And… that’s another year almost put to bed. Truth be told, it’s one I’ll be glad to see the ass end of (I briefly considered titling this post “Kiss My Ass 2012″ ).
Definitely a BIG year for me, by any standard, and one of constant change. When we went to bed in the wee hours of January 1st, I had pretty concrete, definite ideas of where 2012 would go. For better or worse, though, very few of those ideas came to fruition.
It’s interesting to view it in comparison with the previous year. 2011 started badly, marked with illness and drama. But every month after that was better than the preceding one, culminating in December – which, despite certain difficulties, was easily the happiest month of my entire life.
Which only made January of 2012 even shittier in comparison, as everything bottomed out on me at once.
By the time that month was over, everything that had been good about December was gone.
And I was done.
Each of the next three months had some further catastrophic event to add to the trauma. But fortunately, lots of work was happening, and my creativity never waned. So I kept painting, kept working, and kept my head above water.
Since then it’s been up and down.
It’s only in the last month or so that things feel like they’re coming together again, and my bruised ego finally put in an appearance again. So let’s focus on that, shall we? Who had the most positive, supportive impact on my life in December?
The roll call, in no particular order:
My family, Cynthia Griffiths, Jocelyn Aspa, Greg Lexiphanic, Brendan Moran, Lori Kittelberg, Pardeep, Ceci Graber, Terry Burns, Louise Perrin, Allison Vincent, Donna-Jay Crowe, Donna Jaggard & Dan Udey, Christine Warner, Lindsay Bayne, Alex Stewart, Dan Parker, Candice Roach, Bryce Pugh, Jewel Staite, Mike Watson, John Watson, George Smeltzer, Amanda West, Jaime Lee Purgavie, Rochele Potter, Andrea Waters, Geoff Seymour, Jennifer Juniper, Lyndsey MacEwen, Cathy Browne, Cindy McShane, Mila Pasco, Felice Lam, Chantal Michaud, Geoff Gauthier, Bon Bahar, Annie Friesen, Lynn McIlwee, Tawna Taylor, Jenn Ashton, Lisa Jarvis, Jackie Teel, Kevin Meyers, Jonny Warkentin, August Wiled, Nicola Proctor, and Victoria Pattison Denault.
I thank you one and all.
Disclaimer: if I missed you, you have my sincerest apologies. And I’ll keep editing names in as they occur to me.
December 30, 2012 | Categories: art , art biz , artblog , artist , artiste , artistic growth , artists , artwork , bret taylor , howyadoin , howyadoin graphics , thank you , thanks , that's all she wrote , | Tags: , art , , howyadoin , , , |
I’ve had a pretty stellar year, artwise. Amazing things were accomplished within this narrow timeframe, and I received an absolutely stunning amount of support from people far and wide. People who bought my art, pimped it to their friends, inspired and encouraged me. Great people, in short.
So as a thank-you gesture, I’m having a studio open house at my place next Friday. There’ll be lots of art on display, refreshments of some sort, and I may work on a painting or do some sketching during the process.
Come by and say hello:
3:00-7:00PM, Friday, Dec. 28
503-1101 Pacific Street in Vancouver (buzzer 503)
Thank you, thank you.
December 21, 2012 | Categories: art , art biz , art show , artblog , artist , artiste , artistic growth , bret taylor , howyadoin , howyadoin graphics , studio , thank you , thanks | Tags: art , howyadoin , , , |
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.
October 29, 2012 | Categories: , accomplishment , art , artblog , artist , artiste , artistic growth , artists , artwork , blog , blonde , book , bret taylor , calendar , carnivore , creative , creativity , dinosaur , draw , drawing , , , , , , finished , glory , goal , , howyadoin , howyadoin graphics , illustrate , illustration , inspiration , labour of love , learning , metal flake , metalflake , muse , , , painter , painting , paintings , picture , process , show , sketchbook , , , t-rex , , thank you , thanks , that's all she wrote , tyrannosaurus rex , vancouver , work , | Tags: art , , , bret taylor , dinosaur , draw , howyadoin , illustrate , , , , painting , , t-rex , |
Brothers and sisters, these are strange and portentous times. An entire string of anniversaries, both artistic and (much) more personal, is sweeping by as we speak. And while I’m generally not one to dwell on the past, looking back can definitely be instructive.
Not that I’d want to live there. But F. Scott said it well:
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
On Friday afternoon I realized it was the anniversary of the day I hung the artwork for my first solo show. What a difference a year makes. Going into that first show I barely had a clue what I was doing – just flying by the seat of my pants, really. Since then there’ve been some monumental gains, and a catastrophic loss or two. But we soldier on, don’t we?
And Sunday (Oct. 7th) was the anniversary of the itself. This might be a good time to have a quick look at these as well, though they’re more of a sidebar or a footnote to today’s musings. Go ahead, I’ll wait right here.
An unbelievable event for me; I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, before or since. The things people did for me, the way they helped out, was overwhelming. Even the little things, like the fact that there was a fresh drink in my hand practically before I even finished the previous one (my Lovely Assistant had some serious ninja skills). I felt like the king of the world.
I remember, at one point, looking around and seeing these people who’d never met before, talking and laughing and drinking, and realizing that it was my art had brought them together. That was incredibly moving.
After the show, a couple very important people came back to my place for more cocktails and the Most Inappropriate High-Five of All Time. The following day was a photo shoot for one of my friend Karina’s books. Sometimes I look back at photos from that weekend and I wonder what happened to that guy. He certainly had no idea of what life had in store for him over the coming months. So many things went wrong, it felt like I was living in a country song.
Not that it was all doom and gloom, of course. Some pretty goddamn incredible things happened to me, too. I’ve hit my stride as an artist. I’ve got a clear vision of where I want to go from here, and what I want to do. My heart was touched by people too numerous to mention – people who were there for me at the darkest times, people who made me feel like a rockstar, people who reached out, people who absolutely embraced my art.
I put on two more shows, created 40 new paintings (and 15 more are nearing completion) and countless drawings, published a calendar, was hit by a truck, had my heart broken, found support from unexpected corners, worked my ass off, completed a thousand consecutive days of art, made cool new friends from all over the world, reconnected with old ones, lost a couple people who were very important to me, burned a bridge or two, shed a little blood and no small amount of tears, succeeded, failed, lost 25 pounds, got new tattoos, learned a lot about muses…
… but most of all? I survived .
Now I’m mere days away from my biggest show yet . Plus it’s Thanksgiving. If you can join us on the 13th, we’d love to have you. And if you’ve moved me over the past year, if you’ve touched me, if you’ve inspired me, if you’ve shared my victories – then I thank you. You’re the reason I do this.
October 8, 2012 | Categories: , , art show , artist , artiste , artistic growth , artwork , , bret taylor , , , creative , , kudos , labour of love , , , , lovely assistant , memories , metal flake , metalflake , , muse , , , onward , paint , painting , paintings , , tattoo , thank you , thanks , , upward , validation , , | Tags: art , , , dinosaur , , , howyadoin , , metalflake , , , painting , , , , | 3 Comments »
Just a brief end-of-the-year post. I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of support for my art over this past year: invaluable creative input on many fronts, inspiration, commissions, and print sales. I can’t begin to express how important this has all been to me. I’m starting to have an actual art career , and I couldn’t have done it without that support.
Hell, why don’t I just list some names? In no particular order: Cynthia McShane, Regan Taylor, Chad Horwedel, Berkley McLean, Lori Kittelberg & George Smeltzer, John & Chrissy Watson, Joe Clark, Mike Watson, Brandee Brown Barker, Genina Dovale, Ben Lipman, Rob Cooper, Nicole & Todd Cruickshank, Linda Kat Spencer, Cathryn Smith, Holly Morrison, Brian Cronin, Jason Williams, Eric & Jennifer Davis, Don Lloyd, Gus Lindgren, Tina Power, Neil Ford, Asa Ellerup, Alyson B. Stanfield, Paul Sizer, Lola Augustine Brown, Gary Bolt & Morna Tudor, Sean Parrack, Mike Rooth, Jeff Hotchkiss, Donald Milliken, Jason Light, Chris Nowlin, Ray Rivard, Gene Gillespie, Robert Genn, Amber Mac, Eddy Crosby, Wes Thompson, Jeff Clow, Jessi Sensabaugh, Kevin Bungay, Laura Whaley, Pól Rua, Thom Taylor, Jaye Frisina, Lisa and Rev. Paul from Mojave, Matt Osepchook, Paula McCloskey, Lief Peng, Mordechai Luchins, Daphna Luchins, Mystery Shopper, the gang(s) at CBR, deviantArt, WetCanvas, Whitechapel, Flickr and Motorburg…
… and most of all my extended family, without whom none of this would even be happening.
Thank you all so very, very much.
P.S. If I forgot to mention you, it’s a headcold-induced oversite on my part. No offense intended.