hot rod

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.

So the Agent and I were talking earlier, and we thought that adding a new t-shirt design to my RedBubble store every week would be a nice idea.

But I got a little overexcited and added two instead:

You can buy ‘em right .

See you next week.

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

Get ‘em while they’re hot.

Been thinking about t-shirts again lately, and I thought of another piece of mine that could easily be adapted:

Gasser t-shirts are now available right . In wide variety of colours, as they say.

Just got time for a quickie post before I head off to bed. Things have been busy as well the past week or so. After spending half the day doing photo retouching, working on this one was my idea of relaxing:

This one’s got a long way to go yet.

Just a quick blog post before I call it a night – er, morning. Today (that is, Tuesday) marks my 313th straight day of creating art. I did almost break my streak in the last couple months, though. I was so caught up in work-related stuff one day that drawing barely even entered my mind. Fortunately, I happened to do a quick 5-minute thumbnail in the middle of all the madness, and so that day was saved.

There’s another place that the number 3 factors in – today I wrapped up a couple more cars for the book. The total number completed is now 30 . Yep, we’re 60% of the way there. Without further ado, here are the cars in question:

That one’s a heavily-modified ’69 Chevy Z28 Camaro. I call it the Z28 Speedster.

And that one’s a ’63 Ford Galaxie. Initially started for a commission that’s apparently fallen by the wayside, but at least a decent illustration came out of it. There’s also a version of it in my .

As always, thanks for reading.

Bret Taylor
November 9, 2010

Two new illustrations in the works as of tonight. A ’72 Chevy Blazer, and a ’56 Chevy Nomad. Lots of body mods, but nothing really that extreme. A long way to go with each one yet, of course. In the case of the Nomad, I just really needed to do some sketching tonight, and I decided to try the one tri-five Chevrolet that I’ve never drawn before.

So that’s 28 pics for the book done, and 9 more in progress.

Oh, and the calendar is selling nicely. My thanks to all who’ve bought one so far.

Brothers and sisters, once again I come to you with a colour question. In this case… well, you can see for yourself:

So what’s it gonna be? Red, or gold?

So hey, I’m still plugging away on the hot rod book. Learning all kinds of things – some trivial, some not. One of the most fun things about a new piece is deciding on the colour. It’s amazing the kind of resources that are out there on the net these days. Yesterday I started on a picture of a 1960 Chevy Impala Brookwood station wagon, and put the word out in a few places ( , Twitter , etc.) that I was looking for colour suggestions. In the space of an hour I had about a dozen suggestions, and dammit, they were all good. I’m still undecided, to the point where I may actually do 4 versions of the car.

But I digress – I was talking about the resources you can find online, wasn’t I? Well, one of the responses was a scan of the paint-chip chart for 1960 Impalas. You can find it here if you’re interested. Stuff like this is a goldmine to me. I think from here on in, I’ll make an extra effort to source this kind of reference material whenever I draw a vintage car.

So, back to the Brookwood wagon. I wanted a two-tone paintjob, and a couple of non-stock colour combos came to mind. Then when I saw that chart, I saw several other viable options. (Even as I type this, more come to mind. Maybe I need to stop looking at it now.)

I finally narrowed it down to 5 options yesterday, and then managed to weed out one more. Without further ado:

That’s option 1 – what I call the Creamsicle Combo. Cream and orange pearl.

Option 2 is based on factory colours – Jade Green and Cascade Green. I may render them to look like metalflake, though.

Option 3 is Pagan Gold and Candy Root Beer. From what I’m reading in the car magazines these days, that brown is one of the trendiest colours around in that scene. Though I must admit, I never thought I’d draw a brown car.

Option 4 is, like option 2, based on the factory colours (in this case, Royal Blue and Horizon Blue). And again, will probably be done in metalflake.

Obviously these are all still in the extremely rough stages, but what you see here should get the point across. And the more I look at these, the more I like all of them. This car would probably look good in just about any colour, really.

Anyhow, if you’ve got feedback, I’d love to hear it. Other suggestions would be fine, too. Maybe I could do a poster with a whole slew of Brookwoods on it.

Thanks for reading.

So I dunno if you heard, but I published a book in December.

What am I saying? Of course you heard; all the cool kids know.

And now what am I doing with my spare time, you ask? Well, I’ve started another book – this one will be all cars. I’ll be pulling some old stuff from the archives, but mostly it’ll be new material. Here’s the first one:

Still lots to be done yet – more engine details to be drawn, etc. Plus I’ll eventually be eliminating that black linework altogether.

Wish me luck?