About the artist
Stephs Artful Story
Born in Winchester UK, Steph Taylor moved to NZ when she was 12. After ironically failing art at high school, she left home at 16 and returned to the UK working three jobs and studying Performing Arts and English Literature.
She was back in NZ at 19 years old, flatting above a laundromat and working in a garden centre where her love for nature grew. (At the garden centre, not the laundromat!).
Love also blossomed elsewhere, which resulted in a gorgeous child, but leaving Steph a single parent at 21. She went back to the UK for some family support but it wasn't long before she returned to NZ again with a gameplan... Making and selling art!
Steph met up with some old school friends and worked out a business plan and Artful Elements was born! It was fun, she had worked out a creative balance and things were great for a few years until financial pressures just got too much.
Steph decided to get a 'real job' working in Interior Design. She learnt alot about design, colours, fabrics, textures, spacial awareness and layouts. She was able to combine her creativity with her business sense and love for people by creating displays, increasing sales and integrating various systems to run the business. It was challenging, yet really rewarding for her. She became 'Showroom Manager' and it helped Steph to purchase (and start renovating) her Auckland home.
Something was still missing though. Steph was stuck in the Auckland grind spending nearly two hours a day travelling to and from work, so she eventually made the decision to go back to painting. She had more experience and confidence in making her own business work now, however she still doubted her capabilities as an 'artist'.
She started to travel NZ for inspiration, and attend home shows and other events around NZ to gather a sense of how the industry could work. She would sleep in her car during shows to keep costs down and help her appreciate the natural beauty of NZ.
Doing markets, craft shows, home shows and other events all allowed her to talk directly with people and understand the art market in the 'real world' as opposed to fancy galleries. She learnt alot from others that had been successful in the industry for years, and continued to learn and grow.
Then Covid happened, along with another whirlwind of other personal tragedies, which caused her to eventually, and literally, collapse one day.
She fell on her painting hand, and had badly damaged her right thumb making it difficult to hold a paintbrush.
Steph still wanted to succeed, so decided to try and use digital bases for her artwork. This would reduce painting time significantly and meant that she could still create! She purchased a semi-decent camera and she created her own unique style - A combination of digital photography with painting. Steph was bringing together the old and the new.
Sadly, it didn't last long. The events were mostly shut down or postponed due to the red light Covid setting. Not for weeks, but many months! Steph had to put the art aside again and get another 'real job'.
The job was only seasonal and Stephs heart was still with her art. She realised that if she wanted to make it in the modern world, she needed get online. So she started work on this website.
It's April 2022 and she has just launched the website. The events are starting to open up again. There is a fresh feel to everything and this year looks brighter than ever. Steph has always maintained that life is like a rollercoaster... There are ups and downs and even the odd corkscrew!
For Steph, art has always been a challenge, but one that she is determined to conquer and excel at. Every stage of her life has brought her back to this passion. Every hardship, every joy has been depicted in her work. And now, perhaps, this is only just the beginning....