The artist showcases on kdoutsiderart.com introduce you to new, emerging and established artists who align themselves with the term ‘outsider art’ in some way. This time, we show you the work of Royston Slayton, who is influenced predominantly by his own personal life experiences.
When did your interest in art/creating begin?
Since I was a child, I have always been interested in a person creating something that wasn’t there before.
What is your starting point for each piece?
That’s a hard question. I mainly start in one of two ways: I either have a loose idea and I just start to sketch it out, or I have no idea where it’s going to take me whatsoever. I am not a fan of Jackson Pollock, but I do like the way he worked. I think it’s more interesting when a person sits down and just lets their hands take over.
Who or what influences your work?
My main influence is myself. A lot of my pieces are based on memories or people I have met. A large part of it is also my childhood. Somethings I create and I understand where the idea or inspiration for them came from, others I have no idea what they are, where they are or who they are. If you study one of my illustrations, at some point you will probably find yourself wondering why in the world I put something in there.
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
Honestly nothing. I know that sounds weird – or harsh – but it’s the truth. I am not trying to connect with the viewer or leave a lasting impression, or make a statement. I was once told that the viewer wants to feel like a part of the art or creative processes, and I couldn’t help but think ‘why?’ They weren’t there when I created it, and they weren’t there when whatever event in my life happened to inspire it. If someone does get something from my work, that’s great, but if someone just sees a bunch of children and trees and nothing more, I’m OK with that too.
What do you think about the term outsider art? Is there a term that you think works better?
I think it’s just a term – human beings like to label things. It makes us feel comfortable. I think the term ‘art’ works better, but who am I to rock the boat? I mean, what’s the difference between Henry Darger and Rembrandt? A label and dollar signs, basically. Their styles are different, but both are artists. I don’t see why someone has to be put into a category.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on smaller pieces at the moment. I am finishing some watercolour illustrations and I will be doing a lot more graphite drawings this year.
Where do you see your work taking you in the future?
I really don’t know. I know where I’d like it to take me, but knowing where you want to go and actually getting there seem to be two different things. I just hope I can continue to have success in the art world and build on it.
See more of Royston’s work here