Find Every Easter Egg in TIME’s Taylor Swift Artist Portrait

3 minute read

One of the many storylines that emerged from Taylor Swift’s incredible year was her unrivaled dedication to entertaining her fans–often in messages carefully hidden throughout her music, videos, and concerts. To capture this creative spirit of TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year, we commissioned London-based artist Jane Perkins to create a portrait of the singer featuring dozens of “Easter eggs.”

Perkins’ artwork is typically crafted from found materials whose shape and color lend themselves to the specific vision for each project. “I am a ‘re-maker,’ taking inspiration from found objects and working them into something new,” says the artist, who is based in Devon, England and whose previous portraits include Adele, Princess Diana, and Frida Kahlo. “I work with materials that have a history, often things that have reached ‘the end of the line’ which even charity shops cannot sell—broken or unfashionable jewelry and items unsold for a long time.”

Courtesy Jane Perkins

For the Swift portrait, I knew every piece used needed to have meaning. So we compiled a detailed list of ideas for Perkins to incorporate: mirrorball, red scarf, the number 13, dice, Scrabble pieces, cats, friendship bracelets, champagne bottle, and a seagull—just to name a few.

“Of course, I’d heard of Taylor Swift and knew some of her music,” said Perkins, “but I needed a crash course in her universe. Swifties, friendship bracelets, and ‘meaningful things’ from song lyrics were all new to me—75 emails were exchanged before I was ready to begin.”

Perkins spent three weeks researching and sourcing the materials and four weeks creating the artwork that features more than 35 secret items. To create the final image, whose glittery, colorful buttons and beads evoke the song and video for “Bejeweled” and the costumes seen on concertgoers at the Eras Tour, she worked on a firm inverted box frame, using combinations of paper collage and paint beneath the items. “I work intuitively, building up a composition that feels pleasing,” she said. “Items get moved around many times before I am happy with the result. I loved making this piece.”

Courtesy Jane Perkins

Want to be in on the secrets? Here’s a list to help you locate most of the hidden items:

  • A red scarf
  • Cowboy boots
  • Snake
  • Butterfly
  • Newspaper
  • Guitar pics
  • Heart
  • Mirrorball/disco ball
  • Champagne bottle/flute
  • Heart-shaped sunglasses
  • Cardigan
  • Thread/string
  • Clock set to midnight
  • Woods/trees
  • roses
  • The number 13 (2)
  • Stars
  • Cat
  • Glitter/sparkle
  • Red lipstick
  • Sunflower
  • Flowers
  • Snowflake
  • Red lips
  • A nod at NYC
  • Seagull
  • Puzzle piece
  • Dice (totaling 13),
  • Jewels
  • Diamonds
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Scrabble pieces
  • Beads with secret message
  • Smile
  • Sneakers
  • Moon

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