Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Bailey Douglass.
Taylor, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story begins in Texas, where I was exposed to culture and creativity at a very young age. Whether it was performing arts or visual, my mother always kept my siblings and I involved in some sort of creative outlet to keep us out of trouble. As I developed a passion for the arts, I took interest in a wide range of artistic hobbies; I dabbled in photography, got really into music & instrumentation, drawing, creative writing, and even modeled for a bit. However, my love for painting and design didn’t truly spark until college.
While attending the Art Institute of Houston for fashion merchandising, I took a good amount of foundational art classes, such as color theory, art history, observational drawing, painting, etc. It was during this time that I fell in love with abstract expressionism and really began to explore painting.
Following graduation, I continued my work in the fashion & retail industry, working all over Texas for various privately owned and big-box retailers. Although I had a great career doing something that I truly loved, I wasn’t fulfilled. I loved the people, the business, and the art! However, I began to be exposed to the struggles and hardships that a lot of these corporations impose on their workers, communities, and the environment. There were many instances that I felt I was being asked to coincide with unethical practices and policies. This just didn’t sit right with me and became very unsettling.
So, in March of 2016, I founded KLR ART (kil-ler ahrt). I decided that I would no longer be a contributing factor to the success of corporations that don’t care about the livelihood of people. I knew that I was truly my happiest when I was painting and positively impacting others through my art. My then boyfriend, now husband, was in Atlanta at the time and asked me to move here to be with him. I’ve been painting and designing here ever since.
Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t believe that there is a such thing as a smooth road. Respectfully, I think every artist struggles, whether it’s creative, spiritual, even financial struggle. Personally, I have experienced them all. There have been periods where I have had creative blocks, and moments that I have questioned the value of my work. I have dealt with various forms of depression, the feeling of worthlessness, and wanting to give up. There have been a number of applications and proposals that I’ve submitted that have been rejected. I’ve sold my stuff to buy art supplies and pay bills.
Don’t believe the hype, it is not easy operating your own business, but I do believe that it is truly rewarding. When you see someone affected by your artwork in such a way that it changes them, it ends up changing you. Those moments make all the struggle necessary and absolutely worth it! I am so grateful for every hardship because ultimately they have made me stronger.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the KLR Art story. Tell us more about the business.
KLR ART is a fine art + design company, based in West Midtown ATL. Short for killer-art, my company was created to kill boundaries, limitations, and classifications that commonly oppress us by bringing people together through fine art, design, and experiences.
As a company + artist, I am known for my reflective, abstract resin artwork and furniture. Each of my pieces are hand built and painted, then coated with a high-quality epoxy-resin for a reflective finish. This metaphorically allows observers to see into themselves. My work is about self-empowerment, self-awareness, and self-reflection. It is my belief that each of these are necessary to be a positive force and a catalyst for change in this world. “The way we experience the world around us is a direct reflection of what’s within.” It all starts inside of us, and we all should try to be a reflection of peace, love, and light.
KLR ART also has a graphic design sector. I work with various non-profits and entrepreneurs to digitally communicate their visions and brand messaging thru content creation and marketing.
As a company, I am most proud of the new levels I am reaching as an artist and a business owner. Not only making art but also being able to get involved with the community has been very special. Recently, I had my first Resin Art Experience Party at Powder Bleu Gallery, sponsored by Sam Flax Art Store. I am also very proud to have had the opportunity to work with local design firm Square Feet Studio to build and paint new table tops for Mellow Mushroom’s new restaurant in Fort Myers, Florida.
I have huge plans for KLR ART, to grow as a company and represent several artists from all over the world. It is my goal to merge my fashion + art worlds together to set a new example for how these corporations should be doing things.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see a great shift happening within the arts industry, a revolution. Art reflects the zeitgeist and the current state of the political and social environment now more than ever. With technological advancements, we artists are able to showcase our work and ideas to more people at a faster rate. People are finally recognizing that they have a voice and they can stand up, come together, and make a difference.
- Website: WWW.KLRART.COM
- Email: Taylor@KLRART.COM
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/TaylorBDouglass
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KLRART
Group photo by @papi_picasso_poetry