Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ch-ch-changes.

One big change, really: I've migrated the blog over to my shiny new website. You can find all future blog posts right here.

Thanks for reading, and I bid you all a good day.

Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC
October 17, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 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.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

T-Shirt Thursday, Round 10

Ever since I did the metalflake seahorse painting for the agent last winter, people have been expressing interest in the design. It occurred to me recently that the design would make a great t-shirt:


And as usual, you can find it right here in my RedBubble store.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

T-Shirt Thursday, Round 09

Nine big weeks in a row for the T-Shirt Thursday promo. I'm pleased to say things are going very well, too.

Here's my latest:


And you can buy it here, of course.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thoughts on the Dino Show, and a Question.

All sorts of fun things going on here in preparation for the next art show in October. You may have already seen the t-shirts and the new calendar, but there are also 18 new metalflake paintings in the works. Right now they're scattered all around my studio, in various states of completion.

Here's a sneak peek:




We've got paintings as small as 3x4 inches, and as large as 20x20. Some will have designs based on the illustrations in my calendar, and some will have designs that are just rough concepts at the moment (hey, there's still plenty of time). Just the other day, for example, the Agent and I were talking and she suggested doing paintings based on dinosaur fossils.

Clearly she's a genius, because this opened up whole new areas of creativity for me. This T-Rex skull design is already on a t-shirt, but on a metalflake painting I think it'll blow people's minds:


I've also got an idea in mind that involves revamping the whole metalflake technique so it's even more three-dimensional. But that may have to wait for another show.

There may also be some other dinosaur-related merchandise available, but that's still top-secret for now. Mum's the word.

While I've got your attention, what's your favourite dinosaur?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

T-Shirt Thursday, Round 08

This week's t-shirt just had to be another dinosaur, with the show announcement a couple days ago.


You can buy it right here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DINOSAURS.

For your consideration:


Facebook event page is here, and in case you're not on Facebook:

Whether you love the ferocity of the mighty T-Rex or the docile nature of the brachiosaurus, dinosaurs hold a special spot in most of our hearts. As a child we were fascinated by these ancient creatures and for many of us, the fascination never died. 
It certainly didn't for artist Bret Taylor and he is celebrating them with an art show of earth-shaking proportion. 
So join us on Oct 13th and celebrate all things dinosaur. The show starts at 2pm and is kid friendly until 8pm, at which point we invite the over 19 to stay and celebrate with us. There will be dinosaur art and dinosaur collectibles, you may even find a few snacks for both carnivore and herbivore. Non-alcoholic refreshments will be available and should you choose to indulge in an adult drink or two, you are more than welcome to bring your own, but remember that until 8pm this is a child friendly show.  
For more information on the artist: http://howyadoingraphics.com 
Kid and adult friendly show 2pm - 8pm
Afterparty (adults only) 8pm - midnight
Imagemaker Photographic Studio, 210-2075 Yukon Street, Vancouver 

Thanks as always to my agent, who continues to amaze and astound me with her knowledge, skills and attention to detail.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

T-Shirt Thursdays, Round 06

With all the shark-week buzz going on lately, this one was a no-brainer:


And you can buy it here in my RedBubble store.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

T-Shirt Thursdays, Round 05

Another Thursday, another new t-shirt:


And you can buy it right here in my RedBubble store.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

T-Shirt Thursdays, Round 04

A brand new piece in the t-shirt store tonight. Special thanks to my agent Tess and my friend Lynn for their encouragement on this one. And to Cynthia for wanting to get together and draw last week.


Oh, and you can buy the shirt right here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

T-Shirt Thursdays, Round 03

Whoops, fell down on the job this week. T-shirt Thursday came a day late:


And you can buy it right here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Alex Stewart, One Layer at a Time.

So I checked out the 24 Artists 24 Hours art show recently. It was held at a great gallery on Hastings called Sheppard's Pie. You can get more info on the event here.

I dropped by on Saturday night about 6:30, and painting, drawing, sculpting, glassblowing and recording were all well underway. I'd come mainly to see my good buddy Alex Stewart, and offer my support (and a can of Full Throttle), but I ended up meeting a whole bunch of great, very talented local artists, any of whom I'd gladly go see again.

Alex had several pieces started when we got there, and over the next few hours we watched him work on all of them - one stencil at a time. The whole process was mesmerizing to witness. I decided then and there to interview Alex for this blog.

A few pics, then, before we get to the interview itself:






Now that you've survived the 24 Artists 24 Hours show, what's next on the horizon for you? Besides sleep, I mean.

Hah, oh and sleep I did, next up is most definitely a few group shows! I’ve met a lot of wicked artists in the past few months and really enjoy the collaborative process.

What are your longterm plans, if any?

Future plans include many things mainly starting up my own studio and gallery, I would love to be able to help other artists in a more substantial way. That and I have so many ideas floating around in my head I would truly love to start working collaboratively more often and having a dedicated space for that would simply be amazing.

I'm really diggin' your multi-layered stencil technique. How'd you develop that? Did it come from your automotive painting, or is it more of a graffiti thing?

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how it all came together, as a kid I remember my mom making stencils to put on whatever she may have been working on, so that could be where it all came from. I could also blame it on my job or my addiction to graffiti, the first time I attempted a multi-layered stencil was just after a rather long session on stumble-upon where I found a video of Logan Hicks working, after that I was hooked.

How do you know when one of the stencil pieces is done?

I never really know when a piece is finished, I’ll cut a stencil one day, spray it the next, and have it hanging in my house for weeks. Then one day I’ll walk by it and think, “god, that is bugging me,” then figure out some way to change it. So I guess what I’m saying is that my pieces are never truly finished in a traditional sense. They keep evolving as long as they are in my possession. Though there are a few exceptions, The skulls from the 24 hour show in my mind are finished, I am beyond happy with how they turned out!

It's kind of a generic question, but how did you get started drawing and painting? On a related note, are there any other artists in your family?

I’ve been told that as soon as I could hold a crayon I’ve been drawing. But I first started painting when my grandmother attempted to teach me to oil paint, which as you can see by how I work now didn’t entirely stick, I just don’t really have to patience for it. I love oil paintings (I love my grandmothers paintings) but it’s just not my medium. I guess in a way that answers the second part of that question. Both my Grandmother and Mom are artists, so I guess I come from a line of artists.

What other artists inspire you? Which ones would you most like to drink with? (You can include dead ones if you like.)

Hmmmm, artists that inspire me. I could list far to many, so I’ll just list the heavy hitters, Jeff Soto, Logan Hicks, and 2:12 are the three artists who’s work I check regularly just to see what they are up too. They all work in different fashions, that in my mind blend together so well. So I guess if I could bump into all three of them in the same bar, I would seem like a teenage girl at a spice girls concert in the 90s....

Would you say there's an underlying message to your work?

I’m not sure if there is a hidden message in all of my pieces, some yes, but mostly I just paint what I find beautiful and interesting.

Have you considered any sort of merchandising? Shirts, prints, your own energy drink... ?

This I have put a decent amount of thought into, and am currently working on a few things. So you’ll just have to keep a eye open!

Do you take commissions? What's the best way for people to contact you?

I do take commissions, when time and demand allows it, I can take on about 2-3 commissions a month depending on what else life throws at me. The best way to get ahold of me is either by email (enlifestudio@gmail.com) or just find me on twitter (@Enlifestudio) and get me a shout.

Is there anybody in particular you'd like to give a shoutout to?

Far to many! Mainly my friends and family for putting up with my ridiculousness, more than I care to count have I forgone a social life to paint, and I thank them for not disowning me for it.

Side note, anyone who brought me caffeine during the 24 hour show... I am forever indebted to you!

Thanks, Alex.



Thursday, July 26, 2012

T-Shirt Thursdays, Round 02.

Just wanted to tell everybody that last week's inaugural installment of T-Shirt Thursdays was a success, and that we're back this week with two new options:



How do those look, whisky lovers?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

T-Shirt Thursdays

So the Agent and I were talking earlier, and we thought that adding a new t-shirt design to my RedBubble store every week would be a nice idea.

But I got a little overexcited and added two instead:



You can buy 'em right here.

See you next week.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Talk to My Agent.

Today is a momentous day. An epic step forward. One small step for... well, you get the idea.

What's the big deal, you're undoubtedly asking yourself? Well, it's like this: after years of tentative moves careerwise with my art, I decided to go pro and hired myself an agent.

Many of you already know Tess McCann of MCNG Marketing. She first started aiding and abetting my career in the fall of 2011 when she helped put together my first solo show, Metal Flake. And when I say "helped", I mean I couldn't have done it without her. She hosted the show and made the whole event more professional; how she ever put up with my pre-show nerves I'll never know (dirty little secret: I'm always a basketcase in the days leading up to a show).

In the months since then, Tess has continually suggested things that would never have occurred to me, offered guidance and promotional help, pointed me in new directions, and in general taken a gigantic amount of pressure off me, artwise.

We've been talking around this idea for months, and after recent discussions it just felt right to make it official. Oh, and here's a word from my new agent now:

Hi! I'm super excited to be on board officially as Bret's agent. I have been a big fan since I first saw his work, I have several pieces hanging on my walls. I'm looking forward to helping his career thrive, because he certainly deserves it.

Really looking forward to this next phase. And it's fantastic to have you onboard, Tess.

P.S. For the rest of you wonderful people, if there's something of mine you'd like to invest in, please contact the Most Excellent Ms. McCann here and she can sort things out for you.

(Photo: Lindsay Bayne.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

900 Days.

Yep, it's true - Saturday marked the 900th day of my Thousand Days Project. Since January 1st, 2010, I've drawn/painted every single day, without fail. That seemed like an almost-ridiculous goal at one point, but the end is definitely in sight now.

I didn't do anything special for Day 800, because I was well into Birthday Shenanigans Week. Day 700 was the 1st of December, and in addition to chipping away at the numerous paintings I was doing at the time, I drew a quick headshot of a beautiful blonde.

So with all that in mind, I figured that Day 900 needed something out of the ordinary -  not a metalflake painting, not a dinosaur, not a sketchbook diary piece. But what?

Meanwhile, one particular illustration of mine has lain dormant for a long time - since September 15th of 2011, to be exact. This has been a long-gestating piece. I first started it in the fall of 2010, but it kept getting set aside in favour of other projects.

The first rough iteration of it looked something like this:


As time went by I slowly got closer to finishing it. In mid-September I did the blueline pencils:


This was scanned and imported into my Photoshop document, and the base illustration was set aside on my bar, waiting for me to do the final linework in ink. Anybody who's had a drink at my place since then has seen it sitting there, though oddly enough, I don't recall anybody ever asking about it.

I posted an in-progress picture online the night of the 15th, and walked off to a date with destiny. My whole world changed that night, and definitely without warning. Another story for my memoirs, I guess.

And I've seen that illustration almost daily since the fateful night, till it got to the point where it was just part of the furniture.

Until I was finally ready to finish it.

So without further ado (or cryptic remarks), here it is, the fruits of my labour of Day 900/1000:


Bret Taylor
Vancouver, BC

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dinosaur-a-Day Project, Day 13/29.

Okay, now that the Metal Flake Remix show is out of the way, it's time for...

... more dinosaurs. Spinosaurus:



(Another one I first saw in the Extreme Dinosaurs exhibit.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Metal Flake Remix - The Shocking True Story.

Well. As I write this it's late Monday night. It's been a pretty mellow day - slept in late, couldn't really get focused on anything, though I did still get a lot done. Yesterday was a hangover day, though more in the spiritual/mental sense than the physical sense.

But Saturday? Ah, Saturday. That was a fine, fine day.

As you obviously know from previous posts, Saturday was the night of my latest show, Metal Flake Remix. We had a great turnout, and I met lots of new people, which is definitely one of the best perks of being an artist. And I sold lots of art, drank some delicious bourbon, and created six new paintings:


After the show, I sat up with a handful of close friends all night talking (okay, and occasionally drinking). By Sunday afternoon it felt like the day after the prom - I was tired and burned out, but very happy. And it felt like I'd taken a huge step in my life.


I definitely want to try live art again. What an amazing experience - I was nervous as hell about trying it, but once I got started I couldn't have stopped if I tried. The music, the momentum, the amazing people watching, all combined to give me one hell of a kick in the ass. I know I have a lot to learn about this, of course - how to draw the audience in more, how to control the pace a little better, how not to blaze through all the work in just 20 minutes. But I'll get there, with practice.


Some of my favourite moments - Kelly winning the painting we drew for, finally meeting some longtime Twitter friends face-to-face, putting the big blue handprint everywhere, tequila shots, having friends from the bad old days in Charlottetown on hand...


Plans are already afoot for upcoming shows, too. The Dino Show is tentatively scheduled for September, and I wouldn't mind incorporating some live art into that as well. Closing Time is still a going concern, too (I'd really like to take my time and think that one through, though). And then there's For a Dancer - those six paintings could conceivably be finished by early August. Not sure yet what will happen there, but it'd be nice to have a one-night mini-exhibit in a restaurant.

I certainly don't want to oversaturate the market, so to speak. Fortunately my agent/marketing manager is passing on a ton of great advice in that regard, and in others as well.


So without further ado, some people I really need to thank: my family, John Watson and Imagemaker Photographic Studio, Kate MacDonald, Alex Stewart, Cosca Restaurant, the Apr├Ęs-midi Teahouse, Bailey Hunter, Lindsay Bayne, Derek Bolen and Karm from VanCity Buzz, Abbey Jackson, Kelle Belle, Dale Deruiter, Karina Halle and Team EiT, Corinna and Adam Carlson, Lola Frost, Lori Kittelberg, George Smeltzer, Samantha K, Matty Sadorf, Ned Tobin, Jonny Warkentin, Scott Graham, Oddball Workshop, Annie Friesen and Dottie's Buttons, Jamie Lee Purgavie, Nicola Proctor, Cynthia Griffiths, John Lee, Ceci Graber, Andrea Waters, Geoff Gauthier, Steve Goodman, Mike Watson, Johnny B, Novo Pizzeria, MCNG Marketing, Felice Lam, Cathy Browne, Anthony Wittrock, David Dreger, Amanda West...

... and of course, in the Without-Whom Department: Tess McCann.


(Photo by Lindsay Bayne. All other photos courtesy of Cynthia Griffiths.)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Metal Flake Remix - a Photo Retrospective.

So my latest show has come and gone. I'll do a more indepth post in the next couple days, but for now I'll just show you a few choice moments.

The day started with mimosas and grilled cheese for the Lovely Assistant and I:



(Go Habs!)

Once we got to the studio, we got all the necessary supplies ready:


Along one wall I showed the evolution of the Metal Flake series.



Of particular interest to many people were the seahorse and "For a Dancer" paintings, but those were already spoken for:


All too soon, we got to the live-art portion of the show:







(As you can see, painting is thirsty work.)







The live-painting portion of the show over with, it was time for some social activity:






Photos courtesy of Corinna Carlson, Cynthia Griffiths, Ian A. Martin, Jocelyn Aspa, Lola Frost, Lyndsay Bayne, Scott Graham, Steve Goodman, and the incomparable Tess McCann.

Thank you, everybody.