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Hot Pink Recap

Let me tell you the story of one amazing day. A lifetime ago (or a very short while, depending on your perspective), I had my very first solo art show.

I was half-assing my way through organizing the show till Tess McCann stepped in to offer her assistance. I would mark that as the most significant turning point in my art career to date (and of course, Tess is now my agent).

From there it’s been… I dunno, would it sound pretentious if I said it “a journey of self-discovery” ?

Anyway.

We’ve spent the last year and a half experimenting and learning about art shows and art marketing, and we’ve met some incredible people along the way. And all the things we’ve learned got applied to the latest extravaganza, Hot Pink .

Now, Hot Pink has its roots in two sources: a suggestion from Alex Stewart last summer that we do a pin-up girl show together, and a request from Tess the summer before for a hot pink painting of a dancer.

Everything just gelled from there. Putting this show together was almost effortless, apart from the labour in actually creating the art itself. Many people stepped in to help promote the show, offer suggestions and their encouragement, and lend a hand in many ways.

But wait . I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Let’s backtrack. Friday night, Feb. 22. Team Hot Pink gathered at imagemaker photographic studio to hang the show. I wore my toolbelt, because I’m told it makes me more popular with the ladies:

Alex brought along some stunning pieces. I’d been following their progress for months via social media, but it was my first time seeing most of them in the flesh.

(I brought along a few pieces of my own, of course.)

And in no time at all the entire show was hung, the pizza eaten, and beers drank. Waking up to sunshine the next morning was a nice omen.

And just like that, the Big Day was upon us:

You may have noticed the beautiful Hot Pink button in that last pic. It comes courtesy of Annie Friesen, the proprietor of Dottie’s Buttons . In addition to that button, Annie is now selling others that feature my artwork and Alex’s. We’re pretty pleased to have her on the team.

In addition we had a major contribution from Candice Roach’s Love Your Cake business. Another great local company run by a good friend. And her cakes are mindblowing to see (or to eat, for that matter).

My latest paintings were a hit. Several of them were sold before the show even happened. Here are the ones I’m particularly proud of:

Aside: Agent McCann and I also donated a painting to a fundraiser by our friends at the HiVE called An Evening of Debauchery . Full of inappropriate dirty jokes, politically-incorrect comedians, burlesque performers and an artist with a… unique approach to painting, the event was held to raise money for a non-profit business incubator. In the end the painting went to Nelu Oncel, who was patient enough to let us keep the painting for a few more days so it could still be in Hot Pink.

Alex and I also collaborated on two pieces, which is probably the creative highlight of my year so far. I started one piece that he finished, and vice versa. An incredible experience, and one I learned a lot from. Hopefully there’ll be more joint efforts from us in the future.

And from there, things just… rolled . Many excellent friends showed up, both old and new. These pics should give you an idea of how it went:

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At midnight we wrapped things up, exhausted. Took the party to several other locales, and in the AM we were back to tear everything down. By that afternoon you’d never know there’d even been a show.

So thanks to John Carter, Sarah Merris, Kimli Welsh, Steve Kinsey, Jeremy Ball, Amanda West, Jamie Presley and Meghan Low, Vicky Hames, Meghan Kilner, George Smeltzer and Lori Kittelberg, John Bell, John Watson, Alex Stewart, Jon Crewe, Jaime Lee Purgavie, Aimee Vuilleumier, Lyndsey McEwen, August Wiled, Chantal Michaud, everyone who wore pink to support the cause, and the incomparable Tess McCann, who once again deserves a huge round of applause for everything she’s done for me.

Photos courtesy of John Watson, Tess McCann, Alex Stewart, Heather Prost, Cathy Browne, Christy McNeil, Scott Graham, and Bret Taylor.


Welcome back, and thanks for joining us. It’s been a few days since the Dinosaur Show – time spent recovering and regrouping, for the most part. It seems that the bigger these events get, the more time it takes to bounce back.

And this was definitely a BIG event.

Earth-shaking, even.

The excitement all started Friday night, with a trip to imagemaker photographic studio to hang the show. This is part of the process that I always stress needlessly about, as it usually goes off without much of a hitch. In this particular case, the positioning and hanging of the paintings was a breeze; it was just the peripherals (a display for posters and calendars, for instance) that raised questions.

That night I slept well, which has never happened the night before a show till now. Come to think of it, I slept pretty well for most of the preceeding two weeks.

In the morning I was up early, running last-minute errands in the rain. We were at the studio doing last-minute setup by 1:00PM…

… and then it was showtime. My friend Cindy, who moved here recently from Ontario, snapped up the medium-sized T-Rex almost immediately after we opened the doors. Technically that was the second sale of the show, though, because John from HogShack had already spoken for one of the struttin’ T-Rex paintings.

Over the next six hours lots of people came in, often with young dinosaur fans in tow. Talked to old friends, met some people I’d previously only talked to online, sold a few paintings, and all in all had a great afternoon.

And then it was 8:00. The afterparty started.

The Agent was outfitted in a custom T-Rex top, and we also had hot pink T-Rex buttons made:

The people who got into the dinosaur theme the most, though, were Candice Roach and Danny Parker. Candice made a cake especially for the show, and Dan brought not only a T-Rex hat, but a full-on dinosaur COSTUME :

I kept thinking we’d hit the point where people were more focused on the party than the art, but then, miraculously, a few more paintings would sell. The final tally: 14 paintings sold out of a possible 17.

Did I mention there were drinks? Cake? Sandwiches and pumpkin pie cheesecake that my friend Melissa Jones so thoughtfully contributed? That people came from all over the place just for the show?

I’ve gotta say, the show of support never gets old.

Things wrapped up pretty quickly around 1:00AM. The day was done, the show a success.

Thanks, first of all, to the people who bought my paintings, posters and prints: John Lim Hing, Cindy McShane, Nic & Todd Cruickshank, Lori Kittelberg and George Smeltzer, Lindsay Bayne, Christine Warner, Geoff Gauthier, Irving Lau, Mark Crater, Candice Roach, Krista Lee, Amanda West, Donna Jay-Crowe, and all the people who bought buttons.

These lovely people couldn’t make the show (which will always happen) but were still kind enough to send along apologies and/or encouragement anyway: Chantal Michaud, Kate MacDonald, Lynn McIlwee, Jackie McCaughan, Adam & Corinna Carlson, Lyndsey MacEwen, Jewel Staite, Crystal Witty, Ceci Graber, Erin Kyle, and Jeff Hornby.

And of course, how could I forget my agent, Tess McCann? We’ve been through a lot together in the 14 months since we met, and this show actually started with her posting T-Rex cartoons on her Facebook wall in the early part of 2012. Thanks for everything, Tess. At the risk of repeating myself, this wouldn’t even be possible without your help.

(Photos courtesy of Danny Parker, Ned Tobin, Amanda West, Lindsay Bayne, Krista Lee, John Lim Hing, and John Watson.)


So I was drinking with friends last weekend, and the subject of the dinosaur art show came up. Next thing we knew…

As always, you can find this in .


And the shotglass project has almost drawn to close. Here’s the penultimate drawing:

Ink, Photoshop. One more left…


Still catching up. I have so many souvenirs of other people’s vacations:

Charcoal, watercolour.

Ink, watercolour, coloured pencil, Photoshop.


Big progress last night. Went over to visit friends last night (and watch 9 , which was phenomenal), and drew a few of their glasses:

Ink, Photoshop.


So today was a day of big decisions. The biggest one being, there’s no way I could last a whole year drawing shotglasses without losing my mind.

Therefore, the plan is draw a month’s worth of shotglasses and then switch topics. So what’ll I be drawing once the 31 shotglasses are done, you may ask? Well, this latest glass contains a hint:

Ink, Photoshop.


Souvenir of San Diego ComiCon, either 2004 or 2005:

Ink, Photoshop.


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

Ink, coloured pencil, gouache.

Pencil, Photoshop.


Anybody who knows me knows how much I like Jack Daniel’s. And a few of you keep asking when I’m gonna draw a Jack glass, so without further ado:

Ink, china marker, gouache, 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.


So December is upon us – one month left in this tumultuous year. Like a lot of people I’m already thinking about 2012, of course. I’d very much like to maintain the creative momentum I’ve built up in 2010 and 2011, if not add to it.

Already got ideas for a couple of big projects – two potential new shows, and a book to accompany one of them. One of the shows will most likely be a metalflake series, but it’s the other that concerns us here. Been toying with the idea of exploring the pinup-girl subject again, following the success of my book, Hey Ladies . And on that note, after much discussion, sketching and brainstorming, I’ve concluded that the other new series will be pin-up girls in or on bars.

To wit, here’s the proposal for the first of the series:

Haven’t made any major decisions in terms of rendering style, etc. I do know they’ll be acrylic on canvas, but beyond that… ?


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