calendar

And then it was April.

Here we are, a quarter of the year already done. The first big show of 2013 is over (and a damn successful one it was), and two more are in the works. Longterm strategies are being developed, and new venues and opportunities being explored.

Creatively I feel incredibly positive. The ideas just won’t stop coming, I’m happier with my drawing skills than ever before, and I keep thinking of new variations on my metalflake technique. This in particular is pleasing, given that I’ve finished 102 of these paintings and currently have another 17 in the works (obviously I don’t ever want this to turn into some sort of assembly-line process; frankly I think that having assistants do the bulk of your work for you borders on the fraudulent).

With the Hot Pink show and the Christmas Metalflake series, I played around with the technique, sometimes out of necessity, and other times just out of curiosity. I did several paintings with pulverized Christmas balls worked into the strata for texture and reflectivity. And the other day it occurred to me that I could also use gold leaf in my backgrounds.

This experiment turned out even better than I’d anticipated. And it got me thinking about some other new possibilities.

A few specifics, then, before the conversation takes a turn for the personal. The Ocean Rain show, which you’ve already seen hints of, is progressing nicely. Expect an announcement regarding this very soon – we’re hoping for an early May launch date.

The show after that will most likely use superheroes and science fiction as its launching point.

After that I’d like to do something with an automotive theme, and of course we’ll be doing something Christmassy as well, in the fall (truth be told, we’ve probably got ideas for a dozen shows). Also in the fall, we’ll be releasing a book and/or calendar of T-Rex illustrations. Three of them are done already, and the Agent and I have been brainstorming on lots more.

And by this time next year I want to have my work in galleries.

So, enough business. Let’s talk about what else has been going on. Last year, as documented again and again (and AGAIN ), felt like some sort of trial to me. One trauma after another, month in, month out. By November I was a bit of a mess.

I can’t pinpoint any one specific moment when the game changed (unlike, say, in 2011), but a lot of minor victories added up to help pull me out of my funk.

And this process continued through January and February, to the point where I finally feel like I’ve gotten my groove back (I won’t lie; I was extremely worried about that, and for a long, long time). Friends and family have done their part to help, chance encounters have led to new opportunities… and inspiration? Inspiration is EVERYWHERE . I’m on fire creatively.

I’m back , baby.

Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
April, 2013.


Unless you’re a newcomer to this site, you probably know that I recently completed a thousand consecutive days of art. Every one of those days, from January 1/2010 – October 1/2012, I drew and/or painted, without fail.

One thousand days.

As time went on, the numbers actually began to mean less and less to me. Because it was really about the journey, of course. About what I learned, where I went, how I changed.

The past few years have been challenging, to say the least. Apart from the financial hardships of the recession and its aftermath, one thing I’ve been struggling with is the lack of structure in my life (I’m a freelancer, by the way). So the added benefits to this extended art experiment are just that – structure, purpose, direction.

For a long time people were asking me what I planned to do on the final day. I considered several options, because I wanted to do something momentous. But in the end these options fell through, so I decided that the best course of action would be…

… Business as Usual.

After all, I had a show to prepare for. Paintings to finish, logistics to be sorted out, all sorts of promotional work to do. Putting on an art show is no small task.

So when I got up that morning, I did a quick little sketch, just in case:

That way if the sun exploded or we got invaded by zombies, at least I could still say I reached the 1000th day.

(Fortunately they didn’t. But hey, you never know.)

After that it was back to the metalflake dinosaur paintings. Since my T-Rex sketch from back in February was the central image in my upcoming show, I decided that finishing one of those pieces would be my best bet. And that just seemed fitting – it tied in with the show, with my calendar, and any number of other peripheral art ventures. Plus it was inspired in the first place by the person who’s made the biggest mark in my life during the Project – my Agent and former Muse.

So there you have it. One thousand days. I painted and drew a lot, I learned a lot, I sweated and bled, and I’m still standing.

Oh, and one more thing: I’m already working an art book based on the experience. Watch this space for further details.


Thoughts on the Dino Show, and a Question.

All sorts of fun things going on here in preparation for the next art show in October. You may have already seen the t-shirts and the new calendar , but there are also 18 new metalflake paintings in the works. Right now they’re scattered all around my studio, in various states of completion.

Here’s a sneak peek:

We’ve got paintings as small as 3×4 inches, and as large as 20×20. Some will have designs based on the illustrations in my calendar, and some will have designs that are just rough concepts at the moment (hey, there’s still plenty of time). Just the other day, for example, the Agent and I were talking and she suggested doing paintings based on dinosaur fossils.

Clearly she’s a genius, because this opened up whole new areas of creativity for me. This T-Rex skull design is already on a t-shirt , but on a metalflake painting I think it’ll blow people’s minds:

I’ve also got an idea in mind that involves revamping the whole metalflake technique so it’s even more three-dimensional. But that may have to wait for another show.

There may also be some other dinosaur-related merchandise available, but that’s still top-secret for now. Mum’s the word.

While I’ve got your attention, what’s your favourite dinosaur?


Hey, I just released a new Hot Rods calendar in my RedBubble store .

Get ‘em while they’re hot.


One of the things that makes being an artist so fulfilling is the feedback I get from people. Another big one is knowing that my art is in so many people’s homes and offices. Ideally I’d like to have something of mine in every Canadian province and U.S. state (among many other places).

Off the top of my head, there is art of mine in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. That only leaves Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In the U.S.: California, Ohio, North Dakota, D.C., Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Virginia… obviously I’ve got a long way to go there. I’ve also sold prints, calendars and t-shirts in England and Australia.

What really floats my boat, though, is seeing the art in context – hanging on someone’s wall, where people see it every day. It’s kinda mindblowing sometimes to think that people are spending their time looking at my art that way. A handful of people have even been kind enough to send me photos:

Honestly, this does my heart good. Thanks, everybody.


It’s done:


Been messing around today, choosing cars for the calendar, investigating RedBubble’s print specs and such, and designing the cover. Sounds like I might be able to drum up some real interest in this project.

Here’s a first draft of the cover design:

Thoughts?


Hey. For those kindhearted souls still frequenting this blog, I’ve got something on my mind. I mentioned recently that half of the hot rod book is done, but at the rate I’m going, I’m probably a good 8 months away from the big finish. And people have indicated they’re interesting in buying some of the new art now.

The other day it occurred to me that a hot rod calendar might well be the answer. Poked around the internet today to look at my options, and I’ve settled on RedBubble. Which leaves me in a bit of a quandary – should the calendar be a standalone piece, or could it overlap some with the book, in terms of content? I certainly don’t wanna stop doing the automotive art anytime soon, but at the same time, if I have to do 12 more cars on top of the 50 in the book, then the book release will be that much farther away.

I’m also looking into magazine options from Magcloud. Maybe take the same cars that are in the calendar/book and show a bit more of the creative process – initial sketches, maybe some discussion of the different directions a piece might’ve gone in.

I dunno, a lot to think about here. I’ll have to make a decision fairly soon to cash in on the Christmas market, but some feedback would come in handy at this juncture. While you’re thinking about it, feast your eyes on some eye candy:

What say you?


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