Ep.115: Bryan Mark Taylor on being a plein air artist

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Feb 19, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Bryan Mark Taylor, a painter, lecturer, inventor and world traveler! He is most known for his plein air paintings and his work has been featured in Fine Art Connoisseur, Plein Air, and other publications.

Get in touch with Bryan

Key Takeaways

“Put yourself into situations where it’s either sink or swim and go for it. Jump in with both feet!”

Resources mentioned

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Special thanks to Bryan for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Bryan Mark Taylor, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles  

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the next episode of Art Side of Life where I chat with inspiring artists five days a week. My name is Iva, and my guest today is Bryan Mark Taylor. And in this episode, you will learn how to work with galleries and why he has a minimalistic approach like Steve Jobs.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

So I always feel like if I’m futzing around with something, that’s one painting that didn’t get done, because I’m, you know, worrying and worrying about, you know, what kind of milk I want, or, you know, I pare things down to be really simple, kind of like the Steve Jobs idea, you know, he had turtlenecks and blue jeans. And that’s where every single day right because he was trying to do you know, the higher level creative thinking, I kind of have a similar philosophy and kind of personality that way.

Iva Mikles  

Ryan is a painter, lecturer, inventor and world traveler. He’s most known for his plane and paintings as his work has been featured in Fine Art consider playing air southwest art American art collector, American artists workshop magazine anymore. Brian is sought after teacher and lecturer and he has taught courses around the country, including the Academy of Art University, Pixar, and the Scottsdale artists school. So please welcome Brian Mark Taylor, and let’s get to the interview. Welcome, everyone to the next episode of art side of life. And I’m super happy to have Brian here. Hi.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Hi, it’s good to talk to you again. Nice meeting you at CTN. X in Burbank.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, he was so nice. I mean, I was just saying before the interview for people just listening now the talk was amazing. And Brian talked about like experiences in the different areas, and then plein air painting and stuff. So hopefully, we’ll get to talk about it in the interview. But let’s start with your background. And maybe you can mention, if you always knew that you want to be in art and design or it came later.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Ya know, for me, it was when I was eight years old, I told my dad, that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. And, you know, to his credit, you know, he’s a medical doctor, and very successful. And, you know, they definitely, you know, people have parents have concerns about their kids going into art, of course, and it was, but to his credit, you know, he they found an art school for me to go after, you know, regular school. So I started, you know, formal art education very early, so around the age of eight and kept finding teachers and things until I went into the university system, and did a, you know, bachelor’s and master’s in art?

Iva Mikles  

And did you know that you want to do traditional art or you started also something digital? And then you found that you don’t like it? Or you prefer both? Or how do you usually work?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Well, okay. Yeah, that’s, that’s a great question. So I’m, in some ways, kind of the, when I was going to school, you know, Photoshop and things like that were just in their infancy, you know, Greg Molins, was just getting started with that kind of stuff. So, in a way, I didn’t see its potential that it had. And, you know, later on, and I was more into the fine art side of things, you know, just handling the paint. You know, I’m familiar with all different mediums that you can you can possibly think of, and I’ve used them. But for me, oil painting is kind of the king of the mediums, in part, you know, with, you know, galleries and stuff like that, if you’re doing paintings that have a representational quality, you know, oil is one of the top mediums that always commands the top attention and prices and all that kind of thing. So that’s kind of what I was after. But I was definitely more on the fine arts side of things. Even though my initial love as a kid was with kind of science fiction and fantasy. That was my initial love of art. But I went in more, you know, kind of a different direction as I went through the university system, but I’m circling back to it now. And that’s kind of what that presentation at CTN X was about.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. Because then so now you travel around the whole year, or do you go like one trip a year? Or if you can talk about it a bit more for our audience? Yeah.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

So usually I’m traveling at least once a month, if not twice a month somewhere. And so you know, as you mentioned, I do a lot of plein air painting so out on location I go out and travel and and capture the the scenes in front of me. So I have extensive library of images as well as places that I’ve painted, you know, the world over. And so it started I’ve started to give me this new kind of ease. This view is broad view of what how the world is changing how cultures are changing. You know, we’re just going through rapid changes. And so I’m making all these observations from going out there and meeting people learning a few words of each language and understanding a little bit of what they’re kind of, kind of experiencing and going through.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I really loved the details when you mentioned what you notice, right? Either the shapes of the boats on the river, and then how you implemented it in the Sci Fi universe is that’s actually really interesting to just have that library, as you mentioned.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Exactly. And so I’m definitely drawing upon all those different things that, you know, little pieces here and there, I think, you know, when it really attaches, there’s nothing stranger than, than life, right? You can’t make up how odd some things are in the world in which we live. And so, you know, when you see some of the best movies, or the best ideas out there, they’re always, they’re always drawing from some sort of element in the, in our natural in the natural world, and also in current culture. So that’s definitely I’m very much an observation based sort of artists, and how do you approach

Iva Mikles  

the realism or keeping the certain level of realism? Because of course, you cannot go to ballistic when you’re creating worlds. So like, kind of the leveling up, like what is like relatable? And what is like completely, like, out of blue out

Bryan Mark Taylor  

there. Yeah, exactly. Well, I think there’s certain things, you know, with my understanding of light, you know, is not from photos, it’s actually you know, from the way our eyes process information. And so, you know, true sense of light or atmosphere, just the air quality, that certain places have the humidity level, the heat, all those kinds of things kind of are part of that experience. That’s why I go painting on location. And so when I go into these fictional environments, if I bring that sense of atmosphere and light into the piece, I think that helps it become more real than then any, any other kind of manufacturing thing I could, I could come up with,

Iva Mikles  

yeah, definitely. So what motivated you actually to go for these trips, or maybe, which were kind of the biggest decisions you had to do along the way to get where you are now, and just be as part of your career?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Sure. So you know, I’m in kind of in a fortunate position where I, you know, has in the fine art side of things, I’m independent, I’ve been independent my entire career. So I don’t really do commissions very much. So I’ve really been able to pursue my interests. And, you know, along with many people, I’m sure that have listened to, you know, hundreds of TED Talks and read books about, you know, things that are going on in the world, you know, global warming issues, pollution, you know, innovation, as well, as, you know, stories from the Old World, stuff like that, I’ve had the opportunity to really read and study and experience things in a really broad sort of manner. And so now what I’m doing with all that is I’m trying to put it together, kind of, in a way, a comprehensible way, and also a way that kind of makes sense to our, you know, you know, things that I want people to notice and pay attention to some of the and some of the things quite frankly, I’m inspired by junk, or places that are turning into kind of junk in the, in the wheels of progress, you know, they’re kind of, you know, like, plastic is a very interesting thing in and of itself. Whether it’s plastic bags, or bottles or tarps or, or whatever, you know, as in, it’s quite, I find quite interesting junk is very interesting to paint, and it come becomes it’s really disgusting, or whatever, when you see it in real life, but as it translates into paint, it can actually be a very kind of beautiful and interesting sort of thing. So that’s one of the things I’ve I’ve kind of looked at just a little kind of piece of it.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, like the reflections of light and different materials or what can be built from actually these materials. Right.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes, exactly. And so, you know, when I travel to third world countries, I see these people being, you know, just ingenuity with their, the things that they have the materials they have, whether it’s tin, cardboard, plastic, they’re able to make homes, they’re able to make things that function, repair boats, you know, all kinds of different different things. So, there’s actually a film that really was quite inspired, it’s called manufactured landscapes. And it’s interesting to hear the artists that the photograph this stuff, he used to take shots of like beautiful picture, you know, beautiful kind of VISTAs and stuff like that. But then he kind of had this detour and then he he, he took a picture of this mining facility and you It’s, you know, just a very different kind of experience. And it really kind of resonated with him. And to some degree, that’s kind of a similar experience that I’ve had, rather than just going, which I have done in the past, you know, in my early career doing more of the just purely beautiful kinds of locations, which, certainly there’s a certain enchantment to that as well. But now I’ve kind of gone to more maybe social and political or whatever, things that have a little bit more complexity to them. And so how do we deal with that? And can we find beauty there? Or is it all ugly? Or? How do we feel about the people that are living in those places? And how does that relate to the person that is well off? And there’s just lots of different things to, to kind of explore there?

Iva Mikles  

And do you create also characters in your fictional worlds, when you like experience The On location, you know, all the people around you, because most of the time you create landscapes, right? And so when you’re creating the whole world, how does your thinking process look like?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes, definitely. So I’m, I like to go from the big view down to the down to the small view. And so if I, you know, with my landscapes and environment scenes, usually I do have some people in it, or at times I do, and, usually they’re kind of an object in the landscape. So they’re a part of it. So what I’m what I, the approach that I’m taking is that really seen that the person or the people are kind of have adapted to that landscape. And so they’re, you know, even you know, things where skin color changes, depending on where you are on the planet, or, you know, the clothing and all that sort of thing is influenced by the environment. And I know, a lot of people may, or there’s a lot of artists who would start with the characters and work work towards the environments and things like that. For me, it’s, it’s much more environment driven, and then how does that shape the character and I think that’s, in a lot of ways how evolution works. So that’s, that’s what I’m currently working on is, is kind of more of the the general world and then kind of honing in from that, from that point on.

Iva Mikles  

Are you building also the character cast, or that will be later?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes, I’ll be, that’s what I’ll be working on this year is the character so it will center a lot around this girl and a fishing village. And she’s kind of been caught up, she came from more of a technologically advanced region and gets kind of sucked in because of love into the more that kind of the lower classes. You know, there’s some things about that, that, you know, you’ve seen through through the years of stories have been told, of course, there’s like Pocahontas, or like Avatar and stuff like that, that have those kinds of themes that they’re developing. But there’s still other ways that I see that going, then something, you know, in that in that particular direction, but it’s definitely this, this kind of push and pull between these these two worlds, the one the old world and the new.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, and then you can, like put the inspiration from different worlds into your imaginary world. Right.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And

Iva Mikles  

for people wondering, you know, like, because a lot of young artists are starting artists, they would like to go for these tools where you can actually, like, draw on location. So how did it actually work for you, you know, did you get the sponsor? Or did you will save up? Or did you? How did you make it?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes, okay. Well, I do this is, it can be a little bit tricky, you know, when you’re young starting now, and don’t have a lot of money, of course, you could, you know, the Patreon page and things like that, for me personally, I a lot of the sketches that I do actually are sold, when my trips over, so I have a gallery showing of the sketches that I do there on location. And so it easily pays for my for my trip. So, you know, in other instances, I can see where, you know, that can be a challenge, like finding the ways of doing that. But one thing I’ve I’ve discovered is, is there’s a lot of ways to travel quite cheaply. You know, the the websites as far as getting the travel and stuff like that. But you travel is there’s as much an art to traveling as anything else. And you get better at it, the more you do it, right. And so you know that my recommendation is going to third world countries where maybe unless you’re living in one then you can just pay right there right? And I’m not saying that you always need to go to a third world country. I’m certainly somebody that maybe lives in another place would like to come to America and kind of see what’s there as well. And There’s all kinds of different experiences depending on what you’re after. But I think that you can, you can travel on a shoestring if you need to. And that’s, you know, our iPhones or, you know, cell phones and things like that can can definitely be a help to finding the Airbnb type thing and, and stuff like that, you know, for me, I, I prefer to stay stay in places that are a little bit nicer because of certain conveniences with digital technology and stuff like that is so I can stay connected with my, with the people that are following me. And I also have, you know, gear that is really kind of set up, I can, I don’t have to think much about my packing list and stuff like that, at this point. One of the things I developed, because of my extensive travels is wanting to have a very reliable set of paints and a painting system that works that that I can constantly rely on. So when I was, I was in Italy, a couple of years back, I, one of my easels or the easel that I brought broke, which is kind of a Bashaud box, you know, Bashaud box. And it was, you know, it’s made out of wood, stuff like that. And that kind of led me to develop a kind of a bulletproof system that I can, I can go out and take out on location, I actually have a box right here, Oh, perfect. I have a bunch of different sizes, but this is this the Strada it’s made out of aluminum, it’s very hard core, and the trays and the paint all nest inside, so you can kind of just get a look at that, that goes on a tripod, all my painting kit goes into a backpack, it’s very easy to to take around, and I have a size for every type of situation. So certain places, I’ll use a very small size if I know I’m backpacking, you know, really far into places. And then I have a little bit larger sizes if I’m more in in like a city like you know, as in Havana, and so I brought a little larger easel because, you know, just like I was just in a city, so it was kind of easier to do that

Iva Mikles  

in the soybeans. They are also the brand Strada or is there that is only for the easel

Bryan Mark Taylor  

as for the easel and, you know, everything that has to do with kind of the, the major, you know, as far as the setup and stuff like that, you know, our website sells, you know, brushes and things that I like, different companies that I like, as I’ve you know, tried all kinds of things, and people are constantly sending me stuff. And so we kind of go through and decide what it is that we really like. In fact, I while I was in China, I found a great carbon fiber tripod that’s very nice and compact. And so you know, things like that, that, you know, if you can shave off a few few pounds of weight with your gear, it’s just, you know, it just makes it easier, easier to travel. Yeah, and I try I try and keep things down to, you know, one small, small bag, right, so yeah,

Iva Mikles  

and when you are painting with the colors, you are using only the like, the warm and cool tones of each basic colors, right, you don’t use like to require a spade or something like that.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Right, I don’t think it’s necessary. I, you know, and I painted it in all kinds of situations, I you know, I even have a light on my easel that I can use, I can paint at night. So night or day, any type of weather season, you know, if you have a warm and cool of each of the primaries, and plus white, you’re going to be in pretty good shape. As far as capturing any kind of color, tone or value. I do add occasionally like a brown. And what that does is just helps me get to a gray faster. So it’s more of a convenience color than anything, because a certain amount of speed is needed when you only have a couple hours to capture anything on location, right? So you want to be able to get to it pretty quickly. Right? So but I I’m all about simplicity, you know, keeping things nice and simple, so that you can and I do this kind of with my life too, so that I can go out and travel like I want to and and, you know experience these things, because I always feel like if I’m fussing around with something, that’s one painting that didn’t get done, because I’m you know, going more worrying about, you know, what kind of milk I want or you know, I pair things down to be really simple, kind of like the Steve Jobs idea, you know, he had turtlenecks and blue jeans and that’s what we wear every single day. Right? Yeah, because he was trying to do you know, the higher level creative thinking I kind of have a similar philosophy and kind of personality that way that I kind of like to automate things are make sure things are pared down so that I can just grab things and go you know, for instance, so I have a painting kit. I put a painting kit and you know each of my cars and you know, I have You know, suitcases that are ready to go if need be. Sometimes I’ll get, you know, some phone call or like this is happening right now you need to come see it. So I’ll get on the plane and, and go, you know, for instance, like SpaceX had some had the opportunity to go tour, they don’t do tours, but I had a contact through a contact that was able to make it happen. And you know, next day, you know, I’m there in LA, you know, getting a tour of it. You know, you just got to make you got to just jump in make those things happen.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. So you can be flexible with your schedule. And yeah, but let’s talk about networking. And well, before, I need to mention that it sounded like you have 50 cars, but no, sorry.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yeah, sorry that I that sounded bad.

Iva Mikles  

It was a joke. Anyway, bad joke from me. But so how do you do your networking? You know, because if you display the artworks in the galleries to like to be sold, like, how do you find the galleries? Or how do you actually build your network? If you are not in LA, or whatever you sell?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes, yeah. So I have done over 100, maybe 100 group shows and about 21 match those. So I’ve have Vic’s you know, extensive showing, you know, showing it to the public other than just on the social media stuff. I really find a lot of people maybe just go with a social media route. And sure, certainly, that’s important. But there’s nothing like making those personal contacts that you know, in person, like you and I, you know, it, it’s one thing if I just contact you out of the blue, or you me, but the other thing if you eat at a conference, so you’re going to those conferences can be very important. And also doing the shows. So, like in the United States, now, there are a lot of plein air competitions. And so I’ve done, you know, when I was younger, I did, you know, everyone I could, I could think of, you know, I travel all around the country, you know, the United States going to all these shows, and so, you know, you’d win awards and things like that, and then galleries would see you from these shows, and they would, you know, invite me to be in our gallery. So then, you know, if you do well in the gallery, then they’ll do a show for you and stuff like that. And so I really find that, you know, my original goals, right? While I was still in school, I was always once a month that I was entering some competition of some sort. Right? It’s quite a lot of competitions. Yes, yeah. And I only had to do that for about a year. And then everything started to kind of roll. And then I would you know, get into this show or that show, beginning to get a lot of rejections. Right? I actually saved a file of all these rejections I got, I was, you know, there’s a good size, number of rejections and things like that. And you just, it’s just kind of like a numbers thing that I like, just choose would chew through. If they didn’t want me, then I just go somewhere else, and then just keep following things. And as they work, and what kind of

Iva Mikles  

kept you you know, motivated, like, when you have these rejections, and then you sometimes people start to feel like, Oh, am I good enough? Or is it the good object? When I’m painting? Or all of this? Have you ever felt like lost? or kind of like, Oh, I’m not sure if we’re like,

Bryan Mark Taylor  

yeah, no, definitely, you definitely feel those moments, and I’d be lying to you, if I if I didn’t, and you feel a more in your early career than, then you do maybe later as, as things kind of get rolling. But I think there’s a certain amount of that, that you have to say, you know, work, just, I, I’ve always believed that a work ethic, you know, hard working person, creative person will definitely ultimately find a market. And so, if I stuck to the goals, not to necessarily the response to what I did, but to put it out there, within to get enough eyeballs to see it, then, you know, eventually something I’ll find, you know, people that will enjoy what I’m doing. And so you have to, I think it’s a little easier now, in a way because you realize this, it doesn’t have to be the mega hit anymore. There’s so many niche markets, that it’s just a matter of kind of tapping into those kinds of niches. And so I think that’s, that’s a big part of it. Now, that’s not to say, like, I’m constantly looking at improving my work, you know, never satisfied with what I’m doing. I’m always trying to push to the next thing, looking at people that may help me and in taking something a little bit further. So, you know, like you mentioned, you know, I’m very strong with environments and things like that. And with characters, there’s a lot of things that I could definitely still learn from people that specifically focus on that and so kind of that’s what I’m doing is learning from them as I take these real world experiences and ideas and characters that I find out there. And then and then Also look at some of the artists and things that inspire me in ways that I can kind of build that. Build those those characters?

Iva Mikles  

And what do you think if someone would want to do what you do now, and they’re just starting out, it can be really overwhelming, you know, like, oh, there is like dailies, you know, perspective and all of that. And so like also simplification when you’re doing on location. So how would you maybe approach the learning process? And if you can just give some tips in that area?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes, absolutely. So I actually produced, I produced the DVD called the Masters mind, and it’s based on it’s part neuroscience, in part, you know, like, the 10,000 hours. And so I went back to the original research, and went through, basically, it’s a huge volume of all these research papers, and actually went through all of it. And, and studied about, you know, what, what really works. So part of my philosophy is that, you know, one of the methods they talk about is chunking. And that’s where you take, you know, the, you know, the big thing that is art and take it down into small bite sized pieces, and then hone in on those pieces. So, basically, I personally produce a DVD with six exercises, and I’m gonna go over what what they are. So it’s composition is such a kind of this piece, right? How do you design how do you make interesting compositions, then light and shadow, obviously, dealing with light and shadow, atmosphere, and linear perspective, then color. And then the other thing is the concept, right? The idea. So going into each of these pieces, and sub and dividing them into little exercises that we repeat, for a certain period of time until we’ve actually memorized them is kind of the way I approach anything. So if I’m trying to absorb another, maybe another artists kind of skill set or something that they do well, say it’s like edges. So edges, is, you know, I would I would look at, you know, John Singer Sargent, for instance, he does wonderful edges. And so I would be doing some master copies. And then I would also, you know, maybe have his work close by, so that I can compare what I’m seeing with a live model with what, how he saw it. And then, by making those specific comparisons, I’d be working on maybe just faces for a while, or maybe even just hone in on noses, or eyes. And, and work on that for a series of time. And usually I use do these exercises for maybe a month continuously until it becomes more part of it. Because part of you, right? That’s what you’re kind of trying to do as your absorb absorbing these things.

Iva Mikles  

And then in the learn how to actually simplify what you see. Right?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Exactly. Yeah. And that’s the problem with I do see people out of art school. So I did teach at a university for about seven years, just part time, because I was busy doing my other projects. But during that time, I noticed that a lot of people could do ahead, pretty good out of school. And, you know, if they worked really hard, and you know, just really focused on that, you know, do a portrait or something like that. But doing an entire environment was a much longer process, because you’re trying to simplify things like trees and leaves. And how do you simplify something that’s so complex like that, you know, it, it takes some time to figure out the structure of it, and what you can get away with and all that. So there’s definitely that time. But you’re right. I mean, that’s the thing is you’re trying to simplify, right? Simplify, simplify, simplify it. And that’s where you can look at other artists who have learned to simplify and, and see ways that they solve that problem. And that’s, that’s really one of the things we can look to, like old masters or even current contemporary artists that we we like, for ways to simplify. Yeah, exactly. Because,

Iva Mikles  

like, if, when I was starting out, I get a lot of these like advice, like, oh, yeah, go practice, like from real life. But then you get really frustrated because like, I don’t know how to do it. So it’s good to study first and then practice from real life.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yeah, you need to go back and forth. Yeah, there’s always that you go out and experience on location, but then you need to go into the studio and kind of digest what it is you just saw. So after a trip, I, you know, I need a couple of weeks to kind of go through and process it, especially some of these areas, like in China, where I went to this fishing village, it’s very complex. And so I, you know, I’m still kind of going through it, and digesting and understanding how it kind of works together. Otherwise, you know, at the beginning, I think well, so how is it painting? How is a design or thing how’s this can even work are how does this boat function? Or how do how does this market you know, these people that are selling these fish? How does this even work? So these are all kind of questions that you can start to kind of have figured it out and simplify it, and so that you can comprehend it.

Iva Mikles  

So you have, like a story moment, like when you’re looking at the whole river with many boats, you can take like, Okay, I like this boat because they are, I don’t know, like drying fish only then I want to have that story in this Layout pane.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Exactly, exactly. Yeah. Or they have, you know, these really small little square like boats that are, they just kind of this floating raft sort of thing. And that’s where it’s basically a chopping board where they are, you know, getting the fish and stuff like that. And so you know, even understanding, okay, that’s what this little thing does. And that’s its function, and how does that look next to this larger boat, you know? And how do those things interact? And how did how did the people jump from one to the other? So a little, there’s a little moment right there, that could be a scene. And so that’s, that’s one thing that you you focus on. So you’re doing these little vignettes, right, you’re turning these all this complexity into little vignettes of maybe little, little stories or little ideas that then can be worked back into a larger framework.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And then you also take pictures to have it like compared to if you want to build on something bigger, right?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Exactly. So while you’re out there painting, I consider this active meditation process where, instead of focusing on you, and the breath, you are focusing on the scene in front of you. And then what you’re doing during that time is making observations as things move around you, you’re kind of there in one place for a couple hours. And, you know, things will happen that you can just as as the life unfolds, and it allows you to make those observations. So instead of just running around quickly taking pictures of everything, and then then leaving, you know, just by digesting it, they’re a little bit more than they can can sink a little sink a little deeper in your psyche.

Iva Mikles  

And so how many paintings are they do you do when you’re on location, if you can mention for our audience like, because if you’re like, super fast, you do like 50 paintings a day, when you’re meditating as well. And observing?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yeah, no, I, you know, doing like five paintings a day is about is a good thing. So because I’m really noticing the color, the light the time of day. And so I’m not necessarily trying to rush through it so much. If I were doing more sketching, if I was more of a sketch artist with just charcoal or whatever, I could do a lot more. But since I’m building the color as well, I want to make sure that feeling of light and shadow is quite accurate. So I do I don’t, I maybe move quickly as I’m looking and trying to assess where I’m going to set up. But once I’ve set up, I let the world kind of, in a way, go into everything goes into slow motion, as I’m kind of laser focused on the scene in front of me. So I do a couple in the morning where the light is really nice. It’s usually in the middle of the day that I’m kind of deemed to take a break and recharge a little bit. And then in the evening, again, around four o’clock, or depending on the time of year, you know, in these winter months, I’ll do it, I’ll start more like 233 o’clock. Because the sun is at a lower angle, and you have nice shadows all day long. But if I’m in the middle of June, you know, I’ll take a long siesta. And then work you know, much later get up much earlier and work much later. So it’s a little bit different type type type of day there. And when I’ve got a lot more hours in the day to work,

Iva Mikles  

and when you are not traveling, how does your normal day look? Like? Do you do something daily, which contributes to your success, like other types of meditation, or like blending your week or month?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes, so I do have my studio practice is very much. You know, in the morning, I am usually exercising of some sort, you know, on the elliptical, if my knee is, is not is acting up or jogging, if it’s not. And so I’m kind of kind of inspired or out in nature a little bit to kind of, you know, refresh that or that connection with it. And then you know, I start painting and you know, paint paint like crazy. And then I’m usually I eat lunch pretty fast. And then then I just get back to it and going. Yeah, in a way I’m kind of a machine that way, where it doesn’t matter if I’m inspired or not, I’m just, I just keep doing painting, right. And then the evening, sometimes I’ll watch something or even while I’m painting, I might have some sort of documentary on or the kind of the talks or books, listening to books and things like that, so that there’s always some sort of intellectual input along with the visual so that it can kind of add more depth to kind of what I’m doing. So yeah, and also even if I have a bad painting, or you know, bad, something didn’t work out. I’ve learned something that day, you know, that’s good. Right? Right. So So in Yeah, that’s that’s the kind of process and then, you know, in the evenings or weekends, I do go and see things shows or visit with people or, you know, we’ll, you know, always kind of got something kind of going on socially so that, you know, you can kind of make mates, you know, stay connected to, to humanity, or other people around. Yes, exactly. Otherwise, you know, it can be kind of a solitary profession as you’re kind of pursuing your craft. Right? Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And when you mentioned some of the books or documentaries, can you mention something because, like, you like color and light that I’m always fascinated with colored light. So there’s also kind of my patients, so I, like I need to build my list of materials. Sure, sure.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Well, certainly, I think, you know, the planet Earth series, and you’ve which you’ve probably seen are definitely ones to look at, because of, you’re getting a very global view of some of that rural those rural areas. But well, along with, with those kind of nature, things, there’s also, you know, the cultural stuff. So you know, I, a lot of, you know, what, I’m what I’m looking at his documentary on, you know, indigenous people, you know, in general. So, there’s lots of different documentaries, there was one that was done produced in the 90s, that was really neat is called Baraka, beautifully filmed. And there are, I’ve seen so many, it’s hard, it’s hard to, like, name them off the top of my head. But I also, you know, things like, you know, the development of food and farming is another thing that I look at. So. And I also look at it from the perspective of, you know, I always see what Elon Musk is up to, with innovation, and, you know, that side of things or the space race, you know, getting to Mars or, you know, back or building a station on the moon, you know, you know, things like that. So there’s another area there, you know, another documentary that you should absolutely watch is the one about the particle collider, that it’s there and in Bern, Switzerland, right. Yeah. I think they call it a particle fever that

Iva Mikles  

I don’t like, I’m not sure the name exactly.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

The documentary is called Particle fever. So that’s, that’s another one. That’s, that’s, I think, important to, to, to, to see. I think there’s, there’s a lot of things about pollution or plastics that are there’s a documentary, I think it’s called Blue or something like that, where, you know, deals with the the plastic issue, and it’s, I think that’s a good one to, to look at, as plastic relates to, you know, the environment, stuff like that. So, there’s another one that, that has been interesting. I’ve been, I’ve, I’ve watched some things on Cuba, of course, to see interest in different government systems. Also, there’s a great series called human planet, which is something I recommend, where it goes less with the nature part, but more with the culture part and goes to different cultures and interesting things that they, you know, make a living and ways in which they survive. So that’s definitely and there’s a series on Africa. Of course, it’s, it’s, it’s quite interesting. So there’s a lot out there to see

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. Because it’s just like so much content very that you can consume. But the if you can do it while working as well. But as you said, it’s the perfect combination.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yeah, exactly. And I don’t recommend that if you’re really trying to learn something. So in the mornings, when I when I’m the most fresh, I don’t listen to things. So I don’t, if I want to hone a certain skill, you don’t want to be just slightly distracting yourself. But if I’m in an area where I’m comfortably trying to create something that I I’m very familiar with, that’s when I have things on as well. Because almost it’s like driving, right? If you’re learning how to drive, you don’t want to be listening to some talk, TED talk, right on particle physics, right? But if you know how to drive and you can, it’s kind of automated, right? And so you can, you can add another layer to it. So I guess I say that with a certain caveat. If you if you’re really comfortable with the thing you’re doing and maybe producing it for a reason that’s very familiar to you, then go for it, if not really focus on that task that you’re trying to build the scale on.

Iva Mikles  

Definitely. And so let’s talk about maybe future and future projects. And some of my last questions will be like, what would you imagine you’ll be doing in five to 10 years, you know, like your dream scenario?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes, you know, so this is really inspired by Some of the books that have been put out that have the fine art plus kind of a narrative to it. And, of course, I look at Dinotopia from a friend of mine, you know, a lot of people know, know that that piece. And then also at CTN, it was great to see our men Armand Baltazar as well as Greg Manchester and their books that they just put out. And that’s something I’d very much like to do with the idea that it would not only be for, you know, a book in its own right, right, in its own story, but also with the idea of, you know, putting together you know, something that would be, ultimately become a movie. So that’s kind of my main project right now is kind of that building the world and the story. Again, I don’t have any maybe financial pressure in that sense where I have to. I mean, this has to go it has to work. But it’s, it’s more of that big project that I want to do because of more of a legacy sort of thing. Right? Perfect.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, right. Yeah, definitely. I can’t wait to see that. Because I’m sure that would look amazing. So when you will have all the story build up? And, yeah, that sounds

Bryan Mark Taylor  

good. Thank you. And I don’t want to reveal too much right now about what that’s all going to be or titles or anything like that. But that will definitely be forthcoming. And, you know, it will be slowly revealed over time, I guess, is what I’d like to say about that

Iva Mikles  

you see already when, like, people can look forward to it. Like, is it 2018 19 later? Or you’re not? Sure?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Yes. Now, we’re so you’ll, I mean, you’re, you’re gonna start to see, you know, things kind of coming together, you know, in the next two years, but I would love to have the book, you know, completed by, you know, in three years, three years time, that’s kind of my plan. So perfect.

Iva Mikles  

can wait. So, when you already mentioned the legacy, and maybe I would like to know, so what would you like to be remembered for? Is it the movie? Or, like stories you will tell? Or for this? Yeah,

Bryan Mark Taylor  

I think a big part of it is the just the visual. I would hate to even I’d even hesitate to say style. But what I what I would say is this person lived in this time and place and captured some things that were important that were going on during that time. Am I trying to be the world’s greatest artist? No, but I’m trying to sincerely tell kind of the, my view of the planet and of life, you know, as it as it happens, so whether or not the public accepts it or not, I know that like my family, and you know, that it’ll be something that, you know, will have a legacy there. And so I, you know, my hope is that people look back at it as something that was definitely contributed to, you know, the now the good of humanity, right? Is is the most that we could really hope for.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, that’s perfect. Yeah, I totally agree that that’s really nice message. And yeah, and Oh, before I forget, where people can find your DVD will dimension is it on your website, or

Bryan Mark Taylor  

it’s actually so a different party. I’ve got one here. Oh, cool. But you can stream it. I didn’t actually produce this. Plein Air Magazine did so it’s through streamline. So if you go type in Brian, Mark Taylor streamline, you can find the DVD there. I also have kind of more instructional tutorials, and we just filmed a couple of last week. So I have new ones, and those will be on Gumroad. So they will be uploaded very soon. I’ve got a studio, a new studio painting, as well as another plein air, one that will be released very soon. So you can kind of I do only have two videos on Gumroad. Right now we’re going to try and build that out to more like 20 or something like that, where I have a little vignettes of kind of like what I talked about where there’s these little pieces, how to find these pieces and stuff like that. So like it will contain. Exactly, yeah, and so that’s, that’s definitely we’re, we’re working towards that.

Iva Mikles  

Perfect. Yeah, and before we say goodbye, maybe you can share a last piece of advice or key takeaway, and then we will slowly finish.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Okay, well, I think, you know, for young people that are just starting out or maybe I you know, I’ve worked with people that are even, like finish their career and want to get into their career, right. Yeah, exactly. My, my, I guess my philosophy my way of doing it is, you know, you don’t dip your toe in the pool, you jump in, right, you gotta kind Put yourself in a situation where it’s really sink or swim. And just go, you know, go for it. Because if you aren’t other people are jumping in, right? And are gonna go for it. So you really have to, you know, jump in with both feet. And I think the thing is, is that the, you might have to forego some comforts to do that initially, right? But if you’re willing to do that, you know, it’s, you get to you are, there’s nothing better than the creative life. And it’s just an exciting thing where you wake up every day, just being excited, you know, if I had to go to an office and stare at a computer all day, I would shoot myself. Just, you know, I’m kind of a more of a wild animal in that sense. I, you know, I need to be out and kind of doing things and stuff like that. But that is worth you know, if you have to eat spaghetti every night just to you know, survive or whatever. I think it’s, I think it’s worth doing that. So jump in, you know, the water’s fine.

Iva Mikles  

Because then you end up doing what you love. And then if we spend all our lives working, that it should be something that we enjoy. Right?

Bryan Mark Taylor  

Exactly. Yeah. I mean that. And I said to me, like, you know, things could not work out even if you did what you didn’t like. So you might as well do what you do, like, any if it doesn’t work out. At least you did what you liked doing. Right. So anyway.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I totally agree. And I really enjoyed all of your tips and artistic journey. I thank you so much for being here.

Bryan Mark Taylor  

My pleasure. Even I appreciate you inviting me on the podcast. It’s been a lot of fun.

Iva Mikles  

Thank you so much again, and thanks, everyone who joined today, and I’ll see you in the next episode. All right, thank you. Hope you guys enjoy this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to artsideoflife.com podcast, because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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