Today’s Notable Young Professional is Toront0-based, Georgian Bay-influenced artist Harrison Taylor, who we caught up with to find out what inspired his career route and what advice he would share with other young professionals. He even wrote us a poem about what it means to be notable…
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I am an artist. So everything that I do affects what I think about, which informs new ideas, which influences the stories I tell through my art… 15 characters left!
What was the inspiration for your career route?
A period of deep submersion into the world of Abstract Expressionism, which gave me my first taste of the transcending power of the arts. Gorky, Pollock, DeKooning, Still, Rothko, Kline – these artists of this movement paved the way not only for me, but for the world to conceptualize expression without reason, automatic thought and free-association, open-mindedness and tolerance, and abstract creation and interpretation.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
It actually went down just the other day at a solo exhibition with Coldstream Fine Art, my first with the gallery. I get such a good vibe from the place and from the director, Kariv Oretsky, which inspired an explorative summer of self and nature. What resulted was a brand new series of works – work that I’ve never been more excited about for people to engage with.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
The present. The present. The present.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Do what you love to do; the stuff that you’re passionate for and curious about, the stuff that inspires and motivates you.
Try not to care about what others think of you.
Spread your goodness.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Georgian Bay Forever, whose main objective is to protect the aquatic environment of Georgian Bay. Environmental awareness and protection is extremely important to me, and Georgian Bay has become the place for me to recognize and embrace that importance. We are irreversibly destroying our environment at a rapid pace and losing touch with our connectivity to nature, and as a result, we are currently in the process of the sixth mass extinction in the history of our earth. It’s time for us as a species to own up to what we’ve done and change our ways before it’s too late.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
My main challenge, restrained yet ever-present, has been the voice of judgment. What do other’s think of me, of my work? And then there’s the even more pertinent questions, what do I think of myself and of my work? I’ve learned over time that that voice is the voice of the ego, which I’ve also learned is an illusionary reality of life. The first step in overcoming that challenge, or block it, was simply to be aware of it. Once aware, I am now able to consciously let it go. The next step is to unconsciously be unfettered from it with every breath… but I have a hunch that only with my last breathe will I attain that.
What does the word notable mean to you?
A quite note-worthy word,
Whose potable syllables
Ahh, quench my thirst.
For knowing the moment for better or worse
And noting its context, be it eloquent or terse.
Notable, yes, first word of this verse,
Undeniably powerful quotable burst
Of nothing but goodness last letter to first,
In its glory of blesses and hardship of curse.
Notable – yeah, my love for it’s growin’ –
Worth noting, well-known.
Worth knowing, renowned.
In vowels from mouths
That announce in adjectives nouns,
Interplay intonation the ups and the downs.
Take note of those moments both smiles and frowns,
The shape of the mouth as you say it out loud
To form boundless sounds to echo around
And spread it around to edges of towns.
You and me, nobility – high on a cloud –
Your note-worthy note of the note you sing loud
Will surely be found if it’s shouted aloud.
Be proud of your message – you’re already renowned
It rings true as long as you mean it deep down.
You own it – oh wow!
Condone it – show how –
In grumbling moans of howling growls!
In mumbling groans of growling howls!
Let it out, Ooahhhhhhhhhh!…
Know that you’re notable and just keep it goin’
You’re an unstoppable force, (the seed has been sewn)
On an unwavering course, (‘less you feel like a roam).
When you note that you’re note-worthy, it’s worth more than you know!…
But at times outside forces deliver a blow…
Trip and stumble? Get up!
Grip and fumble? pick up!
Take a tumble? Man up!
Wanna rumble? Dust up!
Drink from the cup,
Go ‘head, lap it up!
There’ll always be those who can’t help but doubt
F*ck ‘em – they’ll take note of your no-f*ck-giving clout
As will the ones who have always believed (me into you, and you into me)
In our full ever-present notability.
We’ll note once again that our presence is precious
To the point that my presence and yours intermeshes.
Together we’ll harness and lend it to others
And notice its growth – lightness spreads, darkness smothered
So let us make oaths with our sisters and brothers
Over toasts to our note-worthy, notable troth.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
– My parents’ place with the whole fam.
– Local establishments; love that neighbourhood feeling.
– Beyond that, I like to mix it up and get a taste of all the flavours from all the ‘hoods.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Most visited website? – Wikipedia. I love to learn about things under all categories. Wikipedia surely covers that spread.
Most played song? – Currently, Bassnectar’s latest album, Into the Sun, in its entirety.
Of all time: the complete Beatles discography… all hail the Beatles.
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Canada, obviously! It’s home and I’m most always there – what better place to be my favourite place? It’s vast and diverse. One could travel Canada for a lifetime and never see the same thing twice. It’s raw and untainted, for the most part, and undeniably beautiful. Even within Toronto’s backyard we are spoiled by the beauty all around – Lake Ontario and the other Greats, the Muskokas, Georgian Bay, Algonquin Park, to name a few.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Being inside on a beautiful day.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
To be as far away as possible from all other humans – alone, removed, untethered, unfettered, undistracted, free. *my girlfriend Amanda excluded.
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Getting things repaired or fixed.
Quality items that don’t break.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Of the heart – To love and accept love.
Of the mind – To question everything, to be curious, to explore and discover, to learn.
Of the soul – To be aware. To be thankful. To think of things at the cusp of comprehension. To be with nature.
Of the body – To be physical.
Of responsibility – To give back. To help others find their own sense of fulfillment.