By David Yarger
Co-Host “The Chase”
Happy Monday everyone! Another version of “The Chase” is in the books and what an episode it was. The crew took a look at some new releases, checked out the latest in around the hobby topics and had a great guest, Lauren Taylor, on the episode.
Taylor, who is a licensed artist for the MLB, MLBPA and Baseball Hall of Fame, has also done work for Topps, producing illustration cards. Some of Taylor’s recent work was also featured during the most recent World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros.
On top of all that, Taylor was recently nominated as the 2022 Sports Artist of the Year at the Industry Summit in Las Vegas.
Taylor gave us an inside look at her journey into putting together some of the most amazing artwork featured by Topps and the MLB, in addition to some life lessons she’s learned as she’s continued to progress in the hobby.
Taylor said seeing her work displayed during the broadcast of the World Series was an incredible moment that she never could’ve imagined happening and she admitted she got a bit emotional seeing what she had created on the big screen.
Additionally, she mentioned how incredible it was to get the big award at the Industry Summit.
“The fact that its fan voted and voted on by people you know that are actually in the industry, it’s a huge honor and it’s a big title. It sounds like such a big title and knowing the talent that’s out there and a lot of people that create sports art. It’s very humbling when you are announced that, but, yeah, I feel lucky enough to have enough votes, but I know there’s certainly people out there that I could be sharing that with,” she said.
As for her work with Topps, she began working with them for their Project 70. Originally though, her journey didn’t get off to a hot start, as she was rejected by Topps, which she said acted as a motivator for her and future works. In the end though, she ended up working with the company and eventually creating art on cards that a ton of hobbyists collect today.
“Initially, I was crushed to be honest. I was still working at my other job full time – I was working for an investment company, and I had to start to think that I would make this transition and do something I really love. So, getting that rejection right in the middle of thinking ‘OK, I’m going to do this,’ was a big blow.
“It took me probably a good month to really be like, ‘You know what, you can keep sulking about this and just do what you do every day with your normal job and let this go, or you can understand why maybe you got rejected and start finding a way to make them regret it,” she said.
She added, the two ended up working together, but she was still proud of the work she’s put in to get to where she is now with her art.
As great as the baseball pieces are to Taylor, she admitted that some of her most proud work are the pieces that are more personal. Taylor noted a time she did a piece of Alicia Keys and had to dig deep and research for information that would help turn her art into a story.
As far as advice for up-and-coming artists, Taylor simply said to follow what you want to do and don’t listen to haters.
“It’s about just using whatever you have and making it art. There’s no definition, I don’t feel like, for art. If it’s something you put together and you like doing it, then don’t worry about what everyone else says makes it real art,” she said.
Taylor added, her transition to focusing full on art came when she had a full-page spread in the USA Today for the PGA Tour. She admitted, it was one of the scariest things she’s done – sending in a resignation letter to a company she had been with for a bit. She said the transition also took a few self-pow-wows and discussions internally about what she wanted to do moving forward.
Taylor said art is definitely a tough field, especially with so many talented artists in the profession, but said she continually loves her job and what she does. Additionally, Taylor said she is a big mental health advocate and noted that art is that escape from reality.
To see the full interview with Taylor, click on the YouTube link!
Additionally, check out Taylor’s website for more of her work!
Also on “The Chase” …
As a box rip giveaway, the crew ripped some 2022 Origins Football and got some nice rookie hits including a John Metchie auto and a redemption auto for Commanders rookie QB Sam Howell. All these cards can be yours, all you have to do is comment on the YouTube video what you think the matchup in the Super Bowl will be. A winner will be announced on Wednesday’s episode.