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Check Out Taylor Trbo Donohue’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Trbo Donohue.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started painting before I could write my name. Art is my everything; art is who I am. I have practiced art, in some form, in every season of my entire life. I am 6’3″ and have always towered over everyone as long as I can remember. Coming from two ex-collegiate/semi-pro athlete/bada** parents, sports definitely took the front seat. But they have always been supportive of me through everything- they are my biggest cheerleaders and I would not be here without them. I devoted my high school years to basketball and 3D hand-building sculpture. I played D1 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa until I suffered a career-ending injury when I broke my tailbone. That grueling, dark time of “rock bottom” has been the biggest blessing to me and brought me to where I am today. I took the time to heal, connect to myself and listen to my body through yoga and surfing. I was able to rebuild my foundation from the ground up. I was able, for the first time in my life, to devote my entire being to my craft and my passion. I was able to heal through my art. Plus, I had no idea I had that much energy! Life without sports was an entirely new experience. I was able to jump into classes that I would not have been able to if I was still on the grind of athletics and that alone has opened so many doors. I have learned so much about myself, my abilities, and my “why” in this lifetime. Since then, I have been able to fully dive into drawing, painting, throwing, screen printing, printmaking, digital imaging, photography, clothing design, and mixed media. This month I am graduating from UH, with a BFA in digital imaging. I am currently in the middle of building up a body of work titled “SOME CALL IT SALT WATER, WE CALL IT HOLY WATER”, which brings together my love for the ocean, surfing and art into one. This has been my favorite journey yet and I am so grateful.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
If it was easy, everyone would do it, right!? I have lost myself many times in my journey. It is so easy to get caught up in what others want of you or want to see. I still find myself lost in that space sometimes. But through that, I have learned nothing is as powerful as creating from your heart. Through my basketball injury, I learned not only how to listen to myself but also honor myself. I learned how to listen to my heart instead of the outside world. Everything I need, I already have inside of me. I trust my guidance within and thats how I get through the tough moments. There’s never a rainbow without any rain. 🙂

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I like to call myself genre fluid. I do a little bit of it all and I specialize in whatever is most important to me in the moment. Whatever I can joyfully pour my heart into! I am known for my use of color and how I highlight the beauty of life. It is easier for me to translate my gratitude through art rather than words. Right now, I am most proud of the body of work I am currently working on. It is a reflection of the love I have for surfing and the ocean while also being an ode to my personal healing. Saltwater is truly holy water and this project is the best way I can share that. There are so many beautiful moments in surfing and I wanted to show all of them. I have around 55 pieces and I still have so much more to go. What sets me apart is my willingness to surrender. I get inspiration from above, the Universe, the Source, God, whatever you believe. I make space in my heart to listen, and then I just let my hands go to work. I am able to get into a meditative state and often times I do not even know where I am/where I’m going. But I always trust in that. It has never steered me wrong.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Big shifts and crazy good changes. I think the things that are about to happen I can’t prepare for, but I am so ready to take it all on. I have my truth and my circle supporting me so I have never been more ready to go. The world is realizing once again how imperative art is, and I am so excited to see what I can do to make life more colorful for everyone.


  • High quality, watercolor paper prints of “SOME CALL IT SALT WATER, WE CALL IT HOLY WATER” are up on my website for $77.77

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