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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 – 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 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.


Available.

First off, you may have noticed the lack of a report on the Hot Pink show. Fear not; it’s happening. It’s just been.. delayed a little while I recover. Further to that, though, this particular handful of paintings is still available for purchase:

Should something here catch your eye, please contact my agent, the lovely and talented Tess McCann , and she can arrange things for you.

Thanks,
Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
March 2013


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:

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


Another seasonal shirt for everybody:

Available, of course, 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 .


So here we are, almost at the tail end of another year. It’s been really up-and-down for me, but for our purposes here let’s focus on the pros and not the cons. I met an astounding number of new friends, both locally and worldwide. And among other things, these friends (as well as the ones who’ve been with me for years) have bought and/or promoted my art everywhere .

I’ve been interviewed, profiled, reviewed, you name it. I was in two very successful shows (the second of which was my first solo show, and let me tell you, brothers and sisters, that there was no small amount of anxiety in the days leading up to that one). I’ve had many commissions, a handful of which are nearing completion as we speak.

So without further ado, here’s the roll call for 2012. It’s loosely organized into categories, but there’s so much overlap that I’d rather not get too specific about what those categories are. Here we go:
My family, Dan Udey, Jenn Ashton, Patti Catroppa, Nicole and Todd Cruickshank, Ceci Graber, Lori Kittelberg, Donna Jaggard, Lisa Jarvis, Mario Loubert, Joe Clark, Karina Halle, Scott McKenzie, Regan Taylor, Devin Oickle, Jeff Murphy, Mike Seymour, Geoff Seymour, Susan Burzynski, Cynthia McShane, Lola Augustine, Jenny Burzanko, Linda Kat Spencer, Domenick Bartuccio, Geoff Gauthier, Anthony Wittrock, Jennifer Davis, Kit Knowles, Randy Bishop, Blair Pritchett.

Colin and Cameron and P.J. from the Tipper, Franziska San Pedro, Lori McNee, Lindsay B., K. Myles, Ned Tobin, Mike Hoffman, Cathryn Salter, Crystal Kwon and Karm at VanCity Buzz, Sati from LiveVan, Vincent Ng, Bahaneh Grewal, Matty Sadorf, Lexy Stabbs, Meghan Low, John Lee, Ian A. Martin, Rheni Tauchid.

John Watson, George Smeltzer, Gary Bolt, Tina Power, Stephanie Young, Jaye Frisina, Pól Rua, Mike Watson, Donna Jay, Jeff Hornby, Anthony Smith, and everybody at RedBubble, Imagekind, Blurb, MOO Cards and ABC Photocolour.

Robert Genn, Alyson Stanfield.

And obviously, Tess McCann.

I thank you all.

(Please note: if I left you out, it’s not a personal slight; it’s just the effects of my insomnia. In which case, drop me a line and I’ll correct the oversight ASAP.)


So hey, I wrote a little guest-blog thing for Lori McNee’s Fine Art & Tips website.


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?


(Just pretend there’s a photo of a fat, toupee-wearing, furniture-warehouse guy in a loud polyester suit here.)

Okay, all hyperbole aside, I’ve decided (after much deliberation) to drop the prices in my online art store. I’ve been reading a lot of spirited debate about how artists should never cut their prices or give discounts – lots of comparison to bargain basement stores, etc. But ultimately I think that’s an easy argument to make if you’re already an established, successful artist. Me, I’m really just starting out in my art career, such as it is. I need all the help I can get.

That being said, I’m not going to drop them permanently. That strikes me as a bad (self-defeating) career move. So just as an experiment, prices have been cut by 1/3 for the remainder of March. I’m curious to see what effect, if any, this will have on sales.

I’ve also added two recently-finished pieces to my Automotive gallery. You can see all of the work here .


So, a question for those who are making money off their art – and even those who aren’t – how and where should I be promoting mine? I’ve already got a blog, a Twitter account, a Flickr account, two online stores, etc. Sold a decent amount of stuff over the past few months, but sales have pretty much petered out, and most of the sales were to family and close friends. Where should I be pushing this stuff? What (ideally cheap or free) venues am I missing out on?

(Just for clarification, I’m primarily looking for ways to drive traffic to my existing online stores, as well as to this blog.)


Well, here we are again – another year almost over. For me it was an intensely shitty one, in almost every regard except art. So once again, art kept me sane and more-or-less focused.

Fortunately, the general work situation seems to be on the upswing, and between my online store for prints and my new book, I’ve taken some major steps towards making my art work for me.

So. 2010. I’d like to get some art into local restaurants, sell a lot more prints, dramatically up the traffic on this blog, and finally get my long-awaited (by me, at least) website up. No real goals in mind when it comes to technique or media at the moment. I’m already working on another book, though – a hardcover book of cars, most likely with 50 illustrations.

How ’bout you folks?


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