Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the Year, End of the Decade.

Well, here we are - another chronological milestone. I have to admit, I was so caught up in my own day-to-day crap that the end-of-the-decade aspect didn't even register with me until a few days ago. Ergo, I haven't really been sitting around feeling nostalgic or retrospective.

But I will say this: this past decade was the one where I finally got serious about art. In the 80s and 90s I took a few extended breaks from art, and each time I came back I had to take a few steps back to reassess. In the 2000s things were a little different; I didn't really plunge back in till late 2001, but once I did, I never let up. Since then the depth and breadth of my ongoing school-of-hard-knocks art education have been pretty substantial. Each year it feels like I'm learning more than I did in all the previous ones combined. Which only makes sense, I guess - each year I'm starting with a much bigger knowledge base.

So, time being of the essence, I'll wrap this up with a list of people who challenged, inspired, taught, or otherwise helped me with my art over the last decade. And again, this is all off the top of my head, so if I accidentally left you out, it's really nothing personal.

Thanks to: my family, Robt. Williams and Juxtapoz, Bill Sienkiewicz, Glenn Barr, Jimi Hendrix, David Mack, Dave McKean, Jim Mahfood, Chris Bachalo, Patrick Blaine, Kevin Meyers, Jaye Frisina, Anthony Smith, Howard Cowdrick, Rheni Tauchid, Anthony Dunphy, Eliza Ollin, William Wray, Jeff Hotchkiss, Tim Kupin, Ray Rivard, Benoit Leblanc, Mark Crater, John Watson, Paul Whitt, Chris Nowlin, Pól Rua, Kristen Northrup, Laura Whaley, Rob Cooper, Kurt Mitchell, Jonah Weiland, Morna Tudor, Gary Bolt, Joshua Burt, Brian Cronin, Lori Kittelberg, George Smeltzer, Matt Anderson, Jewel Staite, Joss Whedon, Scott Robertson, Frank Quitely, Adam Hughes, Danijel Zezelj, Milo Manara, Eduardo Risso, Sebastian Krüger, Mordechai Luchins, Jason Light, Jason Williams, the Beastie Boys, Lyndsay Malchuk, Kelley Averill, Rick Diehl, Lisa and Paul from Mojave, Jessi Sensabaugh, Gus Lindgren, Robert Genn, Matty O, and the incomparable, irrepressible fly on the wall.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some Unsolicited Hype.

My good buddy Ray just did a nice write-up of my book on his blog:
It's always satisfying to see someone make strides creatively, both in short bursts and over the long haul, and to share in the process in a public way no matter what the potential criticism or negative feedback. It's why I've struggled with creative impulses for years and years. Like others, I crave warm and fuzzy validation, but I also want to be taken seriously, and that requires ripping apart old work, acknowledging writing tendencies and consciously navigating a way around them, and, perhaps most importantly, finding a unique "voice," one that reflects who I am, rather than just mimicking others. Most of us don't want to walk that tightrope, and one fall without a net is usually enough to deter efforts for awhile, if not indefinitely.
You can read the rest here. And while you're there, check out the other entries. Ray's got a lot to say on a number of topics, and always says it well. (Also, pay attention to the labels on his posts, because they're freakin' hilarious.)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Plans for 2010?

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?

Friday, December 18, 2009


Well, this is it - the goal I've been working towards all year. Publication. Today I got the very first copy of my new book via FedEx. I have to admit I've been pretty anxious about this; before I opened the package today I nearly barfed.

But now, of course, everything's cool. I haven't given it a really thorough once-over yet, but I have looked at every page. And lemme tell ya, friends and neighbours, I am very happy with this book. Very. Very. Happy.

Now you're probably asking yourself, "where can I find out more about this book?" So the least I could do is give you the answer instead of keeping you in suspense. You can preview (and buy, if you're so inclined) Hey, Ladies! right here. I should point out, of course, that this is only a partial preview. Plenty of the book's pages can only be seen by buying it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
December 18, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Four New Paintings.

Well, this is a big day. The Christmas paintings are all done - at least, all the ones that have to be mailed to the East Coast. And of course, I uploaded the files for the book to Blurb the other night, so now I'm just waiting for the first copy to be printed and shipped to me.

Kind of a weird feeling - every project from the last few months is finished. Not really sure where to go from here, just yet. A couple days' downtime might be helpful, though.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Texture, Texture, Texture.

Just a quick hit-and-run post today - all hell is breaking loose, so I've barely got time to show you folks these macros from two of the most recent paintings. Lots of fun with acrylic mediums*: fiber paste, ceramic stucco texture gel, glass bead gel, crackle medium, extra coarse nepheline gel, matte medium, clear tar gel, extra heavy gel, and pouring medium.


*Yes, I have it on good authority that in this particular case, "mediums" is the correct plural form.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Party.

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?