illustration

T-Shirt Tuesday – Manta Ray Edition

First off, thanks to everybody for their patience regarding the Ocean Rain show. We’ve tentatively settled on a date for the opening: Sunday, May 12, and we hope to make the official announcement any day now, once the last few details have been sorted.

And secondly, it’s Tuesday again, so it’s time for a new shirt:

For sale in my RedBubble store .


T-Shirt Tuesday – Narwhal Edition

Sensing a lot of pro-narwhal sentiment lately, I decided to include one in the Ocean Rain show (more on this very soon, trust me). And of course, I figured it should be a shirt, too:

You can find it here in my RedBubble store .


T-Shirt Tuesday – Humpback Whale Edition

Another Tuesday, another t-shirt. The hardest thing about this week’s post is deciding which new shirt to release; I actually have a bit of a backlog at the moment.

This week’s apparel:

As always, this can be found in my RedBubble store .


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.


T-Shirt Tuesday – Octopus Edition

Hey there. As you may have noticed, weekly t-shirt releases were on hiatus for awhile as we prepped for (and recovered from) Hot Pink .

But now we’re rebooting the t-shirt release program, starting with this octopus from the upcoming Ocean Rain show (more on this at a later date):

You can buy this lovely cephalopod right here in my Redbubble store .

Cheers.


Hot Pink – the Latest.

Pretty caught up in art-show excitement these days. So much so that I almost forgot about the blog.

But many amazing things are happening. Paintings are already selling, buttons have arrived, a new shirt is almost ready, sketches are being posed for, greeting cards are available, and the Hot Pink Peeler Mix playlist is nearly finished. All sorts of craziness, and definitely of the good variety.

This art-show business does actually get easier. For a long time I didn’t think that would ever happen.

Mind you, I’ve got a team behind me now, and their support and enthusiasm are pretty infectious (and it’s not just my show this time around). In fact, we’re meeting on the weekend to talk over some hush-hush, ultra-top-secret business. Just wait till you see the results. Oh, man…

Anyway, people are stepping up to bat and generally being excellent human beings. I could rave about that for hours, or about how beautiful women are keeping me informed as to what shoes and underwear (pink and/or black, obviously) they’ve bought for the show. But instead I’ll just treat you to another slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nine days to the big show. Anybody else as pumped for this as I am?


T-Shirt Thursday, Round 25

Continuing with last week’s pin-up girl theme:

This and the shirts from round 24, of course, tie in with my upcoming Hot Pink art show.

And you can find this one here in my RedBubble store .


I’ve mentioned this before, but I picked up a nice little sketchbook from Zequenz back in the spring, and I take it with me whenever possible. I like documenting simple, cool little things when I’m visiting friends, or in a restaurant, etc. It’s become a visual diary to mark little events (and big ones too, I guess). Very nice smooth-finish paper in it, and the book will fold flat when you open it, which is nice for both drawing and scanning.

It also keeps me drawing on a regular basis, which is crucial. I’ve found over the past couple months that it’s really helped crystallize my drawing style. This actually caught me by surprise, because I’ve never really tried to find a specific style.

And yet, it seems to be happening, and it feels damn good.

Not long ago we were barbecuing at a friend’s place, and I saw a wooden giraffe that I just had to draw:

I definitely want to pursue more art along these lines.

And then just last week I was hanging with some other friends, watching Misfits on Netflix and pigging out on Wendy’s. At some point I looked around for something to draw, and saw an Imperial Stormtrooper helmet. These are pretty ornate pieces of design work, so there were some minor challenges to drawing one.

But I like how this turned out, and it was probably only 10-15 minutes’ work:

Stormtrooper

More to come in the future.


With Christmas almost upon us and the Metalflake Christmas event underway, it just seemed right to release Christmas-penguin shirts this week:

Penguin_Shirt_W Penguin_Shirt_K

You can find them here with .

Any thoughts on a name for the little guy?


Dedicated to the people who know exactly what I mean:

And you can buy it right here in my .


In keeping with the spirit of the season, here’s a new Santa shirt for you (or y’know, you could always give it to somebody else as a present, too):

And as always, it’s in my .


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.


Been thinking about pin-up girls a lot lately, possibly because my next show will be focused on that very theme. Or possibly because I’m fortunate enough to know a lot of beautiful women. Who could say?

At any rate, all this thinking reminded me of my book, Hey Ladies . And I realized that a lot of the pieces in that book would make great t-shirts. Case in point:

This is, of course, for sale in my RedBubble store .


Okay, now that the Metal Flake Remix show is out of the way, it’s time for…

… more dinosaurs. Spinosaurus :

(Another one I first saw in the Extreme Dinosaurs exhibit.)


Coming down the home stretch with the shotglass project, how. Two more finished tonight:

… and just two to go. (Don’t worry, Millie. One of ‘em will be your moose shotglass.)

Ink and Photoshop again.

While we’re all here, I’m open to suggestions re: themes for the remaining months of the year. Obviously I’m drawing dinosaurs in February, but after that… ?


And another:

Go Habs!

Ink, Photoshop.


Playing catchup again, so this post will be a two-fer:

Ink, coloured pencil, gouache.

Pencil, Photoshop.


Happy New Year, folks. Yes, it’s a whole ‘nother year, and so I figured I needed a new art project.

‘Cause all the existing projects just weren’t enough, of course.

The new idea is, I draw a quick sketch of a different shotglass every day. Day in, day out, for the whole 366 days. (Yep, 2012 is a leap year.) Trying not to go into it with too many preconceived notions, so I’m not putting any hard-and-fast rules into place. I might do these in charcoal, ink, coloured pencil, watercolour… whatever floats my boat on that particular day. It’s as much a disciplinary exercise as anything else, although hopefully it’ll help mantain my drawing muscles as well.

So without further ado, may I present you with the inaugural shotglass of the day:

Coloured pencil and charcoal.

Stay tuned for more, every day of 2012.

Cheers,
Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
January 1st, 2012

EDIT: After a month I’m realizing that I just don’t have 366 shotglasses in me. So, it’ll be shotglasses in January, dinosaurs in February, etc. etc.


Further thoughts on the latest show/series concept: the title will be “Closing Time”, after the Leonard Cohen song of the same name. And when the show happens, people will have the option of buying the original paintings, or buying a book of the preliminary sketches.

Two more from the past few nights, then:

More info as it occurs to me, obviously.


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

Get ‘em while they’re hot.


I had what we call a “bizness meeting” with my friend Karina Halle today. Which generally means Jack Daniels, food, some talk about art, music, and of course her Experiment in Terror series of horror novels. The third book ( Dead Sky Morning )came out recently, and that was the start of my involvement in the project – I drew the map that appears in the opening pages.

Just for fun I whipped up a full-colour version, too:

If you’re not familiar with D’Arcy Island (and I wasn’t), it was the site of a leper colony for Chinese-Canadians from 1891-1924. A pretty grim real-life story, but worth looking up. The book uses the site and its sordid history as its setting. I’m still reading it, but so far it’s really creeped me out several times. Which is a pretty rare quality in a horror novel these days, my friends.

Anyhow, Karina has 5 more books projected in the series, and has enlisted my creative abilities to help with the process. In addition to the map, I’ve designed a logo:

(Part of the premise of the books is that the two lead characters make a web-TV show about their paranormal exploits, so the logo for the book series doubles as the one for the fictitious show.)

The next project was more involved: a definitive portrait of these characters. It started with this basic sketch:

We made a ton of changes to this, but the basics still made it all the way through the design process. Once we nailed down the basic looks of Perry and Dex in the pencil stage, it was time to do inkwash renderings of them:

I also had a slew of ideas for background treatments for this picture. In the end we used three separate concepts, including one where I made a collage of pages ripped out of the first book, Darkhouse (kind of a weird and surreal experience to take a friend’s book and literally tear it to pieces).

Without further ado, here are the three different versions of the illustration, which Karina will be using to promote the books:

So that, is essence, is the beginning – for me at least. We’ve got a ton of ideas for future illustrations (I’d like to incorporate some photography and sculpture to accompany the more traditional illustration), and I’ll be helping out in any way I can when the trailer for Dead Sky Morning is being shot. We’re even trying to arrange a trip to D’Arcy Island, which hopefully isn’t anywhere near as haunted as it is in the book.

Cheers, then. A toast to creativity, collaboration and chills down your spine.


Uploaded two more t-shirt designs to my store yesterday:

Already sold two of the bee shirts. More designs to be added over the next few days. I will, of course, keep you posted.


Hi there. Welcome to a brand new month. Lots of news to report, so bear with me and I’ll get right to it.

First off, the Dawn Patrol triptych is done. Having the paintings photographed on the weekend for posterity’s sake, and then it’ll be time to ship them off to their new home in Calgary. Thanks, Regan.

Secondly, a handful of other commissions (including a book cover that I can’t talk about yet) are either done or nearing completion. So if you’re interested in having something done, now’s a very good time to ask. Drop me a line and we’ll talk.

Thirdly, a major milestone has been reached – art sales actually paid my rent this month. It’s a pretty great feeling, let me tell ya. Especially in an economy as bad as this one.

And fourthly, I’ve set myself up a . Just a Basic account at this point, so I’m quite limited in terms of what I can sell. Right now there’s a mousepad, an iPad case, and these three iPhone cases:

(More to come as I investigate further options, obviously.)

That’s a pretty good start for March, right?


Just a quick shout-out to Mike Hoffman. His Space Girls blog now features my Astrochick illustration from the Hey Ladies book.

Thanks, Mike.


Follow