Mr.Taylor

Mr.Taylor

Co-Founder of Devicious! Designer/Developer at Thrive Internet Marketing. Illustrator/ Muralist

February 19, 2013

Organization:

Devicious! & Thrive Internet Marketing

Website:


There truly isn't one part of the local arts scene that Mr. Taylor doesn't have his hands on. He's partly responsible for the famous Love Wall on Adams Street, a co-founder of the art/apparel brand Devicious!, designed several artistic bike racks for The Arts Commission, and so much more. Mr. Taylor found a home in Toledo more than three years ago and is a native who truly embraces the artistic community. Find him online:

www.Hellomrtaylor.com
www.Devicious.com
www.LazerShirts.com
www.ToledoLovesLove.com
www.flickr.com/matt_devicious
instagram @mrtaylordevicious
Facebook.com/matt.taylor.315865

Tell us more about some of your past projects?
Toledo Loves Love Mural
The Love Wall – This project had such a personal impact on me. It was an amazing experience and it came together so perfectly. I think I was oblivious to the reality and immensity of it, as it happened. It has since hit me. The wall is the largest composition I’ve ever been a part of. That process was both liberating and intimidating. But when MEDE and Rachel Richardson and I put our heads together we made something really special happen. The process was an awesome collaborative exercise and has since turned into so many great opportunities for me and for upcoming public art in Toledo. It’s such an awesome honor to know the wall will be on public display for years to come. I don’t take that for granted.

The Arts Commission Designer Bike Racks
I was fortunate enough to have three of my bike rack designs selected over the course of the two contests. My ‘TOL’ bike rack is located right outside the Manos entrance on 17th and Adams. ‘The owl’ is on 15th and Adams across from Manhattans. The new bike rack ‘woodgrain’ will show up in the Warehouse District in the spring. Read more about this project here.

SillyBandz
I’ve worked for Verso Group / Sillybrandz Global for over 7 years now over on Main Street in East Toledo. Our company gained national recognition with the success of SillyBandz. It was an amazing experience to be a part of. I watched a product, (that I helped brand, design, and market) slowly start to take off and eventually take over the country. It was an eye-opening and exciting thing to witness. For a while my job became designer/customer service rep because of the constant phone calls in the office. Most importantly! The Simpsons mentioned SillyBandz in an episode, so I can basically retire happy.

Glass City Pedicabs Wrap
I was contracted to design one of the Toledo.com sponsored Glass City Pedicab wraps. It was so nice to work with Maxwell Austin, John Eikost, and Jason Vahle on this one. I must say, it’s a great feeling to be downtown and have my pedicab design go cruising by, which I’ve noticed, happens all the time.


What current projects are you working on?
Devicious!
The biggest ongoing project I have is Devicious! an art/apparel brand that I’m a co-founder of. Devicious! is the reason I’ve come to know everyone in this Toledo art community. You’ve probably seen our faces out hustling in booths at local music venues and art galleries, Artomatic, Maker’s Mart, The Art Supply Depo, Old West End Fest, basically, wherever we can. 2013 will be a big year for Devicious! Look for some new screen prints, a new tee, and the release of our first Devicious! zine this spring.

2013 Artomatic419! Mr.Taylor Booth

My booth for Artomatic has and will be taking over my life for the next month or two.  “The Aviator” will be my main installation at Artomatic this year. I am so excited for it. Expect a large, visually bold installation incorporating print and video. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I can’t wait to display this piece in April.

LazerShirts
I’m also a partner in a new retail t-shirt line, T-shirts that you can draw on in the dark with UV lasers. Check them out at www.lazershirts.com. We have repeat orders throughout the nation (www.thinkgeek.com is a notable online retailer that carries our line), but a majority of our LazerShirts orders, as of late, are sold in the UK.

Freelance / Commissioned work
I’ve been taking commissioned art requests for ink drawings, murals, print graphics, logos, gig-posters, album art, tattoo flash, pretty much whatever I can lend my style to. I’ve been keeping a steady workflow of commissioned side work, though time is a precious commodity lately.

Drawing. Drawing. Drawing.
Constantly. 

What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?
The first advantage that comes to mind is living in the little community that I do. The Old west End feels like home to me after being here for 3+ years. I have a lot of friends and neighbors that take pride in their slice of the world and that makes me happy to be here. Because of the supportive community, there is always an available venue for my art or my products to be shown. Independent brands and artists can be seen in Toledo, the channels are there and they are only growing in number as time goes on. I just tell myself, I can always travel to other cities, if I want to get my taste of big-city culture, but this is home base.



Tell us about one of your greatest successes.
2009 Devicious Artomatic419! Booth. Micah and I decided to participate in this art event we’d heard about. Our company was starting to gain a little local recognition, but we were still a very small operation at the time, so this was a great opportunity to show off our style to a new set of eyes and network. I just remember Micah and I struggling to get our booth finished and adding so many crazy details to turn our space into a vintage living room setup. We had plenty of orange, ugly flocked wallpaper, a working original Nintendo on an old TV set and a make-shift closet where you could browse our line of Devicious t-shirts. It was our first real introduction to the art community of Toledo. I made so many connections during that experience, and met people that I’ve grown to be great friends with. It was a huge success and a stepping stone to bigger things. 



Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?

I try to surround myself with inspiration, my walls are covered in art--I eat drink and breathe it. I find so much inspiration from the earlier eras of print, advertising, and typography. I like finding old magazines with quirky ads, and I have a book appreciation problem that has led me to having shelves and shelves of art books, interesting textbooks and old storybooks. I enjoy early 1 color design, engravings and prints, where artists spent weeks/months/years precisely halftoning lines by hand to the point of being invisible to the eye. That level of care and concern for detail is admirable and inspirational to me. It’s one of those things, that I know I’ll never get to that level, so I’ll just sit humbly admire it.

Classic artists that inspire me include Dali, Egon Schiele, Herb Lubalin, Andrew Wyeth.  

Some contemporary artists I am very inspired by are R. Crumb, Greg “Croala” Simkins, Travis Lampe, McBess, Mike Giant. There are also a growing number of artists I’ve been discovering and following through Instagram and Tumblr. 



Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.

My favorite place to chill locally is . . .

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time at the Black Kite Coffee Shop, it’s right in the neighborhood, so makes for a nice little walk to clear my head, and go draw/socialize for hours on end. I never fail to run into someone I know there at the shop. It seems to be a thriving little spot.

Favorite place for local culture?
Now that it’s winter, I can’t go over to hang out by the love wall as much as I’d like to. So I’ve been finding other means of culture. I definitely like stopping through the Art Supply Depo to stock up on supplies. I never leave without buying at least one thing, and I always end up not just shopping but hanging out, and talking art & life with my favorite small business owner, Jules Webster.

My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . .
There’s this little shady patch of grass to the right of The Love Wall. I like that spot. #urbangreenspace

 

When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . . 

You can usually find me in dimly lit corners, scribbling away at some meaningless doodle, trying hard not to be socially awkward, haha. Most of the time, this happens on Adams Street.

If you could change anything about the current landscape for creative, progressive people . . .
I feel like it’s a volatile time in Toledo for artists. Things are happening and shaking up, so that gives us a ton of potential. I can’t say anything currently needs to change, but this community needs to maintain this sense of support we seem to have going. As soon as we let negativity, jealousy, or greed prevail, we stop pushing forward and can become stagnant. I think outreach to art communities in other cities is a crucial step for Toledo. Open our doors to outside artists, and send our area-artists out into that big ol’ world out there, beyond the Maumee. That’s at least my next step as an artist. We all just have to stick true to form and put the work out there, the rest is fluff. 


Any exciting collaborations (past or present) you would like to tell us about?

Well recently Micah Lindenberger moved away to Brooklyn, he was always my biggest collaborator. We’ve been keeping the Devicious collaborative spirit alive by sending a sketchbook back and forth through the mail. I’ll work on it for a few weeks, then send it to him, and he’ll return it with his additions. It’s fun to see it come together, and actually use the post office.

The Love Wall collab with MEDE opened my eyes to a new medium in spray can form, and also kicked off a whole set of projects that we’ve started together since then.

Currently setting up collab/drawing days with a whole list of awesome Toledo people. I want these drawing-collab-days to keep happening, that’s why I’m saying it here! Meet up with me at the Black Kite to draw sometime, or let’s start a consistently scheduled drawing night.


Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.

I would give anything to just watch Tim Burton make anything, let alone collaborate. 



Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.
I have had this book from my childhood that’s basically an illustrated encyclopedia of animals. It was the source for many-a-drawing when I was growing up. It has become something I truly cherish, I had forgotten about it for years, then came across it recently. It has special powers, like better than the book from Never Ending Story. When I pick it up I go right back to being young and curious and inspired by the art inside its pages.



3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .
Diligent, Self-Perpetuating, Visually-Active



Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.

In The AeroPlane Over the Sea – by Neutral Milk Hotel
Any Collection of Sam Cooke
Dark Side of the Moon – by Pink Floyd
Odelay – by Beck
Until Midnight – Subtitles Needed

But an iPod full of music would be just as easy as lugging 5 LP’s to a desert island.


My biggest vice is . . .

Why? Are you a cop?

I want my last meal to be _______________.

Nana’s Sauerkraut and Keilbasa, mmmmmmmmm.

What’s the last dream you recall having?
Probably something about unicorns impaling teddy bears. 



The last lyric that moved me was . . .

When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.


The best gift I’ve ever received was . . .
It’s going to sound cheese-tastic, but the greatest gift I have been given is the gift of an amazing family. They are caring and considerate and so very supportive, I’m a lucky guy. 



My most inspiring moment was/is . . .

I had a huge ah-ha! moment when I enrolled in a figure drawing course at Bowling Green. That class and the professor opened my eyes to the world around me. Something just clicked for me and I learned to see in terms of value, composition, and in the importance of line, it just made me look at the world differently (more so than all the other art courses I had taken). I can definitely see a shift in my artistic work pre-figure-drawing to post-figure-drawing. If you have the interest in drawing or aspire to get further into art, I highly suggest doing so (at least try to make it up to Drink and Draw at the Art Supply Depo). It’s a crucial foundational skill to draw from life, one that will help you to find inspiration and beauty in the world around you. If you can just learn how to look for it.

Last thoughts.
I simply want to have a productive and positive year this year. I’m ready to take on bigger and better things, and continue helping my awesome friends make their awesome projects happen. Looking forward to our generations Toledo.  

 


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