Profile: Maggie Taylor
Digital imaging is rapidly becoming an art form in it’s own right. A form distinct from photography, painting, or any other established media. Through the use of Adobe Photoshop®, artists find themselves freed from the camera, able to delve into their own mind, and bring disparate images and objects together to create fantasies of their own creation. Although much of what is accomplished can also be done by traditional photographic means, Photoshop® facilitates the movement, placement, and blending of objects, freeing the artist to do what artists have always dreamed of doing – create.
Maggie Taylor began her career as a photographer by making still lifes with a 4×5″ view camera. In 1995 she began using the computer as a retouching tool for her images, scanning her 4×5 negatives. When she realized she could place objects right on the scanner and not deal with film, camera, or darkroom chemistry, she fell in love with the idea. Except for an occasional digital capture of elements that prove difficult to scan, Maggie has almost completely stopped using a camera.
About 10% of her work is spent creating commercial book covers or images for music CD’s. The other 90% is fine art. She likes to give her fine art images general titles, so they mean different things to different viewers. They are meant to evoke a little “daydream” or “private” moment that is unique to each viewer.
Maggie says she is compelled to make new images all the time. “Making images for me is a way of life. I can’t imagine not doing it . . . I guess in terms of what motivates me, the best answer would be, if I don’t make images I’m unhappy.”
She begins by collecting items at flea markets, trade show photo booth rental, garage sales and on E-bayTM. She particularly likes to collect photographs from the 19th century, especially tintypes and ambrotypes. In addition she collects old toys and objects things that have a sense of history and presence. She prefers antique shows or flea markets to E-bayTM because she often doesn’t know, until she holds an object in her hand, if it will work well for an image.
She scans her collected objects on a flat bed scanner usually with the lid of the scanner open. Once they are scanned she starts constructing an image. Working intuitively, she approaches the image without preconceptions. Starting with one or two objects, or an old photograph, she usually has only a lose idea of how they might work together; but things change and start to come together when she’s working in Photoshop®, putting things together then taking them apart again, making as many as forty different layers in an image and sometimes more, watching how things interact with each other.