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Office Space: Trey Bryan, illustrator

Hotel Hotel Phillips illustrator Trey Bryan

One day on the job

10 a.m.

Wake up, eat crepes at Chez Elle, first drawing of the day

11: 30 a.m.

Paint in studio in West Bottoms, read

2 p.m.

Buy art supplies, meet with clients, nap

5 p.m.

Go to daily wine reception at Hotel Phillips

8 – 11 p.m.

Draw jazz performers at Hotel Phillips

1-5 a.m.

Draw live jazz at Mutual Musicians Foundation


Don’t look now

Working with constantly moving subjects, Bryan doesn’t always have time to check in on his drawing before it’s done. “I just kind of look at what I’m drawing and let my hand do its own thing.”

Prolific producer

Bryan has a personal goal to finish one sketchbook every month. With each sketchbook averaging about 100 pages, that’s more than 1,000 pages of drawings every year.


To devote as much time as possible to his craft, Bryan stays away from the internet and TV as much as possible. “They’re taking my time away from my thing by making me watch their thing.”

Moving targets

“Actually I really like drawing people that don’t know that I’m drawing them because they do continue to move and they go back to one of, like, three silhouettes that they are always in.”

Unconventional colors

Bryan often colors his sketches with materials he has at hand. To shade the skin of a woman tanning, he spills coffee on his drawing. To show wine in a wine glass, he’ll dribble some on the paper. Once he colored a woman’s swimsuit with the nail polish she was using.

Pen vs. camera

Capturing scenes may be more easily accomplished with a lens and shutter, but, Bryan says “it’s usually a negative vibe when someone’s got a camera … it’s very invasive. I think what I’m doing people open up about, they want to talk to me, because not everybody does it.”

Ideally …

Bryan wants to take his art with him all over the world after his time with the Phillips. He’s been looking at other artist-in-residence programs at other hotels and one at the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland.


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