‘A new path’: Painting is saving grace for Warren man who suffered injury
That’s the case for local artist Dammond Taylor.
Living in Warren since he was two, his love of art started when he was just a kid.
After suffering a brain injury a few years ago, Taylor was forced to start over.
He’s been faced with a lot of challenges, but has made just as many, if not more, steps forward.
Now 37, he uses art to share a piece of himself and his journey with the world.
By working with Bollinger Enterprises, Inc. (BEi) — an affiliate of Barber National Institute — in North Warren, he was able to get out of the house and around people again following his injury. But nothing compared to the benefits he got when he started creating again.
“Art is my anxiety reliever,” said Taylor. “It gets rid of my stress.”
When he paints, he creates with color and pushes himself to experiment with new techniques.
“I love color,” he said, when he described his go-to mediums.
He uses various palettes or combinations to complete his pieces, and the process truly brings him joy.
To create a lot of his work, he uses the acrylic-pour technique and will use various colors to achieve his desired result.
When he’s not working with his art instructor from BEi, Jen Killburn, he’s in his home studio experimenting and creating for himself and others.
When BEi launched the new art program, Taylor was on board.
According to him, Killburn “has been an inspiration from the beginning.”
He said Killburn has really helped him improve and grow artistically, and he’s really appreciative of her guidance.
His creativity brought him back to himself, and by participating in the art program and working with Killburn it has really given his creativity resurgence and growth.
But, according to Killburn, his creativity is not the only thing growing.
“I have really seen his confidence grow,” said Killburn.
Killburn has been working with Taylor for a little over a year now, and she said he’s really developed an eye for art. She’s always eager to see what he creates next.
Not only does he share his paintings with others, but he likes for others to learn about the benefits and process of creating from the heart.
He wants to share the joy he finds when he is painting with the world.
He wants everyone to know that there are many benefits when exploring your creativity.
“Art gives you a new path,” said Taylor.
Before social distancing, he would invite friends over to his home studio and share his supplies, advice, and expertise with his guests.
He likes his guests to create with no direction, but is always willing to help when needed. He would rather see what they create on their own.
Taylor creates about one new painting a week, and is currently working on his fourth commissioned piece.
He uses the money he makes from his art to supply the things he needs for his studio that he built and put together himself from scratch.
He also likes to teach himself new trades, like glass blowing — an art form he was exploring before the injury.
He recently made some additions to his studio and purchased some new gear to start experimenting with glass and making more fun creations using his methods with color.
When he is not creating, or painting, you may find him hiking with his dog in the National Forest, or jamming out at a concert, as he loves music.
He graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a degree in Forestry Engineering, and has an abundant knowledge of orchids.
Taylor said he’s extremely grateful for BEi and all their services and help.
According to him, the organization “has been a strong component” in his life to get to where he is today, and he’s experienced great benefits from taking part of their programs, especially the art classes.