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Tayllor Cunningham is a senior animation and illustration major. She started drawing at the age of 3 and has been pursuing and developing her artistic skills ever since. One of her current projects is a series of portraits of her family and friends. The portraits range in size and are done in charcoal and oil paint.
Q: When and why did you decide to pursue art as a career?
A: I decided to pursue it as a career after my sophomore year at Montclair State. I felt I was in the wrong major. I was previously a film major. I was hesitant at first because I was afraid if I pursued art as a career, my passion for it would die and it would become regular work to just get done. However, I missed making art and realized no matter what, I could never grow tired of it and so I decided to switch and study what I love.
Q: What experiences have you had drawing?
A: I have had no professional experience outside of school assignments.
Q: What have you learned by being an artist?
A: As an artist you have to constantly keep practicing and trying various mediums and methods until you find your own unique artistic style. I like to say I am a multi-media artist, and practice every day to further develop my skills. Through lots of practice I was able to teach myself to draw photo-realistic portraits and other realistic objects.
Q: What is your biggest motivation?
A: My biggest motivation is my mom, my family and friends and my own determination to better my skill and build a name for myself.
Q: How has Montclair State University fostered you as an artist?
A: Montclair State has been amazing in that the faculty is very helpful in critiquing my work and fostering a great environment where I feel comfortable sharing my work. The professors are all talented artists with amazing connections and helpful advice to give to young artists trying to start their career. Montclair has also provided me with useful supplies in a couple of my classes that I still use to this day.
Q: Who are your biggest supporters?
A: My family and friends are my biggest and most helpful supporters.
Q: Who are your biggest inspirations?
A: My biggest inspirations are some of the classical artists of the past, mixed with the many artists of today that I find through social media and networking. Seeing other artists work and them being successful is motivating and reassuring to continue pursuing art as a career. To name a few artists, I love Rembrandt and Monet, along with Aaron Blaise, Hillary Scott and Jake Parker.