Artist interview between Shannon Skye Robinson (Curating Futures Project Coordinator), and Slain Art (Curating Futures Artist).
Date of Interview: 20th of July 2021
Participants: Shannon Skye Robinson (SSR) and Slain Art (SA)
SSR: What is your background?
SA: I was born in the southern province but raised in the western province. My childhood was not far from the childhood of other kids, playing, studying and drawing which was my routine from childhood. I clearly remember in Primary 1 drawing a man milking a cow, and I remember that pen was my favourite medium from primary till today. I used to say that pencil is not good as you work with the hope that you can erase which may lead to making more mistakes, but reaching high school I lost my love for drawing but the love of art came back in 2016.
SSR: How did you get into art/ creativity?
SA: In 2016 series of events led to each other till I found myself back to drawing. With the help of my mom, who was supportive as my grandfather was an artist; she introduced me to some artists she knew and I got a chance to learn the basics of art for 1 month. Then the rest was miracles, I challenged myself to learn and master pen art, and today am glad that I can see that my dreams are coming into reality.
SSR: What do you get out of producing work?
SA: Besides financial gains that help to cope with everyday life, uhhm …let me say this for the first time I can clearly say that art has been my escape room for I spend most of the time with my papers with and every time I faced lows of life art has been my painkiller and in highs of life I enjoyed joy with my art, so art has been my best friend from 2018 and am happy that the universe gave me this creating gift and above all art gave me friends and family that I wouldn’t have met if I was not an artist.
SSR: How do you want your work to be perceived by an audience?
SA: I hope that my work is perceived by society not only as finely shaded artworks with a realistic look but work which talks to their soul... works that have life, that have a story to tell and that involves highs and lows of life. I want the link with societies in their everyday life and leave a change in their life, save them and have an impact on their life.
SSR: Who are your biggest inspirations?
SA: My biggest inspiration is the life we live in but I focus on people life we cannot see with our naked eyes, that part we know when we take time and talk to people or spend some time with them and take courage to know them deeply, that is what I call inner person.
SSR: What are the main concepts or themes you explore within your work?
SA: In my work, I explore mental health, highs and lows of life people living in this century face.
SSR: What is the main thing you have learnt through your creative practice?
SA: The main thing I have learnt is that creativity is a gift that grows when nourished and that can go anytime you stop feeding it.
SSR: Who is your work for? Yourself? A small community? A specific sector of society? Or is it for everyone?
SA: My work is for everyone who will have a chance to see one or many of my artworks.
SSR: What is the best piece of advice you could give to another artist, or someone just starting out in the creative sector?
SA: The common advice I could give for my fellow artists and someone starting out in the creative sector Is “create every day, learn every day, listen to your instinct and grow- brighter days are coming”
SSR: Why did you decide to join the Curating Futures community?
SA: Because I want to communicate through this community, how diverse and flexible humans can be if they open their minds to freedom of expression, create stuff using different practices and accepting different ways of thought. And with that in the soul, begin to work towards a more tolerant and receptive world. I believe that my reflections on art and life from the position of a Spanish-speaking woman can transmit these ideals of a healthier and more empathetic society to make a better world, not only for art but for life itself.