Brought to You by the Numbers 14 and 998, and the Word “Dinosaur”.

So. There are some significant numbers happening in my life today. First off, the Dino Show is just 14 days away. I’m surprisingly calm, considering.

There’ll be paintings as small as 3×4 inches and as large as 20×20. I’ll also be selling T-Rex posters and I’ll be taking orders for the new calendar, and any dinosaur shirts people might want. All that merchandise is available here in my RedBubble store .

There are other developments, but I’m sworn to secrecy. A hint, though: buttons . That pink shirt you see in the background is highly significant, too.

Here’s a look at some of what I’ve been doing:

And getting back to the subject of numbers, today is Day 998 of the 1000 Days Project . Monday will be the final day. I haven’t figured out what to do to commemorate the occasion, but I’m open to suggestions if you’ve got ‘em.

I’m taking Tuesday off from drawing and painting, and then it’ll be back to business as usual, getting everything ready for the show. Expect a full report on the Project soon, though. There’s lots to talk about; it was an amazing experience all around. It did wonders for my creativity. I’d almost consider writing a book about it.

Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
September 29, 2012

T-Shirt Thursday, Round 11

Here’s a shirt I’ve been thinking about for quite awhile now:

I think the message says it all. You can order it from my RedBubble store , of course.

As you might’ve guessed, painting for a living (much like any other occupation) has its share of gripes. In this particular case, of course, the issues are compounded by the fact that so many ignorant people seem to think it’s a cute little hobby for children, but ultimately something we should grow out of – the ironic part of that being, of course, that the same people make the worst clients because they act like spoiled children themselves. Combine that ridiculous sense of entitlement with bad manners, general rudeness, and willful ignorance, and you’ve got a recipe for frustration:

  • Probably the most aggravating thing is people who offer shitty advice, or pass on leads that are obviously useless, but demand answers and validation right away. Here’s a tip: if you give me a lead and I say “I’ll check it out,” that means I’ll check it out. If I have a question, I’ll get back to you. If it turns out to be useful, I will thank you, probably both publicly and privately. If it sounds fishy or turns out to be a scam – which it often does – I’ll ignore it. Acting like a needy child won’t help sell me on it. More than likely it’ll make me feel tempted to ignore you in the future, and that’s the politest response I can think of. So don’t send me frantic followup messages the next day because you need your ego stroked. I will check out your recommendation and either follow it or not. This isn’t about you, regardless of how noble your intentions might be.
  • If you know somebody who’s looking for free art in return for some dubious “exposure” somewhere, point them in the direction of an art school. Maybe some lucky student will learn an important lesson or two about scammers and grifters. Me? I’ve already been down that road many times, and I’ve learned what there is to learn.
  • Don’t be a flake when you’re commissioning or buying art. If you’ve got a project in mind, by all means get in touch. I’ll probably ask a few questions, then give you several different options with regards to size and price, and tell you how much I want for a down payment. If the idea of a down payment bothers you, then please fuck off and don’t contact me again. It’s specifically because of people like you that I ask for down payments in the first place.
  • Further to that last point, if you make a business arrangement with an artist, honour it. Don’t run away when the project’s half-finished. Don’t pretend you didn’t get messages, emails, calls, or invoices. And don’t just assume I’ll forget. It makes you look like a flake, an idiot and a scumbag.
  • And finally on the point of flakiness, don’t offer to help someone out with a reference, a commission, or anything else and then bail out when the time comes to actually help. Especially if the aforementioned bailing-out involves pretending you’re sick or out of town.
  • If you know someone whose kid would do the job for much less than I charge, hire that kid, or go buy yourself a nice print at Walmart or IKEA. I’m not interested in making bargain-basement art, so don’t waste my time.
  • If your significant other decides halfway through a project that they don’t like it, I don’t care. I don’t have a business arrangement with them; I have one with you . They have no say in the process at all. And if you have a disagreement with them, it’s your problem. Not mine. Don’t drag your dysfunctional baggage into my life.
  • Shipping is a legitimate charge, not an afterthought or a cash grab on my part. And it isn’t an exact science; I don’t know all the prices and regulations for FedEx, Canada Post, or UPS. If it costs more than originally anticipated, then it costs more. I will try my damnedest to give you a realistic quote, but I can’t guarantee things down to the last penny. Trying to stick me with any additional costs makes you look like a cheapskate.

Wow, that was therapeutic. Any other artists got suggestions for issues I haven’t touched on?

Oh, and if you think I might be talking about you? I am.

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?

As you may have noticed, I’ve really been cranking out the art the past few months. Another highly educational period for me, especially since I started working on roughly 20 paintings at once. I realized once again tonight just how much I love playing mad scientist with paint.

That being said, there are a handful of products that really float my boat. So with your kind indulgence, I present the following list:

Liquitex Pouring Medium. Seriously, this stuff is the real deal. I’ve used many other manufacturers’ self-levelling mediums, and most of them are garbage. Liquitex, though, has come up with the magic formula – the stuff dries hard and clear with no crazing, sets up fast, and looks gorgeous when it’s done.

Tri-Art Liquid Mirror. Another product that absolutely raises the bar. I’ve used a lot of iridescent paints in recent years, and nothing else even compares for reflectivity. Even when it’s relatively dark, Liquid Mirror will pick up any minimal ambient light and reflect it – it’s almost phosphorescent in that respect. Washes of transparent colour on top of it barely affect the reflectivity at all. I’m told the secret ingredient is bismuth oxychloride, but let’s call it what it is – magic .

Golden Iridescent Copper (Fine). I’m a little bit obsessed with copper. Even as a child I was drawn to its colour and sheen. When I built my bar in 2004, I put $500 worth of sheet copper into the top. Getting back to paint, there are many iridescent coppers, of course. I’ve tried 5 or 6 at last count, and I finally found what I was looking for with the Golden. So rich and vibrant it puts others to shame.

Montana Gold Spraypaint (various colours). A stunning array of colours, seemingly endless cans of paint, and a system of interchangeable nozzles in a wide variety of sizes. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with these paints. Expect a major push in this direction in my art in 2011.

Anybody else have paint or mediums they’d like to recommend? I’m all ears.

Hey folks, just completed a little teaser trailer for the hot rod book. Be sure to watch it at the 480p setting instead of 360; the improvement in quality is pretty drastic:

So this is my first WordPress post. Since I’ve already got any number of other blogs and/or sites, I’m hoping to use this one mainly as a central hub for my globe-spanning art empire – at least until the glorious day when the planets line up properly and I finally have a website of my own.

As a word of introduction, then, I’m a graphic artist located in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia. By day I’m a freelance graphic designer, and by night I’m a painter/illustrator. I’ve got an Imagekind art store here , where you can buy prints of my art and help me fund my quest for world domination. And I’ve got a Blurb bookstore here , where you can purchase my book of pin-up girls.

What else can I tell you? I’ve got a Facebook fan page , a Twitter account here , a YouTube channel , a deviantART gallery here , a sadly-neglected Carbonmade portfolio here , and for those interested in my musings and my creative process, an art blog right here .

That’s all I’ve got for the moment.

Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
April 14, 2010

I’ve just been informed that I’ve been selected by the good people at Blurb to beta-test their new book-preview feature. It should enable you, the blog reader, to preview and purchase the book without leaving the comfort of my blog.

So without further ado…

How’s that work for you folks?

So I’m starting to look at logistics for my book-launch party in January. Today I figured out where the bar will be set up, how to keep people from hiding in the corner and not looking at the art, the music situation (a 5- or 6-hour iTunes playlist of cherry-picked old-school funk, punk rock, hip hop, 70s hard rock, and so on). My plan is to take the 10 best pics from the book and blow them up to poster size. Plus there’ll be copies of the book itself for purchase, though I don’t yet know how many copies to have on hand. Still lots to consider.

Would it be tacky to charge for drinks?

Seriously. If you’re into acrylics, this one will floor you. It’s hardcore.

Hey folks, just a quick update – as of yesterday I’ve got 28 of the projected 30 illustrations done for the pin-up book. This has been a much more lengthy process than originally intended, but the final product oughta be worth the wait. And it’s definitely been a good experience for me – not exactly a huge sacrifice to spend a year drawing women, after all.

Anyhow, I’ve got the final two pictures planned out (the last one will be a tattoo design), so hopefully I can get this thing off the ground before Christmas, and then everybody can buy a copy and I can retire to the French Riviera and drink champagne and eat caviar all day.

Oh, and here’s the one I finished yesterday: