Gary Taxali was born in 1968 Chandgarh, India but was raised in Toronto, Canada. He graduated Ontario collage of Art in 1991 and begun work as an illustrator while exhibiting his art work in galleries. His illustrations have appeared in Time, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Newsweek, New York Times, Business Week to name some and his art is in the collections of The Victoria Albert Museum and The Royal Ontario Museum.
When asked about his work and how it’s characterised by a sense of irony and whimsey he gives the answer,”I try not to characterise my work too much because that starts to limit what it is, as opposed to being open to evolving. I like to laugh, I like to make silly visual comentaries on things, I like whimsy, I like irony, I like slapstick and I’ve liked that stuff since I was a small child. That’s never going to go away.” With this, Taxali has strong professional ethics and says,” I don’t give my work away for free, I don’t sign bad contracts, I don’t draw pictures I’m not happy with, I have self resect for my career and my work, I don’t give away my rights ever and i don’t like low ball. I try to maintain industry professional standards.”
Though a lot of his work has been illustration for books and magazines he feels his style can cross boarders and can be suited to everything. He finds illustration exciting because on a lot of his assignments he’s felt that he’s the only illustrator suited to the task and has had amazing chemistry with other people involved in the publishing process.
Taxali embraces a range of mixed media. His illustration tends to be screen printed while his fine art is a mix of painting, sculpture, assemblage and installation. His early work was all done without the use of computers though he now uses them in his screen printing process. He says that over the coarse of his career he has become more interested in computers as a tool and as he branches into toy design the 3D software is helpful. He also sites a growing interest in animation.
Taxali’s fine art work and his illustration feature similar characters and themes. Although both these creative experiences are different, he sees it as the same person speaking and that in illustration the concept and the idea you work within are to serve the needs of the art director or editor. His personal work he approaches in a different way, here the imagery is not governed so much by the concept. Both sides of Taxali’s work feul each other. He says that the personal work and the freedom that it gives him to experiment is a factor of his success in the graphic design field.