Name: Taylor Coleman
Years as a Prince fan: 16
First album: Around the World in a Day and Musicology
Favorite album: Sign O the Times
Current jam: Raspberry Beret
From a very young age, Taylor lived her life through art. From her first Prince experience in her grandma’s basement to her current career in art education in New York, she has been guided by color and visuals. When asked to select an album to play on the jukebox in her grandma’s basement, she chose the one purple record, which just so happened to be Purple Rain. From then on, she let her love for art guide her journey through Prince’s offerings to the world. The first cover art that she was drawn to was that of Around the World in a Day, and the journey continued from there.
I said now, overcast days never turned me on, but there was something about the clouds and her mixed.
Once she discovered this album and her all-time favorite song, Raspberry Beret, she would ride her bike around the neighborhood with violins and tambourines in her ears and vivid pictures of the story Prince told in her mind. One day, the thought crossed her mind that she wouldn’t be able to listen to her favorite song once she died. With nerves consuming her body, she decided to prepare herself by taking a break from listening to the song to prove her strength. To this day, Raspberry Beret inspires Taylor to paint, and she listens to it every morning on her way to work to inspire her to inspire her students.
As I grew up, so did the internet. Instead of instant messaging friends, I spent time on eBay researching concert tickets, t-shirts, anything about Prince. – Taylor
Taylor’s journey morphed from fandom to friendship a few years ago via Twitter. When she joined Twitter in 2013 with hopes of interacting with celebrities, Prince had yet to explore this form of social media. The way Prince always made himself available to his fans to share mutual admiration over the past decade or so is Taylor’s favorite thing about him, but this direct connection became even stronger when he decided to join Twitter.
At the time, Taylor had given up trying to learn to play the guitar her boyfriend had gifted her and turned it into an art project instead. Using shards from a broken mirror with melted crayon on it, Taylor turned the guitar into a mosaic piece too dangerous to play but equally as beautiful. She decided to send Prince a tweet of the finished product and was contacted shortly after by Prince’s manager in hopes of acquiring the guitar to use as a stage prop. Over the course of the next few years, Prince reached out to Taylor several times about her art and potential opportunities to work at Paisley Park on a mural in a studio he was hoping to redesign.
To the general public, Taylor’s passion and gift for art is crystal clear, but she spent a lot of time questioning whether it was a career path or just a hobby. Prince’s validation of her gift gave her more confidence than ever and has inspired her to continue creating nonstop ever since. Most importantly, she is inspiring the next generation to create and is giving them the confidence Prince gave to her.
Now that Prince has passed, I make it a point to educate my students about him and his legacy. – Taylor