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Taylor Musgrove’s self portrait for the @nkusocial Instagram account.

SOTA artist discusses recent projects

Noelle Stevenson. Mel Springer. These names may not be familiar to some, but for Senior Visual Communication Design (VCD) Major Taylor Musgrove they serve as inspiration for her own artwork. 

Musgrove is working toward a BFA in Visual Communication Design (VCD) at Northern Kentucky University and will be graduating in December of 2021. She is currently taking ART 317, a web and social media class for artists

with Rachael Banks, who is an Assistant Photography Professor at NKU. Banks spoke highly of Musgrove’s work.

“We have a talented group!  I have some wonderful designers in the class as well and the Visual Communication Design program is represented very well with work from Natalie Desmaris, Liz Wilmers, Jake Wells, Em Sanning, Taylor Musgrove, Holly Watkins, Kamryn Spence and Tabitha Phelps.”

While Musgrove’s work may not look quite like the work of the creators listed above, they are people with whom she identifies. She hopes that through her own work, she can convey themes and messages, as well as those artists, do. She said that her work is organized chaos that eventually becomes something she is proud to put in her portfolio. 

“I make the effort to cast a wide net for my research and inspiration, which is the foundation of any project. Finding other projects that set the framework of how you want to communicate your work and putting that all into one space to reference will keep you on track. Then I have to see how that fits into the project timeline that was either given to me or I’ve created myself,” Musgrove said.

In one particular piece, she covers sexual abuse. It’s a design piece Musgrove created around Harvey Weinstein and his history of sexually abusing women. She said it is the most extensive research she has done for a piece, and it still only includes a handful of the many women that Weinstein assaulted. The full project can be viewed on her website.

Musgrove said this piece is important because she is making a statement and bringing light to an important issue.

“It was a turning point in the topics I wanted to design… Every woman I know has been sexually harassed or assaulted in some way, including myself. There’s strength in numbers so to bring this topic to the forefront shows abusers that the culture is changing and that our voices as survivors will be heard.”

Musgrove said that her work (this piece included) is never as easily made as it may appear to be, although she wishes it was. She is a big proponent for people creating art, and whether or not this is someone’s intended career path shouldn’t get in the way of them growing and having fun with it. She offered up this bit of advice for aspiring artists:

“Do not neglect the academic side of your trade. Learn your tools, your programs and read. I’m not saying you have to learn the ins and outs of art history, but it helps. It will only better you to read and research your favorite creators. If you can then ask them [your idols] what helped shape their methods as it could inform your process. Also indulge in some passion projects, even if it’s only for you.”

To view more of Musgrove’s work, visit her website or Instagram @Ittybittysketches

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