Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 2014 - 2016

Maxine Taylor

Artist

What do you consider your biggest achievement to date?
Realising that I can fuse a high level professional career with developing my lifelong interest in art and transition more to drawing and painting. I thought that all was lost but it is not! There is a richness in having been able to focus on both.

Talk us through your career path since graduating.
Since graduating with the FDAD in 2016, I have spent the last five years continuing with my career at King’s College London, launching my own coaching practice, Redcote Coaching Associates and taking more time to focus on art and music.  I am now running my coaching practice, working as a non-executive director with Women on Boards and taking art classes and piano lessons once again.  I love the fusion of art and music.  

I have been taking a watercolour class for the last year to learn what is a difficult technique and to build my confidence in the use of colour.  I have also taken an acrylics course with Brian Smith at West Dean which was brilliant.  I have also been building my portfolio for my DACC application for 2022.  Some of my work is on my instagram:  ideasonthemove1

Do you have any tips for recent graduates?
Even if you can’t focus on developing your work full-time, keep your hand in by doing courses and continue to find the joy in visiting exhibitions, taking photographs of whatever takes your fancy for inspiration with later projects.  

How do you think studying at West Dean College prepared you for what you do now?
Studying at West Dean was life-enhancing as well as transformational.  I had dabbled for years and always regretted having to give up art at school for a more ‘academic’ focus (although that also served me well). The FDAD gave me confidence to explore creativity and to experiment through inspirational teaching and course work.  That has now inspired me to experiment further and I have therefore applied for the DACC next year.

What's your favourite memory from your time at the College?
My favourite memory is arriving one very cold January for a course and seeing the crocuses already out with a soft fog over the meadows.  West Dean is magical and casts its spell over you whatever the time of year …..playing the grand piano has just added to that as a way of refocusing on course work and taking a break.

Did you have a different career before coming to West Dean? If so why did you change career paths?
My career has focused on corporate affairs, marketing and consultancy.  But I now work as a business coach in that space.  I love my work but have always yearned to build more creativity into my life.  I love colour and self-expression is not easy within corporate life.  Drawing and painting is enormously liberating and empowering and that is the path I have now been able to connect with.