skate Park of Tampa, these boards, considered defective and lifeless by many, are now playing a key part in the installation Zak is developing for his MFA thesis show at the University of South Florida. Growing up with skateboarding, Zak translates his experiences as a skater, athlete, and student through his work and invites his viewers into immersive environments that encourage play and speculation. View the video below to get an inside look into Zak's studio:

You can view more of Zak's work here and find him on instagram @flow_zak to follow along with his explorations and process. 

Color Collecting // A Study of Visual Interest by Taylor Adams

TaylorAdams_CollectingColor_ArtistBlog

As frustrating as they can be, creative blocks are part of the process. My ideas have been flowing smoothly from one project to the next for awhile now, so I was taken aback when I suddenly hit a wall. The strange thing was, while I felt like I had plenty of inspiration surrounding me, nothing was translating to my surfaces in the way that I wanted. Overwhelmed with an influx of color, texture, and movement, I needed to take a step back. I needed to reevaluate the 'whats' and 'whys' behind my current work, and as difficult as it is for me to realize at times, my mind can’t be working at full speed 100% of the time. It’s both natural and necessary to allow time to rest and refuel. 

Coincidently, around this time I was heading to New York City for a weekend wedding -  the first trip I’d taken in awhile without art supplies in tow. Oddly enough, the city that never sleeps, in all of its hustle and movement, gave me some clarity. 

TaylorAdams_CollectingColor_ArtistBlog
TaylorAdams_CollectingColor_ArtistBlog
TaylorAdams_CollectingColor_ArtistBlog

Walking around the city, I snapped pictures of things that caught my eye. Catching bits of color and compositions in a quick moment while en route to catch the subway or a bite to eat. The thing about taking pictures is you’re essentially documenting your visual interest. Whether realizing it or not, something in that scene speaks to you in a way that won’t allow you to pass it by without taking it with you. 

TaylorAdams_CollectingColor_ArtistBlog
TaylorAdams_CollectingColor_ArtistBlog

As I looked back through my photos, I noticed a theme that carried throughout them. And as I unpacked my suitcase I saw it again, this time in the clothes that I had selected to bring.  Rich darks, grainy earth tones, leafy greens, soft neutrals, and pops of highlight were showing me the color palette I’d been looking for. 

TaylorAdams_ColorCollecting_ArtistBlog
TaylorAdams_CollectingColor_ArtistBlog

I went on a screenshot spree pulling pictures from my Pinterest boards and scrolling through the recent photos I’ve liked on Instagram… the palette was there too.

Printed and scattered around my studio, these photos will serve as visual references and reminders of what I aim to capture in this new collection of paintings. Sometimes ideas can present themselves in the everyday, but they’re not always yelling to demand attention. You have to remember take a step back and listen to the whispers. 

TaylorAdams_ColorCollecting_ArtistBlog
TaylorAdams_CollectingColor_ArtistBlog