Art Crush: Inside the Zany Mind of Artist Taylor Dunfee

By VALERI SPIWAK
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In a 21st century world where everyone is a “multitalented” artist producing uniquely profound work, Taylor Dunfee has emerged at the head of the pack, producing awesomely uncommon and highly sought after visual creations.

LA CANVAS caught up with the half-photographer, half-illustrator to find out how he scored photography gigs with popular brands like Free People, and where his hauntingly attention-grabbing illustrative artwork stems from.

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You are an extremely versatile artist. You not only snap stellar photos for brands like Free People and Bikini Bird, but you have insane illustration artwork. How did you originally stumble into both art forms? 

Photography was by chance, got in to a lot of trouble as a kid. One too many encounters with the police made me decide that I needed a life path change. I went to my friend’s dad, Bill Decker, and asked him for some guidance. He left the room and came back with a canon 35mm film camera and said to just go shoot photos and not to worry. Needless to say I got that camera tattooed on my right hand cause it led my life to where I am now.

Art stemmed from another unfortunate time, my girlfriend left me for another dude and it destroyed me. After a long day of work I came home and opened up a national geographic map of Iran, the first thing I saw was a face made from the border so I drew it. When I finished I had blown my own mind. For the next year I would draw on different maps from time to time but it took a bad head injury to really get me to commit all my time to art, I had no choice cause i couldn’t leave my house. As I progressed my style became fine tuned and my confidence grew as well.

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Do you prefer one art form to the other? 

I love them both equally. The only difference is with my art there are no limitations, I can draw whatever I want. I have a very active imagination so it helps coming up with the weird shit I draw. When it comes to shooting photos you can be limited some times due to lighting, environment, client, vibes etc., etc.

It must be pretty difficult to shoot bangin’ babes all day for radical brands. How did you first begin dabbling with photography? What lead you to commercial photography work?

Hahahahah bangin babes. Life is about making connections, and the photography world is a small one. Started as an intern for a photographer, learned how to light and keep clients happy. Connect the dots if you will.

Your artwork is beautifully twisted and truly attention grabbing. What inspires your illustrations? 

In all honesty I get inspired pretty much everywhere I go. If you can’t find inspiration in every day life you should probably open up your eyes.

 

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If you had to sum up your art in three words what would they be? 

What. The. Fuck.

What’s the hardest part about being an artist and what’s the best part? 

Hardest = Staring at a blank canvas/paper

Best = receiving a complement

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?

Love more.

What’s something people might not know about you based on your artwork and your heavily tatted exterior? 

Not scared to cry, emotional duder, but I think that shows in some of my art and writing.

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