For most of my life, the outdoor adventure lifestyle has been a huge part of who I am. I’ve been hiking since I can remember, skiing since I was 7, and mountain biking since college. I was fortunate that my parents were big fans of travel, and the memories we made as a family were the root of my passion for the outdoors and seeking out the “wild blue yonder”.
After college, I moved from my hometown in Maryland to Breckenridge, Colorado to be a ski bum for a season before joining “the real world” and moving back East. Like many Colorado transplants though, the latter part of that plan was never realized. I was too in love with the Rocky Mountains and the adventure lifestyle to go back to the East Coast grind (and I was lucky enough to find work in my chosen “grown up” field of graphic design). Twelve years later I’m still in Colorado, doing my best to bike, ski, camp, and hike as much as I possibly can (with SUP, surf, and dive vacations mixed in when the winters get long!).
With a background in design, I’ve always loved both digital illustration and traditional art media. There wasn’t much opportunity to make a successful career of either though, so I took the more traditional route, starting my career in package design and later continuing in web design.
Recovering from hip surgery in late 2013, I had a lot of extra time on my hands and I started to explore ways I could bring my art into the world and share it with others. Missing out on half of the ski season, I daydreamed of being out on the slopes through my art. I wasn’t exactly sure where it would take me, but it felt wonderful to combine my two loves – my outdoor adventure lifestyle and my art.
A winding path…
In 2014 I launched the first version of alignedadventure.com and my first Etsy shop, where I sold my first few print designs. I also launched www.juliataylorfineart.com and started oil painting feverishly, sometimes painting as much as one painting per day. Eager to be successful as a creative entrepreneur, I tried as many things as I could, as quickly as could. It was a classic example of the proverbial throwing-spaghetti-at-the-wall.
The last two years have been an amazing journey of creativity and exploration. I’ve been lucky to have a husband who has been extremely supportive of my creative endeavors, even if that meant not making much money in the beginning. I’ve learned a ton about being a small business owner. And one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that in order to be successful, I need to be focused.
Figuring out what YOU love…
With the help of Etsy, I’ve grown Aligned Adventure to be something significant with very little marketing effort. I’ve figured out what you (my customers) want, how to expand on that, and how to keep making you happy. I love creating custom artwork that reflects your lifestyle and how you love to spend time with your friends and family.
So, I’ve decided to make Aligned Adventure my primary focus, starting with this brand new website. Let’s face it…not everyone has the budget to purchase an original oil painting. I love that my graphic prints allow me to create something meaningful and one-of-a-kind for a much larger audience, something that’s affordable for the average person. I love that I can help you celebrate important events in your life, like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and more. Nothing makes me more excited than getting feedback from you that you love your print (or your friends love the gift you gave them!).
The more I can do this – the more I can do something special for you – the more I love my work. It literally makes me jump out of bed every day to know that I am touching lives by doing something creative. Thank you for being a part of my journey, and thank you for your business!
This is a great story and very inspiring! You go Julia!