If you were looking to find a Skatebird in their natural habitat, allow me to direct you to some things to keep an eye out for. First and foremost, you gotta keep watch for big yellow beaks on an otherwise human-looking face and body. Looking out for handrails and hubbas is also no brainer. These things practically fly down them. You’ll usually find them sporting Emerica tee shirts and riding Baker decks. These are other telltale signs of a Skatebird. Last but not least, and if you have no idea what the hell I’m even talking about, you have to visit Wales-based illustrator and nose-slider Lewis Taylor’s Instagram page to find them.
On this page, you’ll find dozens of these Skatebirds that have been carving up different terrains over the past couple of years. Since the beginning, Taylor told us, “Skatebird was pretty much my main character when I first started posting on Instagram, he was really basic to start with and then over time developed into more of a real person with just a beak as the only resemblance of a bird.”
If you think this article has all the earmarks of an Artist Profile we did a couple weeks back on fellow skate illustrator, Dustin Ammons, you’re not far off. From one artist to another, Taylor recalls, “After coming across Dustins page and seeing that there was another character similar to mine I got in touch with him and from there we did a collab which I think came out pretty cool!”
Where Taylor’s profile differs and shines, though, is in it’s ever sprawling assortment of subjects and scenes. Some weeks there will be scenes recreated from The Office or The Simpsons. Other weeks feature some nods to the pros like Bryan Herman and Axel Cruysberghs. Then you’ve got silhouette-style works, works where everything is drawn with rubber bands and a bounty of works centered around original characters. When asked if he had a favorite character the artist told us, “I’d say I most enjoy creating my own characters and playing around with swapping body parts for different things or enlarging certain body parts etc.. I also like using scenes from my favourite films as the basis for a lot of my drawings. Basically the less serious it is the more fun I have doing it and that’s what keeps me picking my pens up.”
As for the man behind this all, Taylor cleared up once and for all that his @taygord handle stems from a nickname given to a drunken alter-ego of his. Before that, however, Taylor’s roots begin on a farm in the UK, as a son of an artistically-inclined family. Though his earliest strides in illustration began at primary school-age, Taylor asserts, “Surprisingly I was never really a huge fan of art classes in school though, I just wanted to draw stupid cartoons and skate related stuff. I didn’t take well to choosing themes and using different materials etc.. I’ve always preferred the traditional pencil, pen and paper approach. It’s just clean and simple.” As far as that skate-related aspect goes, Taylor says that an obsession he learned from a couple kids at school took shape on the farm where he build boxes, rails and even a mini ramp to skate endlessly.
Nowadays, he finds a happy medium between of working, keeping up with the illustrations and, of course, skateboarding. When asked whether he preferred putting the cap back on a marker after a long night of illustrating or getting into a noseslide without sticking, he told us “Having a solid skate where I’m landing everything cleanly and avoiding painful falls is always nice but, similarly, finishing an illustration that i’m really happy with is super satisfying. I guess you could say I prefer which ever one I’m performing best at on the day!”