Early last month, the Young Creators’ Network called on creatives to submit their best work to stand a chance to design the brand’s packaging for 2021, as well as a cash prize of R20 000.
After going through over 600 submissions, 15 emerging illustrators and digital designers from across the country were selected to take part in this year’s ‘Young Creators’ Network’.
Keen for the possibilities on offer for the year ahead, 23-year-old fine artist and designer, Carolyn Taylor shares that being selected validates the work that she has been doing, and that she can finally call herself an ‘artist’.
“There’s a little voice in everyone, some louder than others’, that tells you that you will never be good enough, that there is always someone better. I am in a place in my life where my art has given me a platform to communicate my true self and that it is indeed good enough to want to share with others,” she says.
The Red and Yellow graduate started creating after her mom encouraged her to express herself through various art forms. Her family saw potential in her work and supported her passion for the arts, which resulted in her studying a BA in Visual Communication at the prestigious Creative School of Business.
“I sold pieces of my artwork to finance myself through college and sold prints of my designs at markets to make money where I could. I was then able to freelance as a graphic designer which improved my skill set, as well as my mental health. I currently work as a graphic designer full time, and create art in my spare time.”
Taylor’s work explores mental health and aims to break the silence around the illness. This topic is especially important to her after having struggled with mental illness from when she was 16. She explains, “Having gone through my own experiences with mental health, I have always found this an interesting topic worth exploring. Giving those who cannot necessarily create or communicate, a sign that says ‘You’re not alone’. I nearly lost my life when I was 16. I was anorexic and hated my softness and my curves because I did not feel like I was ‘enough’. I now know that I am undeniably enough and that there are lots of young people out there who deserve to feel the same.”
Years have passed since the artist first started making art and she has settled in her creative identity and artistic style. Soft lines with crisp colours create the safe setting of her works, through which faceless feminine figures roam.
Taylor looks forward to learning more as a junior in the design industry. She hopes to expand on her fine art creations and feature in a local gallery.
“Part of me will always work towards pushing my themes in my art further and further in an attempt to inspire and provoke. I hope to tour South Africa someday and expand my knowledge of our country, and maybe go back to school to get my masters. At the end of the day, I just want to help and inspire my fellow South African citizens.”
Stay tuned to find out who else was selected to be part of the Young Creators’ Network.