HomePeopleQA – Taylor Summers | Artist

QA – Taylor Summers | Artist

Nairne artist TaylrJay is behind a number of the region’s murals.

If you’ve driven through the Adelaide Hills, you’ve most likely seen the work of Taylor Summers, known professionally as TaylrJay.


With a love for bright colours and a knack for inserting personality into her work, the Nairne artist is behind a number of the region’s murals, including at the Tollgate Motel along the South Eastern Freeway, on the side of Bicycles Mt Barker and on the wall of a Nairne chiropractor on the Old Princes Highway.
More recently she created a mural for the FIFA Fan Festival in Adelaide.
We caught up with Taylor to find out how her passion for art developed and how it feels to see her work all over the Adelaide Hills.

When did you first discover your passion for art?

When I was a child my family always encouraged me to pursue any creative projects I was interested in.
This is where my passion for art started and has developed into my colourful paintings today.

How did you turn your art into a career?

After running my own art practice alongside full-time employment, I made the jump into running my art business full-time. My mum worked as an artist, so I was able to see first-hand that turning art into a career was possible.
I was definitely nervous when deciding to run my business full-time, but fortunately it is going well and I am so grateful to all the people who enjoy my art enough to purchase my artworks and commission murals – they enable me to keep creating art every day!

How has the Adelaide Hills region shaped your artistic style?

I have lived in the Adelaide Hills my whole life – I grew up in Nairne and have recently purchased a home with my partner at Mt Barker.
The region has had a big influence on my art.
I primarily paint natural subjects including native birds, farm animals and Hills landscapes, which I really enjoy.
I’ve loved living in the relaxed, rural Hills atmosphere and even as the area has developed into a city, I still enjoy the rural aspects of the region and love to celebrate them through my artworks.

Much of your work features birds. What’s behind your love of painting birds?

I have always loved birds – this runs in the family.
My grandparents and parents have always been fond of birds and I couldn’t help it!
I’m drawn to the quirky personalities birds have and I love to capture these through colourful paintings.

You paint on a very broad range of scales – from smaller pieces that can be hung on a wall to murals covering entire walls. What are the challenges of painting on a large scale, like a mural?

Mural painting comes with some unique challenges including working in various weather conditions, accessing higher sections of walls and painting on really textured wall surfaces.
These challenges are also part of the fun!
Each wall is unique and needs a mural designed specifically for the size, lighting, texture and visibility.
I love coming up with creative solutions for these considerations and seeing how effective the result is once I’ve installed the mural.
Murals are a particularly public kind of work.
How does it feel to see your art in public places
around the Adelaide Hills and beyond?
Seeing murals that I’ve created in public places feels surreal!
I love hearing feedback on how each mural is received by the community, particularly while painting them.
I meet so many supportive people who are excited to see a mural being created and are keen to see more public art in the area.

What’s the most challenging project you’ve done and why?

The most challenging project I’ve worked on was a 72sqm mural on a five metre high wall.
To access the higher parts of the wall I needed to work in a Spider Lift during some fairly hot summer days.
This mural featured clouds which needed to be softly blended on the wall and, with the heat of Summer, the paint dried within seconds so this made it quite challenging!

What’s your dream art project?

A particular artistic dream for me is to paint a silo – the enormous size would be really enjoyable to work with and would come with some interesting challenges.
I am constantly keeping an eye out for silos and submitting applications, so hopefully I’ll be making this dream a reality in the near future!

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

If I wasn’t an artist I would definitely be working in environmental conservation.
I have always had a passion for the natural environment which is why it is heavily featured in my artworks.

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