Taylor Villanueva

As Told By

YF Muse @a_littlemango talks self acceptance, ikebana, and her stunning collage work.

What is the most important room in your home?

My bedroom. I start and end my day there. The textures must be comforting, sentimental, and empowering.

How do you choose images for your collage work?

I see images individually and then as part of a whole. Often I’m looking for a particular energy among things that you wouldn’t normally place together.

If you had to choose one tea to drink for the rest of time, which one would you pick?

Chai with agave.

What rituals do you practice to calm your mind?

The wordle. Or a fulfilling puzzle game to refocus and shake out extra energy.

We absolutely love your style, which piece is your favorite?

The Sawyer hoops in silver.

You are a self-proclaimed and proud introvert, what advice do you have for someone trying to embrace and empower themselves through introversion?

 Acceptance and love of self. I had a hard time (sometimes still do) accepting the desire to step back from certain things and at the same time holding the truth that I was a whole and complete, valid person regardless of how long I can last in conversation or in public. Getting to know myself through therapy and journaling practices helped me appreciate what my strengths are and where to put my energy. Not everything and everyone is deserving of your effort. You get to choose.

Please tell us about your ikebana practice.

It’s marvelous! Like a floral collage come to life. It’s disciplined, precise, and yet so full of whimsy. The tools I use are very important to me- traditional Japanese shears, various pin cushion frogs, and complimentary ceramics to hold the piece in. It can be a huge display or small enough to fit in my palm. It represents all facets of nature and humanity within it.

What is a dish you cannot live without?

My partner makes a delicious steak fried rice bowl in the style of one of our favorite restaurants, Mister Jiu’s. Any dish he makes really has so much love and intention in it.

A word of advice for someone new to creating art?

Research and reference is inspiring, I love visiting museums and library archives, but the real lightbulb moment is going to come from the artist themselves. Carry a notebook and pen, sketch it out, write it down.