Local artist profile: Garry Taylor

This week we chat with artist and author Garry Taylor.

What initially motivated you to become an artist?

I always loved drawing and I didn’t really think of being anything else. I just pursued it in my own way. When I was in secondary school I majored in art and it was difficult afterwards to get into the workforce. I decided to do my artwork and hold exhibitions.

You have a really unique style. How would you describe it and how did you develop it?

My proper painting style is realism. I usually paint still life paintings. I paint in gouache, watercolor, ink and pencil. The book on clothing I self-published had to have illustrations, some like caricatures.

What’s the story behind your self-published book? Clothed in Memory? How did it come about and what was the process in putting it together?

I decided to work on a particular project so my spare time would be filled with something that was actually building towards something, namely a book. I wrote some letters to celebrities to see if I could get replies. Of course I did not get replies to all my letters, but enough came in for me to start the book. It’s a book in which about 80 famous persons recall a garment or garments they have worn sometime during their life.

Which other artists inspire you and why?

So many artists inspire me. Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Paul Cezanne, Pierre Roy, Hilda Rix-Nicholls, and also photographers like Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson and others.

What are some highlights or fond memories you have from your career so far?

Well, I recall meeting the Melbourne artist Vali Myers. When I showed her my work she told me to go to Emerald Hill Gallery South Melbourne. She said, “We’re going to launch him!” Needless to say I was not launched, but I am proud of any showings of my work and Vali came to see that exhibition.

How has your practice been affected by COVID? Has there been little change, or has it had a substantial effect?

COVID affected me a little in that shops were reluctant to accept books on commission during the COVID period. Sometimes I was dubious though of the COVID excuse.

How can people check out your work and, most importantly, purchase it?

My work both paintings and book can be checked out by emailing [email protected] or phone 0422 250 713.

What would you say to young regional aspiring artists who are thinking of making a go of the artistic life?

Young regional artists who are thinking of devoting their life to their art should go for it. It is not an easy life that of a freelance artist, but I tend to think it should be all or nothing. Go for it!

I believe artists are born not made. It might not be politically correct but there it is. Of course, you can always improve your techniques. Practice, of course, is essential. Singers, actors and others in the arts rarely let bad reviews or negative attitudes push them off their path. So, I would tell people to definitely pursue their dreams. You do get one big go at life in general. Talent should not be ignored if you indeed have it. And a person does know when they have it don’t, don’t they?

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