Monday, September 1, 2014

Life as Kites.

My sister was given a painting by her friend, artist Kim Barry, as a gift for her wedding. The title of it is "Life as Kites." It has a man and woman emerging from the ocean as one, and their arms are turning into kites. It is one of my favorite images and the title has stuck with me as a phrase that symbolizes happiness, warmth, and nostalgia. In my new community, miles and many years away from all that made up the younger 'me' I am feeling like a child again. I dance. I run. I allow dreaming. I make time for impromptu gatherings. This "life as kites" is warming to the soul. It is not void of hard work or troubles, rather, it rises above it all and catches the breeze.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere. It was me—projecting to the public. That was my job. I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted.” - Diana Vreeland

I cannot get enough of The Eye Has to Travel, a documentary about Diana Vreeland. A must-see for any young creative.

Image Credit

A Look Back.

While reviewing my portfolio recently, it was interesting to see the train of thought that led me from the very first project (exploring sticks by making shapes with them and later artistic images of them like those above) all the way to my last, a linen gown.
I explored a number of themes and ideas such as: brides, places of worship, duality of human nature, identity. All of these subjects have intense meaning for me personally, 
so I wonder if I will see a similar connection in my work this year. We shall see!

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

My sister kids with me because I complain a lot about my shampoo/washing my hair (she's a hair stylist). I never seem to get it to lather properly. She recently told me "you know what...when the bottle says wash, rinse, need to listen and repeat." Guess what? It works! Like my new found love of repeating a wash, it's been on my mind lately that small changes can make HUGE differences in how things are going in your life. 

Take for example this new semester...this is one of my last official crazy-schedule-no-sleep years of my life (unless/when I have kids) so I am determined to let small changes in my approach help ease the pain. Life is short! 

I will be...

- taking advantage of my assignments by using them as starting points to tie into other ideas I have (I've always wanted to learn how to use watercolors so I got some for my visual communication course...see above image)
- run as much as possible and take time for periodic dance classes (I didn't get ANY exercise last year!)
- not working every Saturday (more money does not equal less stress!)
- working on assignments at home more (this is my place of sanctuary and it is also so inspiring)
- saying "no" to things that, while interesting, will overwhelm me
- kicking all my worries out of my mind!

Ultimately, I'm creating healthy "margins" in my life for all the things that mean so much.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mission Part Duex.

As I run through the flurry of daily life here in NC there is something quite distinctive about my day. Something is missing.
No, it isn't golden water guns that I'm missing. It's something far less glamorous but much more important: that nagging thought that I'm headed in the wrong direction. I used to feel that all the time because of something someone asked me. 
Let me elaborate on this subject. Many moons ago someone asked me what I wanted to do for a living. I excitedly replied "interior designer!" completely unaware that the road to becoming one would be so challenging. I loved the thought of being creative each day. The person that asked quickly responded back (in a loving way) "how could you possibly honor God or serve your community doing that?" I was beside myself for, well, years on how to respond to this. 
I think it's easy to drop people into categories based on what they do. I know it's easy to tell myself "doctor = healer, teacher = community, pastor = spiritual leader") and as a result I hadn't looked at either the possibilities or the need really to have my career mean anything more than what I do each day. I just knew i had to try. As I have grown up a lot since that question was asked - I now understand that my purpose, reach, and effectiveness in touching lives is not limited by choosing my profession; in fact my profession actually has given me the opportunity to touch many lives and will continue to give me the sort of tools that can help others in so many ways. 
My realization is something that I hope anyone could take with them. I chose my job but some people won't ever have the opportunity to choose. They might feel like their office job isn't reaching anyone, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you live genuinely and openly you are. 
So my mission is this:

To live openly. To be transparent about my life so that I can reach others who can learn from my personal and work experience.

To invest time in research beyond my schooling so that my design skills connect me with industries beyond simply the interior design world.

To remember that simple spirit I had as I began this journey that cried out for so much more in a number of ways. To always remain thankful of those who helped me along the way. 

This outline is short, but it is open to whatever life has in store! I thought my mission statement needed to be so specific, but remembering how I couldn't have planned everything that is in my life at this point (in fact if I had tried it might not be so good!) I felt it was best to leave the specifics of the next 10 yrs up to God. If I am following my guidelines above, I think the future will be pretty bright! 

(All images taken by me in NC this summer) 


Thursday, May 29, 2014


My summer thus far has been pretty solid.  I had a week off to visit my family and a long weekend for Memorial Day. I realized during those expanses of time that I have finally turned a corner in my design education.  I can see a tiny flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. Rather than arrive at the end of said tunnel unprepared, I'd like to make sure I get there with my head, spirit, and ideals still in tact. 

All of my creative pursuits to this point have been the result of me frantically reaching out to express myself better and to learn how to improve skills I felt I neglected in the past, such as drawing, painting, name it. You see when you have a ton of interests, it can be challenging to focus in on what you should be doing (and you can also lose your purpose in the meantime). I felt like I had a lot to catch up on in a short amount of time (I did actually) but I'm starting to see the importance of planning ahead and slowing things down.

In business, it is helpful to have a mission statement.  A summary of the goals and vision your business would like to achieve. That's been a hot topic lately at work and also with friends that own small businesses, so I've decided that this summer (amid my actual weekends off sans homework) i'll be brewing up my own personal mission statement. 

What will it include?

- what I love the most about my industry so far: the people, seeing spaces transform, problem solving, planning, creativity not only in design but in juggling the day, research
- how my unique skill set can be used not only for a pay check but to help my immediate and global community 
- my family, financial and time preferences/needs 
- what i want the next 3, 5 and 10 years look like 

I'm happy to have the ability to dream on this subject. Thankful for a God that listens to my dreams and refines them. Thankful for family and friends that support me along the way. 

Xo, Tay 

Image of a print by Jordan Brantley of The Business Bar

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tulips at Monticello.

I was able to learn a lot more about rendering this semester. Specifically, I learned to really look at how I express qualities of light in my work. I was pushed to go darker in certain places (that I have ever felt comfortable with) and lighter in others. I think this fearless approach to rendering is starting to make my work look more like true art. It is more believable now.

Above is a page from my drawing portfolio showing the exterior of Monticello. I loved drawing this as well as taking photographs on our trip, The gardens offered such inspiration!