After an accident that injured his dominant hand in the summer of 2016, Taj left his life of working as a graphic designer and illustrator to pursue a new way to tell his stories with artwork. Driven by a focus on technique, Taj has pushed to learn new ways of drawing that he can approach ambidextrously. At the start of 2018 he began #DrawEveryDay – a way to force himself to take time each day to make one work on paper. Following the injury Taj began experiencing chronic pain, which inevitably influenced his work. He now approaches art in a relentless pursuit. Taj’s current work uses bold, expressive marks to give the work a sense of movement that is both purposeful and unavoidable. In all of his work he pushes for a balance between overwhelming intention and calm.
Taj has made art since he was a boy. At a very early age he was taking private lessons with local art instructors in the D.C. area, attending classes at universities & museums throughout grade school. In high school Taj was accepted into the Visual Arts Center in Montgomery County, Maryland, where he was able to finally spend the majority of his day creating. Taj moved to Kansas City in 1999 to attend KCAI, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Illustration & Graphic Design in 2003. During his time at KCAI he attended the Illustration Academy in Richmond, Virginia, in 2002 and 2003, where he was able to learn from internationally renowned artists.
Artists are here to create art for the world, and Taj spends most days in his studio discovering new ways to make art that continue to fill him with excitement.
It was a blast sitting down with Orion from Peaks, Valleys & Plateaus, a podcast for the creative world and everyone in it. We talk about my background and how I became a full time artist. It was a great conversation and I'm really excited to share it with you...
I gave an interview to CounterProductiv.com for their latest issue.
Everyday Artist Podcast is hosted by Brent Watkinson, I ran into Brent at the Westport Art Fair in Kansas City and got to be a part of his fantastic podcast! Click here to check out this episode or subscribe to his podcast on Itunes or Sticher!
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1999-2003 Kansas City Art Institute: BFA
1997-1999 M.C.P.S. Visual Arts Center: Received Honorable Mention, Presidential Scholarship
1996-1997 Maryland Institute College of Art: Photoshop and digital programs
1995 Visual Arts Center: Summer art program
1994-1996 Maryland Institute of Art: Painting and live drawing classes
1993/1995 Corcoran College & Museum of Art: Sculpture and figure drawing classes
1986-1993 Private art lessons: Painting and drawing techniques
2017 Paper Birch Landing: Black & White – Juried Show
2017 KCAC: One Night Stand – Group Show
2017 KCCCC – Downbeat Soundcloud Playlist Show – Group Show
2017 2010 Gallery – Featured Artist
2017 Arts KC Now Showing: Spencer-Fane – Two Artist Show
2017 Art on the Creeks – Juried Show
2017 Westport Art Fair – Juried Show
2017 Eight One Five Gallery: Peripheral Calm – Group Show
2017 KCAI Alumni Art Auction
2017 Reckless Abandon Gallery – Featured Artist
2008 Grinders West – Featured Artist
2004 Art Source & Design – Featured Artist
2003 Bernstein-Rein – Senior Show
2002 KCAI Gallery – Two Artist Show
1995 Corcoran Museum & College of Art
1992 The Mansion at Strathmore
2004-2006 DxD: Lead Fashion Illustrator Clients include Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent & Saks Collection
2007-2014 Fencepost Productions: Apparel Designer Clients included Walmart, JCPenny and Stein Mart
2014-2016 Image 360: General Manager/Lead Designer
2014 Portrait of Matthew Lesko featured in Vice documentary