About Us

1.  My Starting Situation
In Art & Calligraphy

My name is Tai Zen (pronounced “tie”) and I came to America as a Vietnamese refugee after the war between the U.S. and Vietnam in the late 1970’s.

For as long as I can remember I have always admired the beauty & appeal of the female figure.

I have always dreamed of drawing and painting beautiful women and having better handwriting since I was a young kid but never knew how.

Our family was poor so I grew up picking fruit and vegetables, worked in the “sweat shops”, repaired commercial fishing boats as a welder and machinist, trained athletes to get bigger stronger and faster, etc.

2.  I Was A Typical
Amateur Artist Who
Tried & Failed Many Times

I did a lot of odd labor intensives work when I was young but none of them were “art stuff” or had any correlation to art or calligraphy.

I first dabbled in the arts by doing pencil portraits to make some extra money because I was so desperately broke.  I struggled to capture the correct likeness and proportion of my subjects.

The portraits were very inconsistent and had very little creativity.  The art I created at that time looked very childish and amateurish and it was very obvious.

I only spent a few hours on each art project and it was usually done in one weekend.

I first got involved in calligraphy by trying to write “love letters” for people who did not know how to read and write well.

3.  My Big Breakthrough
In Art & Calligraphy
After Breaking My Hand

My big breakthrough in art & calligraphy came in 2000 after I accidentally broke my right hand I was very depressed, frustrated, and annoyed because I could not workout or train anyone at the gym.

A neighbor and friend named Joe gave me an art book book called “Drawing Realistic Textures In Pencil” to read by an artist named JD Hilberry.  (Here is JD Hillberry’s website and JD Hillberry’s YouTube channel).

It was the first time that I got “educated” on how to create art and I started applying what I learned to draw better female portraits and made a little bit of money on the side.

while my hand was still in a cast and waiting to heal, I was introduced to a Polish Catholic priest named Father Bauta through a mutual Mexican friend.

Artist Hangout 1 - Tai & Father Bauta
Tai Zen & Father Bauta in Austin, TX Circa 2007

Meeting Father Bauta was a huge game changer for me artistically!

He was able to see “dry land through muddy waters” and saw that I had great potential to be a really great artist.

  • He invested huge amounts of time and energy to encourage me to study books, documentaries, videos, etc. and practice art in the tradition of the famous Renaissance artist such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, etc.
  • He invested his personal monies and his church’s monies to buy me brushes, paints, and many other expensive art supplies so that I could have an opportunity to create world-class artwork.
  • He would always remind me that if I wanted to become a world-class artist, I needed to model and emulate other world-class artists.
  • He opened my eyes and helped me to learn and understand the beauty of different European calligraphy systems and why it was so highly valued before the printing press was invented.

4.  I Started To Get
Consistent Results
In Art & Calligraphy

Due to the positive words of encouragement and funding from Father Bauta I was able to start getting high quality & consistent results in my artwork.

Here are some religious murals that I did for Father Bauta’s church:

Artist Hangout 20 - Catholic Church Murals (crop) - By Artist Tai Zen
Religious murals painted by Tai Zen for Father Bauta’s church.

I painted “religiously” almost everyday for nearly a year to complete the mural above for the back drop where Father Bauta conducted his Catholic mass services.

After I completed the center “Crucifixion” portion, and Father Bauta conducted the blessing ceremony (“grand opening”) for the painting, I was astonishingly surprised at how many people showed up to take pictures with the painting.

The painting helped to renew and remind many people of their faith and it was the first time that I witnessed the positive and emotional impact that my artwork had on other people’s lives.

It was a very surreal moment for me!

The overwhelming hundreds of people who wanted to take pictures with me and the painting made me realize that I had been very selfish to spend so much time painting a girl that I liked which did not benefit anyone except for the girl I wanted to date.

Instead, I could have spent that valuable time painting beautiful women that can potentially have a positive impact on thousands of people’s lives.

5.  I Refined What I Learned
Into A System To Help Others
Create Positive & Impactful
Art & Calligraphy As Well

Throughout my art career, I always get a lot of questions when people see me paint or practice my calligraphy.

Therefore, I started to refine what I had learned, the mistakes I had made, and the experiences I’ve acquired with creating art and calligraphy into a “system” that I call, “5 Principles To Creating Impactful Art & Calligraphy” to help others create a positive, impactful and world-class level of art & calligraphy.

I started to share my art & calligraphy methodologies with fellow artists in my neighborhood and the people that attended Father Bauta’s church.

6.  Others Started To
Have Consistent
& Amazing 

My students who were “teachable” and “coachable” began to make huge improvements with their art and calligraphy and it impacted their personal lives in many ways, including:

  • A Mexican student named Albert, aka “Flaco”, from Los Angeles who was a former gangbanger who quit hustling and gangbanging on the streets after “accidentally” taking one of my art classes.  He is now one of the top general contractors & home builders in the southern California region.
  • A Colombian student named Carlos from Miami, Florida who “tightened” his relationship with his wife and became emotionally closer by sending her love letters using the beautiful calligraphy systems that he learned in my art classes.
  • A Colombian fisherman named Pipe who found sense of “fulfillment & purpose” by teaching what he learned in my art & calligraphy classes.
  • An Italian student named Joe who became a world class web developer using the design principles he learned in my art & calligraphy classes.

7.  You Can Learn To
Beautiful Art
& Calligraphy Too!

I have shared my “5 Principles To Creating Impactful Art & Calligraphy” with hundreds of people to help them become better artists and calligraphers.

Others have learned it and so can you!

I truly enjoy…

  • Sharing my art and experience with other fellow artists.
  • Motivating and inspiring other artists to produce world-class art work.
  • Helping beginning artists to get on the right path to creating positive and impactful art.
  • Helping experienced in veteran artist to take their skills to the next level.
  • Helping other artists unleash their creativity.
  • Helping other artists get paid for their artwork.
  • Engaging in collaborating with other artists.
  • Etc.

… and I really look forward to making a positive impact on your artwork as well!

The first millionaire I ever met told me that if you want to “soar like an eagle, you can NOT hang around a bunch of turkeys!”

Likewise, if you want to be a world class, well paid artist, you can not hang around a bunch of lame, starving artists!

The Artist Hangout is to help other artist become better artist and get paid in the process in order to live out their art passion and dreams.

See you soon!
Tai Zen
Artist, Teacher, Motivator, Father, Survivalist, Freedom Fighter, Etc


Artist Hangout - Tai Zen & Wrestler The Undertaker
Tai Zen & WWE Wrestler The Undertaker hanging out and watching a mixed martial arts fight.
Artist Hangout - Tai Zen At The Tuaca Body Art Ball 2
Tai Zen at the Tuaca Body Art Ball
Artist Hangout - Tai Zen At The Tuaca Body Art Ball 1
Tai Zen and friends at the Tuaca Body Art Ball
Artist Hangout - Tai Zen & his biz partner Eric Gerber with their business & marketing mentor James Malinchak from ABC's hit show, The Secret Millionaire
Tai Zen & his biz partner Eric Gerber with their business & marketing mentor James Malinchak, the world’s #1 speaker trainer and star of ABC’s hit TV show, The Secret Millionaire
Artist Hangout - Tai Zen & his biz partner Eric Gerber with America's top celebrity real estate broker Dr Tiana Von Johnson
Tai Zen & his biz partner Eric Gerber learning to hustle with America’s top celebrity real estate broker Dr Tiana Von Johnson
Artist Hangout - Tai Zen & Rob Spragg (aka, Larry Love) from the band Alabama 3
Tai Zen & Rob Spragg (aka, Larry Love) from the band Alabama 3 Artist Hangout – Tai Zen & lead singer, Rob Spragg (aka, Larry Love) from the band, Alabama 3, popularily known for the hit HBO TV show “The Soprano’s” theme song “Woke Up This Morning”
Artist Hangout - Tai Zen & Zoe Devlin (aka, Devlin Love) from the band Alabama 3
Artist Hangout – Tai Zen & Zoe Devlin (aka, Devlin Love) former band member of Alabama 3, popularily known for the hit HBO TV show “The Soprano’s” theme song “Woke Up This Morning”