Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Thornton.
Taylor, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a kid I drew like a maniac. When my family and I would go out to eat, I was the bane of the restaurant’s existence—paper table cloth or fabric table cloth, I drew on them all. Still to this day, no table cloth is safe (Watch out Chili’s). I was steered towards drawing more normal stuff when I was little: still-lifes, landscapes, lions, Nickelodeon knock-offs, nothing too weird—but I was always drawn to the funnier, more darkly comedic art.
The illustrations and sarcastic wit of “Calvin and Hobbes,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and later on “South Park” became a huge influence on my humor and the way I present it through art. Be it a horribly Xeroxed comic in the middle school paper or an overdramatic painting of our school janitor, I always tried to get people to connect and react to my art growing up… Namely, laugh hysterically or, in most cases, be aghast and offended.
Beyond doodles and painting, my stunning lack of athleticism and commitment to being lazy as hell led me to constantly watch, analyze, and make movies as well. My buddy stole (“borrowed”) his mom’s video camera, and we utilized its extensive cinematic techniques to create fake movie trailers and dumb comedy sketches. As with most stories of internet legend, we started off posting them on YouTube and Facebook.
Though not quite the phenomenon of “Charlie Bit Me,” kids in our community watched and dug them. We loved being able to give entertainment to an audience, as minuscule as it may have been. And, yes, it was tiny. After studying Film and TV at the University of Texas, I moved out to Los Angeles and have been working as an animator and in the script development area of the entertainment industry.
I’ve found a way to merge my love of painting and drawing with movies and television, recently completing an animated pilot called “Jack Lantern: Ghost Puncher” which I pitched at the Austin Film Festival. To my roommate’s disdain, I continue to paint and draw like a mad man, with our apartment now resembling an artistic hoarder’s nest of completed canvasses.
I love the idea of sharing my art with a greater audience across LA and becoming more engaged with local art communities.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I always dealt with any obstacle as a kid in one way or another through movies and drawing. I remember having a bad day at school and coming home to watch “Home Alone 2.” It was September, so nooot the time of year for that movie, at all. But I had a really over the top epiphany that this is what I wanted to do with my art: help people escape from the angst of everyday life through entertainment. Yep, poignant thoughts for a 12-year-old stuffing his face with Oreos**.
While I’ve never had a horrible tragedy or had to cut off my own arm like James Franco or face down a mountain lion or anything like that, I recently had my passenger window shattered and absolutely all of my sketchbooks were stolen. The procrastinator in me had left years of unscanned art in a beat-up brown book bag that apparently looked like it was filled with gold bricks. Watercolor caricatures, pre-production sketches, storyboards, everything in it was gone.
It’s no Van Gogh ear trimming but it was probably my lowest point as an artist. However, these past six months trying to make up for the missing art has made me work twice as hard and created some of my best work yet. That being said, I wouldn’t add “become a victim of vehicular robbery” to your list of procrastination solutions.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
As a painter/designer/doodler (the technical title), my business is a combo of both my own work and collaborative pieces for commission. Since I work across all mediums, my “clients” (random people who message me on Instagram and friends) have requests that range from small and straightforward to absurdly expansive and fresh.
I’ll paint a basic watercolor, sketch ridiculous Met gala caricatures for their studio, create band posters, design business logos, draw my buddy’s dog and even make labels for a local hip-but-disgusting craft beer. Whatever the request, my stream-of-consciousness and detailed cartoony style brings a “charmingly demented” vibe that’s unique to my work.
My clients are mostly in Texas but all over the place. While I’ve heard Etsy is what the cool kids are doing, I typically do all my business through Instagram and my website. I’m still gaining my footing in the LA art community and will be participating in as many local shows as possible in 2019.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Humor and passion are the absolute key to success in my opinion because once you can’t laugh at something, it’s game over. Growing up, I was always told that art had to be a serious and thematically important experience. BUT IT CAN JUST BE FUN. Everyone needs to laugh and enjoy themselves.
People analyze things too much through such a stern lens: “Is this not a piece of ‘serious’ artwork? Well, it must have a theme!”. It can be toxic and lead to something unoriginal and unproductive. Sometimes you just need to see a painting with bright colors, straight-forward funny subject matter and laugh.
- $200-$1000 Acrylic Paintings (16×20+)
- $150-500 Watercolor and Pen & Ink Painting
- $250-400 Custom Caricature
- $250+ Custom Band Poster
- $150-500 Custom Movie Poster (Your Project or Existing Title)
- $300+ Storyboard / Pre-visualization
- $75 Pen and Ink Doodle Sketch on Canvas Paper (8 1/2 x 11)
- Website: www.taylorthorntonart.com
- Phone: 2103947505
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Art Instagram: www.instagram.com/thordrawz,
- Sketch Comedy Instagram: www.instagram.com/phantomcampent
- Twitter: @TAYL0RTH0RNT0N