Gary Taxali is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in every major magazine and newspaper. Gary has exhibited in many galleries and museums throughout North America and Europe including Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome. In 2005, he launched his first vinyl toy, The Toy Monkey, which included a special edition along with a silkscreen print commissioned by The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. This led Gary to create his own toy company, Chump Toys, which recently saw the release of his OH NO and OH OH vinyl figures. Aside from his gallery shows and illustration work, Gary also devotes a portion of his time teaching and lecturing at various arts organizations and schools such as OCAD University (Toronto, Canada), The Art Director’s Club of Houston (Houston, USA), Dankmarks Designskole (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Istituto Europeo Di Design (Rome, Italy) . He is a Founding Member of IPA (The Illustrators’ Partnership of America) and sits on the Advisory Board of 3×3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration. Gary has also juried many student and professional competitions including The Society of Illustrators, The National Magazine Awards, The Dallas Society of Visual Communications and 3×3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration. Currently, Gary is writing and illustrating his first children’s book entitled This Is Silly which is being published by Scholastic and slated for a Summer 2010 release. Gary recently created the cover art and inside illustrations for Aimee Mann’s new album @#%&*! Smilers, which won a 2009 Grammy Award Nomination for Best Package Design. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
Why are you an Illustrator?
I love connecting pictures to text. I have my whole life. In fact, when I was four years old my teacher wrote in my report card that “my favorite activity is when I read a story aloud to the class. Afterward, he loves to show me pictures he’s drawn based on the story just heard”. So, I guess you could say I’ve been illustrating since I was four.