Popeye and Betty Boop are some of the classic cartoon characters that coloured the childhood of Canadian artist, Gary Taxali. Today, their images—tokens of 1930s illustration art—continue to inspire Taxali’s internationally recognized work. Based in Toronto, Taxali produces vintage-inspired illustrations, of which some have been exhibited in Spain, Italy, Germany, England and many galleries throughout North America. Toronto caught a glimpse of his work earlier this summer at the corner of King and Portland streets for the annual NXNE music festival. “Music and art go hand in hand so well together,” he says. “NXNE really allowed for a nice marriage between the oral and the visual arts in our city.” NXNE wasn’t the first experience that Taxali had in working alongside musicians. In 2009, he created the album art for Aimee Man’s @#%&*! Smilers, which won a Grammy award Nomination for Best Package Design. With a vast portfolio that ranges from major publications in The New York Times to a self-written children’s book called This is Silly!, Taxali’s primary inspiration has remained rooted in the same era throughout his career.