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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Creating a Winter Wonderland

Tabitha Taylor’s whimsical designs bring holiday cheer to business windows

Tabitha Taylor is busy pushing a brush laden with acrylic paint across a storefront window at Give A Dog A Bone when a customer walks out of the shop and over to her. Intrigued by the 23-year-old’s holiday-inspired art, the woman inquires if Taylor would consider painting a window for her. Taylor hands her a business card, then turns to the Evansville Living writer tagging along for the day. “See? Stuff like this happens all the time,” she laughs.

Four years after graduating from Henderson County High School, Taylor’s talent as an artist no longer is a secret. She started window painting for fun, but it soon exploded into a side hustle with area businesses. She says her window art really took off around this time a year ago, when she painted a winter wonderland scene outside Antler Specialty Goods in Downtown Henderson, Kentucky. Owners Hunter and Annalisa Thewis were so pleased, they requested the same design this holiday season.

In addition to Evansville, Taylor’s work has adorned shop windows in Henderson, Owensboro, and Madisonville, Kentucky. Businesses have reported that her artwork attracts consumers, so both benefit from the experience, Taylor says. Additionally, many of her new customers find her via word of mouth or social media.

Taylor draws inspiration for her window paintings from Pinterest and Canva. She did not formally study art in school, but she knew she wanted to somehow work with it.

She can mockup digital designs incorporating certain colors or elements as requested by her clients, but often, they trust her to create something special. For Give a Dog a Bone’s holiday design, owners Liz and Quincy Zikmund drew Taylor a prompt. She did a rough sketch and then ran with it.

“I make decisions (about the design) as I go,” she says.

Although her talent isn’t limited to winter-themed paintings, she is busiest during the holiday season. On average, Taylor completes 2-4 holiday painting projects a day and sometimes works outside for hours. She charges by the hour, so if a commission grows in scope, so does her fee.

When the window display’s life cycle is over, she recommends professionals like Squeaky Clean in Henderson to remove the paint. Meanwhile, Taylor has moved on to the next commission: As of October, she is pursuing her art business full time.

“I love to do work on other things like canvas, furniture, murals — whatever will keep a paintbrush in my hand,” she says.

This holiday season, you can find Tabitha’s holiday art on the windows at area businesses, including:

• Antler Specialty Goods, 212 N. Main St., Henderson, Kentucky
• Beachbum Farms Designs & Company, 223 Third St., Henderson, Kentucky
• Falcon Creek Boutique, 1470 Chelsa Drive, Ste. A, Madisonville, Kentucky
• Give A Dog A Bone, 5626 E. Virginia St., Evansville
• J’Petals Floral and Gifts, 131 First St., Henderson, Kentucky
• Hometown Roots, 136 Second St., Ste. 100, Henderson, Kentucky

Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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