Taylor Herzog traveled to Colorado in 2014 to visit a friend.
During that visit, she fell in love. Not with a person – with Colorado. The art. The people. The energy. She traveled back to her native Wisconsin, painted and sold 50 works of art and used the funds to move to Colorado three months later.
The Spark to Create
Herzog had worked in the service industry for 15 years.
“I wanted to go to art school, but the amount of money that art school costs scared me,” she said. “I kept putting it off. I was just like, 'Well, I’ll just continue in the service industry until I find something that sparks my interest.'”
That something was the art scene in Colorado, specifically a mural festival in Denver’s River North Art District.
“I was just so blown away at the scale of everything,” Herzog said. “I just really wanted to be able to do that. It sparked something.”
Go BIG or Go Home
Since then, Herzog has made murals her primary medium.
In 2019, a friend asked her to paint a mural for a snowboarding company. She finished that and painted four more that year. She hasn’t stopped since, zigzagging the country to paint murals both indoors and outdoors.
“I hop around from city to city, wherever the art takes me,” she said.
Big Sky. Miami. Denver. And in September, she spent 40 days creating a massive mural tucked inside the courtyard of the hip, new VIM apartment complex at 322 E. Vermijo in Colorado Springs. Clients typically suggest certain colors and a general idea of what they want, then ask for Herzog’s inspiration.
“I create a mock up,” she said. “It’s followed by, ‘Is this ok? Do we need to change anything up?’”
Unlike Any Other Canvas
Tackling an entire wall requires a different kind of planning. Herzog often uses a “squiggle grid” with numbers or letters to help scale her vision.
"Sometimes, I don’t even do grids," she said. "I just let my brain do it. A lot of the time, I use spray paint as a guide."
Then, she paints. And paints. And paints.
“To paint a mural is super physical,” she said. “I’m very blessed to be able to get sports massages quite often when I am creating a mural.”
She uses the best paints to ensure her “bright, comfortable vibes” hold as long as possible. But the shelf life of a mural – especially an outdoor mural – depends largely on the texture of the building, the face on the building (north will bake in the sun, for instance) and the local weather.
No matter, she said.
“I think the beauty of it is changing over time.”