Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Headed, and Projects Along The Way | TaylorJohnson.art 10/2/22

Consistency in creativity is something I value, something I believe in. I trust consistent effort. It works for me. While some artists do their best work in brief, intense sessions – “binge writing,” say, or “painting marathons,” or twelve-hour-a-day weekend retreats – I feel that I do my best work when I am steady, consistent, and simply put a little time in on a regular basis. My Muse is most likely to show up when we have a scheduled date. And I, myself, am most likely to create if I have been creating recently. 

Over the past two years, consistency has become a past luxury, something I never learned to appreciate until these chaotic years turned it into a mere memory. I remember times when I could simply work every morning at the same time and get work done regularly. Those times disappeared. Between COVID and the absolute uproar across the nation I live in, 2020 was a blur of panic. 2021 was somehow more chaotic, at least for me personally. I was working a legitimately abusive, minimum-wage retail job. And at home, my apartment had become an incredibly dangerous place to be. It took months leading up to the actual event, but then I moved and changed jobs within a single week, and boxed up and moved my entire life inside of 72 hours. Then I spent the end of 2021 and the first half of 2022 unpacking (literally and figuratively) after that desperate move and getting used to the new job.

I tried not to rush. I gave myself space to just be, just breathe, and process. It took time. Some aspects of creativity returned more quickly than others. The evening of the day I quit my retail job, I found myself able to sketch again. By January I was able to at least toy with new creative ideas and write down ideas. Over winter, I sketched out a comic; I wrote a little; I did a lot of sewing. By the end of the summer, I’d finished my first graphic novella, plus a separate mini comic. And in the past few months, I wrote the guidebook and illustrated the first twenty-five cards in my new oracle deck.

But I didn’t blog. The thing is, I had told myself “I’ll start blogging again once I start creating again.” And…I totally didn’t start again, not instantly. I gradually restarted most of my creative efforts, but somehow, in my list of things to revive in my creative life, the blog fell by the wayside. Until today.

It’s going to take a while to catch you up on everything I’ve been doing, but for now, here are just a few highlights of what I’ve worked on since the last time I did any regular blogging.


I wrote and illustrated two comics in 2022 – The Feline Guide to Grief and CORVIDAE. 

The Feline Guide to Grief is the tangible product of a grieving process I went through in May. On a Wednesday at 12:45 in the morning, our family’s beloved black cat became violently ill. Everyone else was away, and despite my best efforts and veterinary intervention, he died that night. The following days were a blur of shock for me. I processed the loss by writing and illustrating this ten-page comic. It was deeply healing for me – and, to my surprise, has also been healing for others. You can read The Feline Guide to Grief online, here on this website.

CORVIDAE is one part horror comic, one part revenge fairytale, and one part manifesto on the collective experience of harassment and sexual violence on public transportation. I took the bus for seven long years and part of what drove me to get a loan (that I didn’t want) and a car (that I didn’t feel I logistically needed) was the constant harassment and the underlying fear of sexual assault. I am all for reducing car emissions and I feel that public transit could be a great solution. But it will not be a fair solution until women (and nonbinary, gender-non-conforming, and trans people) can take the bus as safely as men do. (If you’re curious about the statistics, there aren’t many studies out there, but this article is a great summary of this study from 2020. Both are excellent.)

Card Decks

My current divination deck project is the Path of the Magdalene Oracle. I’ve fully illustrated 25 of the 44 cards, and I am so excited about this one. I’ve previously authored and illustrated two divination decks, the Millennial Mystic Tarot and the Hekate Oracle, but the Path of the Magdalene is the first one I’m doing entirely digitally. The Path of the Magdalene is scheduled to be published in summer 2023, on Mary Magdalene’s feast day, which is July 22. The guidebook is already written, and with that and more than half the cards done, I feel confident saying that (at least for right now) I am on schedule.

Game Dev

Game development and 3D modeling are two things I really love – and rarely make time for. It saddens me when I don’t make time for them, though, so the past quarter (Q3 2022) and this one upcoming (Q4), I’m making a really concerted effort to carve out time for it. My partner and I are working on a game now that we are really excited about, so I’ll hopefully be able to share more about that soon. 


I’ve never posted much about my novel writing on TaylorJohnson.art, mostly because there isn’t much overlap between the years of my life when I was writing much, and the years I’ve had this blog. So, for those of you who aren’t aware: I have actually been a novelist since my teenage years. I used to write novels pretty much constantly, and then self-doubt and fear of success put the whole writing part of my life on pause. Now, however, I’ve decided to stop wasting the years and get back to noveling. I’m only working in spare moments right now, since I already have so much on my plate; however, once the Path of the Magdalene Oracle is complete, I intend to take the time I’ve been using for that and devote it to a novel. I’ve already settled on which novel, and it even has a working title, but all that is staying under wraps for now. 

Another detail I’ll share at some point, and another reason I haven’t posted about my novels here on this site, is that I’m seriously considering using a pen name for when I do publish my novels and/or graphic novels and comics. Again, I pretty much have it picked out, but I’m not quite ready to announce it yet. Subscribe to this blog to be notified when I do!

There is more to update you all on, but since this single blog is now well over 1000 words, I’m going to close up for now. If you’d like to keep following my creative journey, feel free to sign up for notifications so you can know when I post new blogs (only one or two a month, I promise!). And, until next time, be safe. Be well.

And go make some art today!


Yes, I’m still here! | Path of the Magdalene deck updates, Corvidae, life after social media, and where I am now | TaylorJohnson.art June 2022

Hello out there!

Hi. Taylor here. If you’re reading this, it is likely that either you stumbled on this page while looking for Aaron Taylor-Johnson art (similar search term but you have NOT lucked out here if that’s what you’re after) or, slightly more likely, you are one of the 120 people who are currently signed up to receive notifications when I post. Which I haven’t for…years.

(Disclaimer: this is not an Aaron Taylor-Johnson site. I just joke about the name because searching for me online will forever find that actor instead. I’m still considering a pen name just to distinguish myself from my famous namesake.)

Anyway. This is TaylorJohnson.art, online home of artist Taylor Johnson. No hyphen, and not nearly as famous – but, hopefully, still of some interest to you, reader. I’m an artist from the US and I work in digital illustration, watercolors, and 3D modeling. Sometimes I mash them up in to multi-discipline art projects. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s always interesting.

Site Updates

Recently I logged into my old Etsy shop where I used to sell my card decks. (That shop has since been deleted – I’m not even gonna get into my ongoing Etsy rant right now.) And, to my surprise, there was a very kind message from a fan asking about my decks. It went like this:

Thank you for all the exclamation points. Seriously. It makes me happy to see people excited about my work!

(For reference, the MPC place this customer was referring to is my seller space on MakePlayingCards’ marketplace. You can buy my card decks there!)

And I have to admit, truthfully, as dramatic as this sounds…I didn’t think anyone really cared anymore. I have a few contacts who are interested in my work, sure; and my close friends and family are incredibly supportive. But I never thought there were actual people out there who actually would want to get updates about my decks and other projects. This feeling was, I guess, intensified by the fact that I recently left social media entirely and lost what little sense of audience I may have had.

Since then I’ve had some time to think it over, and I’m seriously considering coming back here, to this website, to blog about my work. I don’t expect it to be wildly successful; I am fully aware that blogging as we used to know it is dead, and pretty much all artists these days get 90% of their publicity through TikTok or Instagram Reels. But part of what drove me away from IG and other social media was that pressure to imitate TikTok and make EVERYTHING a short video. I’m just not a short video person. I never had TikTok, and I rarely watched IG reels when I was still on there. Maybe it’s my age, but I like static posts a lot more – especially when it comes to art. I like to have the time to sit and study an image and really absorb what the artist has created. I like to read written descriptions and see what their process was like. I just feel like it’s a better way (for me) to take in artistic content.

No disrespect to short-video makers; clearly they are on to something with most of today’s social media audience. It’s just not the format for me.

All that said, I am coming back to this blog to (hopefully) maintain some kind of online presence for those people who are interested in my work. Maybe I’ll be back to social media in some small way someday, but for right now, I am definitely not interested in being on there at all. For now, I can say this with some certainty: The best way to get updates on me and my work is to follow this blog (or at least bookmark it so you can find it again later!).

And with that, here is what I’ve been working on.

The Path of the Magdalene Oracle

So, I am not a Christian in any kind of traditional sense. I am certainly not Catholic. But I have, for as long as I can remember, been fascinated by the archetype and mythos of Mary Magdalene. I took a workshop/mini course by Vix over at New Age Hipster quite some time ago, about the Magdalene; Vix approached the Magdalene concept from a really interesting alternative spiritual lens, and the kit was a deeply healing process. It honestly changed my life, and I still return to that kit for inspiration and healing.

Shortly thereafter, I felt moved to create a deck themed around Mary Magdalene. The creation of this deck has flowed so easily that it still kind of blows me away. I’m thrilled by how it’s turning out so far and I can’t wait to share more.

This deck, however, is also something I am very nervous about sharing. I fear that my more alternative fans may be offended by the references to Christian mythos, and my Christian fans may be offended by my use of the Magdalene in something as alternative as an oracle card deck. But I honestly, truly believe that no one religion “owns” the Magdalene energy or myth. That energy – be it a saint, Goddess, archetype, historical figure, whatever – is beyond any such worldly restraints.

I believe that the Magdalene concept, just like the God concept, is not just “big enough for everyone,” but too big to be limited to one belief system.

There is room here for all. That’s the spirit behind all my decks: I want everyone to be able to find themselves, in some way, shape, or form, in the images and ideas therein. I do believe diverse representation and affirmation of the incredible variance amongst humans is not just important, not just admirable; it is my duty as an artist. (It is a duty we all are bound to, really – but that’s an argument for another day.)

In the end, I’m responsible for making sure that as many people as possible can use and enjoy my decks. That means a lot of reflection, a lot of consideration, and a lot of critical thinking about what I include and how I portray it.

Making a deck that a lot of people can use and enjoy is a trial in itself. Making a Mary Magdalene deck that is welcoming and open to all, is perhaps almost a foolish endeavor.

But the Magdalene energy called me to do it. So I’m doing it.

At any rate, the deck is called the Path of the Magdalene Oracle, and it is roughly, roughly scheduled to be out July 22, 2023 – Mary Magdalene’s feast day next year. It will likely be available on my storefront on my printer’s page, because I just do not have the time or resources these days to package and process orders myself. Plus, since MPC ships worldwide, you will actually save money and get your deck faster if you order directly through them. The guidebook will be available free as a PDF here on this site.

The Feline Guide to Grief

Pages from “The Feline Guide to Grief.”

I drew this short comic as part of my grieving process when our beloved family cat passed away in May. This comic is just 10 pages but is probably one of my better comic works. It is certainly my most circulated, having gone out to many friends, family members, and – possibly – soon some vet clinics or counselors’ offices.

“The Feline Guide to Grief” is short, sweet, and focuses on the idea of death as a natural part of life, gently proposing the idea that death is not painful or terrifying to pets – that it’s us humans, with our habit of overcomplicating everything, that have projected fear and pain onto death. This comic seeks to both validate the pain of grieving, and offer a different way to view the death of a pet.

This comic is 10 pages, printed here at home and staple bound, and is available for $5 per copy. Head over to the order page to place an order.


Pages from the ink draft of Corvidae.

Corvidae was originally a sort of quirky gothic revenge tale and wound up being a treatise on the prevalence of harassment on public transportation. It’s still weird and still a gothic revenge tale, but it’s one of those projects that seemed to have a mind and mission of its own: I thought I was going to make a relatively simple, relatively short comic about a girl who befriends a flock of crows, who then defend her when she’s in danger. Corvidae had other ideas. After three pencil drafts, I wound up with a 71-page comic – a weird length to begin with, much longer than a standard single-issue comic, but very short for a graphic novel – that explored a lot more issues than I had originally planned.

My original intent was to explore crows and show how intelligent they are, and how interesting their interactions with humans are. I did get to explore that. But the story had its own intent, and that was both more serious and more important than anything I had imagined for it. It wound up more of a fictional exposé of the prevalence of sexual harassment on public transportation. I wound up doing more research than expected, too, and found a really good article on a 2020 study of exactly that issue, by Dr. Asha Weinstein Agrawal et al. Give it a read – it informed my work on this comic but is important reading for anyone, period.

I’ve finished the ink for Corvidae and it’s now ready for shading, so it’s getting there – but the shading is going to take time, so I don’t expect to have this one done in anything less than a couple months. However, I am VERY excited to get it finished and out there, so stay tuned for updates!

If you’d like to follow along with my journey creating the Path of the Magdalene Oracle, Corvidae, or any of my other projects, just sign up for notifications – the link should be on the right side of this or any other page on this site. I am not likely to be posting super frequently, since I’m working full time now and don’t have a ton of time to blog, so you aren’t signing up for daily (or even weekly) emails here. Just periodic updates on what I’m making.

Wishing you all the very best,