Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.
Christine Taylor is a Creative Manager in Licensing at Hallmark. She works on products for brands like Star Wars, Harry Potter, DC Comics, Star Trek, LEGO, and Stranger Things, amongst many others. She also creative directs PopMinded, Hallmark’s pop culture pop-up shop and experiences for fan and comic conventions. She has served on show juries, local and national boards for the AIGA, and spoken at many design, licensing, and fan-centric industry events.
What is the thing you like doing most in the world?
This is hard, because I try to get the most out of life in everything I do. But if I had to pick one, it would have to be traveling. I love experiencing new cultures, foods, drinks, environments, etc. It just excites all the senses and gets the juices flowing.
What is the first memory you have of being creative?
I couldn’t sit still or keep quiet in church, so my parents gave me a pencil and pads of paper to doodle on. The pads had “Lee Way Trucking” branded at the top. I created a little worm character I appropriately named Lee Way– I mean, he had his own branded trucking company already. I remember making up stories and creating motion flip books of him in action.
What is your biggest regret?
Not going to film school to become a director. I was in love with all creative mediums: art, music, photography, theatre, motion pictures. That’s why I loved—and still love—to immerse myself in TV and movies, because it blends all these things into one outlet. As a child, I made up characters and stories, and I created home videos as a teen. I wanted to move to Hollywood when I was 10. Regardless of what derailed that, I’ve had a crazy-fun and sorted career path where I now blend my psychology and design degrees to help Hallmark create products based on TV & Movies. So at least now, I ride along the outskirts of entertainment. And I have created, or been a part of creating, art, music, photos, theatre, videos, and even film and web series for passion projects on the side. That’s the nice thing about being a creative: you have the freedom to just BE creative.
How have you gotten over heartbreak?
Writing and journaling. I don’t do it much anymore, but my teenage years were riddled with drama and “heartache.” I have stacks of papers and journals where I poured out my heart or worked through my thoughts and feelings. I will say I have been fortunate enough to not experience too much heartache in life. I have spent more time helping others get over theirs, especially when I worked in a kid’s treatment home, and as a call center counselor. That kind of work really puts your own problems and heartaches into perspective.
What makes you cry?
I don’t cry easy. I think working in the psych field for a bit toughened me. I do cry more as I get older. But the things that have always gotten me are the ending of E.T. and certain fond memories that get triggered watching iterations of Star Wars. I blame John Williams for this.
How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?
Unfortunately, not long enough. Had I had kids, maybe those feelings would last. But typically, when I accomplish or complete something, I am already thinking about the next thing. I did this a lot growing up. I would teach myself how to play an instrument, get “good enough,” and then move to the next instrument.
Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?
Yeah, I believe it’s plausible. Maybe it is different for each soul? Perhaps a different state of consciousness that we all create independently in our own mind’s eye. Like an eternal beautiful dream. I just hope there are friends, family, delicious treats, and maybe a cocktail or two there. And whether it’s ethical or not, the ability to have a data-driven AI version of yourself when you are gone is not too far off. Afterlife in the metaverse. Black Mirror, here we come!
What do you hate most about yourself?
I am not sure I really hate anything about myself. Except I did hate that I was never good at roller skating, which sucks when you want to reenact Xanadu. But for the most part, I just accept my flaws, I guess. I would say what bugs me sometimes is my short attention span and lack of good goal-setting for myself. I tend to think and daydream a lot, and I have a hard time staying focused on tasks for longer periods of time.
What do you love most about yourself?
My natural ability to never be afraid of being my authentic self. I was always like this, even when I was young. Maybe minus those weird teenage years, but for the most part, I’ve always been comfortable in my own skin. Because of this, I often hear that people find me approachable and easy to talk to. Even random children and animals will just come up to me. It’s a good feeling, and makes life a little easier sometimes.
What is your absolute favorite meal?
This is super tough, because I looooove food, Especially with a good wine pairing. I feel like I lean towards decadent foods like lobster, truffles, and pastries. Oh, how I love pastries. I drove across town for a truffle croissant and some macarons the other day, and I adore a good kouign amann. I love truffles or truffle flavoring on most things, but I really love when truffles are combined with deserts and pastries. One of the best gastronomical delights I’ve had was a truffle-laced desert at Espaisucre in Barcelona, a meal I will never forget. No matter how full I am, I can always “find a place” for delicious deserts.