For months I scoured Atlanta looking for artists to start the Atlanta Artist Collective with me. It was sheer serendipity that brought Tyler Colgan to me.
I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, and mentioned to her that I was starting an artist collective. She immediately suggested I contact Tyler to see her work. I knew Tyler, but as an interior designer; I had no idea she was an artist!
As soon as I walked into Tyler's studio I was hooked. I fell in love with her laidback style, soft color schemes and the warm energetic personality that shines through all of her paintings. I know you will be hooked, too…
Tyler’s Studio is an airy space above the carport of her beautiful Buckhead home. It is full of natural light and views of lush landscapes from her backyard gardens.
Who or what inspired you to pursue art and design, or how has your background or upbringing influenced your work?
I was inspired early on by my mother. She has a wonderful sense of color and was always decorating, picking paint and analyzing color.
How does your work as an interior designer influence the way you paint?
It really goes hand in hand. Both are studies of color, scale, and balance. One is just 3 dimensional and the other 2 dimensional.
The fabrics and textures she chooses for interior design projects also inspire Tyler. You will see them incorporated in her landscapes and abstracts.
Who are your design mentors and your favorite artists?
Madeline Stuart and Jackye Lanham are my design mentors. They taught me so much. While very different, they are extremely artistic and talented.
I do not have a favorite artist in particular; there are so many. I love the interior paintings of Vuillard and Bonnard and the color palette of John Singer Sargent.
Muted color palettes are present in most of your work. What inspires this unique approach to color?
I have always been drawn to things with a patina. I like the imperfection of it. I have experimented with bright colors, but I always seem to gray them down a bit. I think it is my way of calming down. Interior design is so chaotic and I am all over the place with ideas and general craziness, that paintings with a lot of movement and action make me even more frenzied. I think I am searching for tranquility and peace in this texting, instagramming world, and the muted palettes bring that to me.
Tyler's decorating style, which includes her lovely home, reflects a haven of coziness. The soft colors, layers of brushstrokes, and intimate compositions project a warm tranquility. Her style refreshingly lacks pretension and radiates comfort.
Tyler's studio space reflects a constant state of production. A very genuine devotion to craft emerges from beyond the paint splatters, inspiration memos, fabric swatches, and paintings in progress. The authenticity of Tyler's personality and art style shines through her work.
Describe a typical day in your studio.
Everyday is very different. I do not thrive on routine, so the only typical thing, I guess, is that it’s never typical.
What is your favorite tool or resource in your studio?
Music. I could not paint without it.
Where do you find inspiration?
I always find inspiration when I travel to a new place, even if that is just across town, to a new park or restaurant. I thrive on seeing and going places I didn’t know existed, especially if they are right around the corner. After 15 years, I am still finding places in Atlanta that surprise me. My daughter had a class project on the Oakland Cemetery. We really explored the space; it was inspirational.
You are crazy busy, but what helps you unwind on a day off?
Putting my phone away helps me unwind, but it’s very hard for me to do. Actually, painting helps me relax.
What is the best business or artistic advice anyone has ever given you?
The best business advice I’ve received is that I don’t have to choose to be an interior designer or a painter; I can be both. I think Matisse said, “ Creativity takes courage.” You can’t worry about what other people think of your art, and that takes courage.