Gary Taxali
Yup Sir
There are special times for an illustrator when an assignment comes in where there is such a strong connection to the piece and the whole process is easy, obvious and joyful.  One minute, your mind is completely blank and then the brief comes in, and then, bang! -  the  picture just happens.  It's as if you're in automatic pilot in creative cruise control.  I tell my students that you don't think with your brain, you think with your hand.  Once that hand starts moving a pen or brush across the surface of the paper or canvas, then you become a receptive channel to the ideas that hover over you ready to be plucked and used.  When Conan Tobias, Publisher and Creative Director of Taddle Creek, a Canadian literary/arts magazine, contacted me to create a cover for the magazine (type and all), I accepted the assignment without so much as a thought.  I had no idea what I was going to do until I read that it was for the Christmas issue.  Then I started drawing and a man appeared, on bended knee, proud and contemplative.  After a year's worth of hard work, enjoying a pipe and surveying the efforts of his work (studying the land, the harvest he busily cropped, and of course, the future) he gazes contentedly at it all.  I liked the idea of creating the character in a halftone for the final art.  There's something ethereal, ghost-like, as if the person is caught in suspended animation that appealed to me for this piece and made sense for the illustration.  Of course, I often can't resist scrawling doodles ad hoc so they're happily included, too.  The illustration is called, "Yup Sir".

Sometimes, a character just needs to be done in the ghosty, halftone way.  Below is another example but this was personal work.  This was created for a solo show I had last year at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in NYC.  It's called "Lovesong Winner".

The first time I created a halftone character was the below image, created about 10 years ago.  It was for a wine label for The Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz.  He's like ET, although without the whiny overly-sensitive boy helping him get home - here, it's a television.  The wine was the 3rd incarnation of the winery's Cigare Volant, thus entitited "Cigar C".
All the above images are © Gary Taxali ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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