Meet the Team: Baylor
Written by Cyd Sanchez
Baylor Meche is our Head of Marketing here at Mindzai HQ. He is typically hard at work behind the scenes making the magic you see on our website/social media platforms. I was excited to be able to put him into the spotlight and get to know him on a more personal level. We sat down to talk about life as a marketing professional, artist, and overall wonderful human being!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where and why?
A: I've been wanting to go to Japan since I was really young. I’m a total weeb, but like in a way that really appreciates the culture, language, and history. I want to take in nature, hot springs- everything. I plan on taking a two week trip whenever things open up. That’s definitely the number one place I want to go.
Q: That sounds like the best time, I know they have incredible food. Speaking of, if you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be?
A: So, I do enjoy Japanese and Korean food. In college I had a few Korean friends that made amazing authentic recipes. However, If I had to choose... Jesus I don’t know, like I kind of want to pull a Grimes and just say spaghetti, haha. I would probably say Louisiana cajun food, even though it’s all fried and terrible for you. It’s the best food in the world.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I’m from the Lafayette area of Louisiana which is the real Acadiana where the cajun food is. It’s one of those things where everyone believes the further North you go in Louisiana the worst the food gets. Haha. We’re kind of high on our horses when it comes to food. New Orleans Creole food is pretty great too. We make our gumbo a bit differently but still use The Holy Trinity of spices (onion, bell pepper, and celery) which is a staple in any Cajun/Creole dish.
Q: Aside from being a total Marketing Badass™, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: Lately, I’ve been working on my art a lot. That’s really taken up a lot of my free time. I’m trying to grow as an artist and go further than where I’ve been. I’ve been working on new practice exercises since June or so. I just started doing shirt designs too so working at a place where I can get art prints and screen printing done is a huge bonus!
I also just got an electric bass guitar on a whim. I have a friend who’s down to teach me, but it’s hard trying to find the time. I was trying to learn through YouTube, but I benefit from having someone teach me hands-on. I’d love to start an all-gay band one day called “Charm Bracelet” haha. Aside from that, I’m really into drag and know lots of drag queens in the local scene. I love Louisianna Purchase, Rhonda Jewels, Hermajestie the Hung, etc. They’re very cool and fun to see perform.
Q: Do you have any favorite or inspirational artists?
A: Absolutely! Patrick Nagel is the artist whose work really inspires me. He was a really popular 80’s artist who did that one Duran Duran cover. His thing was a very clean style of portraits with limited detail that I’ve always connected with personally. I love portraits because I think that anyone, regardless of whether you see yourself as a model or not, can be transformed into a work of art via portrait. I took that idea and what I’ve studied from his works to develop my own style of portraits.
There’s a Japanese digital artist, Kaneoya Sachiko, who is another big inspiration. I’ve studied a lot of Ito Junji, too. The way he draws people is very interesting and he’s really good at creating a lot of dimensions, bold lines, etc. in black and white. Very Superflat. I feel like for a long time I was doing portraits, portraits, portraits, but his work lit a fire in me to take those portraits and add something fun, something darker. Before I would use a lot of color, but now I’m using pure black, pure white. Making things that are still portraits, yet more unsettling. I want people to not only look at it like, “that’s a very beautiful face, beautiful portrait” but also be a little disturbed and invited to something that they can’t put their finger on.
Q: I know you said you’re working with a lot of black and white right now, however I know you’ve tended to use a lot of color. … Do you have a favorite color palette?
A: I actually made a signature color palette! During quarantine, I had this collection I did called “Neospace '' where I did lots of portraits of drag queens and other people that I thought were really cool. I experimented more with creating backgrounds and scenes. For this collection, I picked my favorite variant of each color in the rainbow, added a darker variant and a lighter variant and created that palette. Since then that is the palette I use to this day. Even when I’m doing my balck and white work, if I want to add a color I have a specific pink, or blue that I like to use as an accent.
Q: What’s your favorite part about the artistic process?
A: Hmm. Probably the feeling I get when I start and finish a project. The middle can get frustrating, but I’m always overflowing with emotions at those points. Everything I do is done from start to finish in Adobe Illustrator.
Q: What is or was one of your greatest learning curves as a digital artist?
A: So when I graduated college at LSU, I didn’t really vibe with what I could do with a Marketing Degree. I didn’t think I had it in me to be a marketer, and really I wanted to get my PhD. Due to financial hardship, that wasn’t gonna happen. I kinda always wanted to be an artist, but I can’t draw very well with my hands. I’ve never taken classes or anything. I looked up tutorials and tried to learn Photoshop, but I found it really confusing. Then I found this in-depth tutorial on Adobe Illustrator.
Once I started, it just clicked and made sense to me. It took some time, but I was able to create a workspace in Illustrator that I liked. From there it was a constant learning curve of “how do I create shadows or outlines that look correct?” since I don’t sketch to start. When I open the program it’s just a blank canvas with some reference images, and I spend a lot of time figuring out how I want things to look. Every piece I start can sometimes be a learning curve. It’s about having a vision in my head and trying to produce that. I still don’t think I’m there yet, but I’m getting a lot closer than when I started.
Q: What’s your favorite part of your job as Head of Marketing?
A: Truly the nature of the job. In school I’ve always loved small business. That was why I went into marketing. I felt that even though we’re stuck in the shitty capitalistic time, it’s amazing to help people who have these small businesses thrive, make money, and change people’s lives. Everyone who works here at Mindzai is really into the print shop and helping artists turn their art into something that they can sell and make that their career. Before I worked here I was actually a customer. I applied for a job in the screen printing department - *spoilers I didn’t get it.*
But I really liked working with everyone and admired Scott. He is the coolest boss I’ve ever worked with so far. So I went back home to my marketing materials, drew up a proposal, and came back. I said “Hey, I’d love to help out with the marketing of this business, social media, email campaigns, etc. You name it, I can do it.” Since then I’ve really become part of the team.
I guess my favorite part is getting to do so much creative stuff everyday. I feel like I’m not only helping a small business with tons of cool people working here, but also I’m helping other artists get their work out there. We’ve had people with like 100 followers send in a really dope painting, so I’ll try to take good photos and share it on our page. I just hope that whenever I promote artists that they gain new followers and meet new people who will support their art. Helping people in that way is the coolest thing ever.
Q: Favorite tattoo on your body?
A: I have some tattoos that I love... some that I regret, but every tattoo I’ve gotten is important to me. I like to go to a tattoo artist that I really like with an original concept design and ask them to translate it into their style. Right now my favorite is my Ito Junji tattoo that I got from Jenny Tran @jennytranart who does these incredible anime/manga tattoos. I have another appointment with her at the end of this month, which I’m really excited for.
Q: If there’s any advice you could give to a young, upcoming artist what would that be?
A: My best advice, if you haven’t figured out your medium yet, I would tell you to try several different options outside of what you’ve done before. Try digital art, collage, sketching, sculpture, whatever you can think of! Take your ideas and inspirations, and put them through these outlets. Whichever you have the most fun doing, run with that.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects?
A: Yes! I’ll be selling my prints and screen printed shirts at The Little Gay Shop of Horrors. It’s an artist market hosted by The Little Gay Shop and East Side Pop Up on the Eastside of town. The Little Gay Shop is an exclusively queer owned shop that sells art from queer artists all over. It’ll be on Sunday, October 24th, 11-4. Mindzai is sponsoring my booth, and I’ll be there with our very own Lacy Shelby who will be hanging out to talk shop to anyone interested to see what we’re all about! So if you’re an artist looking to get any art prints, t-shirts, stickers, business cards, etc. this would be a great opportunity to get to talk to someone face to face. But yeah, come out, get some art and meet some dope ass people! Shout out to The Little Gay Shop and Eastside Pop Up for having us and Mindzai for sponsoring me.
You can catch Baylor on instagram: @blue.eyeswhitegaydragon and at the Little Gay Shop on October 24th. Thanks for all you do and stepping in front of the lens this time. Subscribe to our newsletter for more blogs and updates!