Vancouver born and raised artist Taisha Teal Wayrynen understands the therapeutic potential of art for people from all walks of life – from those with mental illness to those suffering from traumatic events. She finds solace in art after her own near death experience and is driven to share her work and art therapy with the masses.
Known as Taisha Teal, the ever-evolving artist and student of art has been featured by Fresh Magazine, Art! Vancouver and CBC. You can follow Taisha’s artwork on her website, on Instagram and on Twitter.
6 Express Yourself
Remember finger painting as a kid or doodling in your text books? Somewhere along the line we clunk these artistic freedoms into a box of trivial intangibles. Instead, Taisha’s mother, a talented artist in her own right, made the most out of playtime. There was definitely no medium not worth trying in their art focused home life; from oil paints and acrylic to glass stains and ceramics. As a result, Taisha was raised in “an environment enriched with art” and given full license to explore her own identity and in turn experiment with art. She credits this with being able to develop a rich toolkit of art skills and more importantly the mindset to try new things.
“My mother is my role-model, and because of her interest in art and expressing yourself however you want, I have become the women I am today. Being able to paint all over the walls at home as a child has made me express myself”
5 Creative Juice
Whatever the passion is, surrounding yourself with people that share that same passion goes a long way. The goal of bettering yourself, your skills or your craft becomes a little more realistic when you have a community to do so within. That could be people to play ball with, a book club or in Taisha’s case it would be an art community. She goes to art shows in New York, Miami and LA with her mother and sister where they connect with even more artists to muster up motivation, find some inspiration and get those creative juices flowing.
“Having a mother and sister invested in art as much as I am and coming home to see what they are working on is inspiration, as our house is filled with our ideas.”
A little soul searching in Europe for a year after high school provided Taisha with some perspective, inspiration and a new interest: “how peoples’ behaviour and daily interactions influence their mental health and well-being”. Once she began selling her artwork, an inevitable crossover between her artistic realm and academic pursuits was formed. The idea of becoming a clinical psychologist transformed into specializing in art therapy over ‘talk therapy’. Thus, she’s working towards a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and Adolescent Psychology. Her long-term goal and vision is to open a counseling centre featuring art therapy for children to overcome traumatic events.
“I believe art therapy is important for children who have gone through traumatic events and individuals of all ages. I believe it is a way for the individual to express themselves through colors, techniques, and movement.”
Having a job you love is ideal; having a job you love so much that it doesn’t feel like a job is even better. In the abstract, it’s about purpose and the meaning behind your life and what you do with it. So after identifying the “synergy” between psychology and art, Taisha also found perspective in her own artwork. Now there’s no line between work and play or career and hobby, as she incorporates the best of both worlds in one another. In her quest to champion art therapy as a service provider, she also gets her own therapeutic advantages by being an artist and expressing her emotions and thoughts. Who doesn’t like a dose of catharsis?
“Working on a piece of art can be refreshing once you let loose; you can find beauty in chaos. Once the piece is completed, you analyze it and talk about the emotions you felt while creating it. Doing art also makes the individual live in the now, being present is very hard for some as people can often get stuck in the past or future.”
2 I, the Artist
If what you do helps define who you are then Taisha is an artist, model, traveler and animal lover among other things. As an artist she hopes to promote happiness, positivity and peace in the world. Also through art, the idea of changing lives for the better is an overarching theme in her work. There’s an art to making your heart tick, for Taisha it’s friends, family, nature, love and light that give meaning to her as an artist. Whether it’s creating original paintings off her own photography or enthusiastically decorating a cake with edibles, she finds the essence of art in every single day.
“My vision with art is to induce positive emotions and radiate inspiration with every brush stroke, to expose the creativity in everyone. A feeling always inspires me; my favorites to draw from are love, peace, gratitude and happiness. “
What was the purpose behind your Body Series 2017 collection?
“When I thought about my theme, I wanted it to be different, I usually use a lot of color, I wanted to change peoples’ thoughts and feelings and do something vulnerable to show meaning. The purpose behind my body series collection was to embrace the female body and to show that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.”
How did you approach the self-portraits?
“This series made me feel extremely vulnerable because I used my own body for some pieces. This series was very personal, and it was my way of revealing my own strength of overcoming a traumatic event. In my eyes, women show amazing power and strength but sometimes control over the body is taken away and it can ruin a person or it can work against them. Women don’t receive enough praise; they literally create life which is an incredible process. Yet, women are still being taken advantage of everyday.”
See the entire Body Series 2017 here.
Also, check out some more creative Vancouver folk in our other Artist Spotlights:
- Lip Artist Meagan Baldini
- Special Effects Makeup Artist Samantha St John
- Painter Sherwin Santos
- Visual Creator Erik Caudillo
- Embroidery Artist Sean Alistair
By Amar Mirchandani @amarmirch
Amar likes his beer chilled and ranch sauce with pizza.