We sat down with NYC’s aspiring artist/illustrator/designer Jessica Slagle aka Slagletron for an open view about her unique art and how meditation helps her visually.
RIK WTP: So Jessica, your work is fantastic! What do you call your art?
JESSICA: I guess if I had to boil it all down to one word it would be ‘celestial’. All of my work illustrates a specific moment during a daydream or meditation.
RIK WTP: What is digital collage?
JESSICA: Digital collage is just like traditional collage, except instead of cutting up all the pieces and gluing them down by hand, you do all of that on the computer. I used to do all of my work by hand but since moving to New York, I haven’t had the proper set up to work. My roommates and I live in an apartment big enough for one person and we don’t own a table! So I finally had to suck it up and force myself to work on the computer. It was definitely a ‘happy accident’ kind of feeling… there are aesthetics I can achieve digitally that I’d never be able to properly execute by hand.
RIK WTP: What program do you use?
JESSICA: I mostly use Photoshop, sometimes Illustrator. I’m on Illustrator from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday at my job so when I sit down to do my personal work, the last thing I’m thinking about is Illustrator.
RIK WTP: What’s the process in achieving this style of art?
JESSICA: I get asked this question all the time and I’m still trying to figure out an intelligent way to answer it. This way of creating art is just how I do it… it’s how I’ve always done it. My art is an expression of aspects of my essence. One day I’ll be able to put what that is specifically into words.
RIK WTP: You seem very driven in promoting your work and getting your art displayed in galleries. I’m very happy for you.
JESSICA: Thank you. 🙂 The day I get a solo show in Manhattan or get a feature in W Magazine, then I’ll know I’ve made it!
RIK WTP: What does it take to have your art displayed? Is it really about the art or more about who you know?
JESSICA: Well, I moved to New York a year ago and still don’t know anyone! So I like to think (at least for me) that it’s about the art. Basically you have to shamelessly self-promote constantly and if you have talent to back you up, you’ll get your foot in the door.
RIK WTP: If someone purchases your art at a store, what percentage does the store usually keep? Is there a standard?
JESSICA: Well it really depends on where you’re selling your work. Some galleries and stores take a percentage and some don’t. Generally I’ve found that most places take around 30%.
RIK WTP: You mention in the bio on your website that some of these images are illustrations of visions you’ve experienced during meditation. Tell me about that…
JESSICA: Often what I’ll do before I make a body of work is to meditate on and off for a week or so. During that time, I often get lost in the visualizations and sensations. Once I feel like I’ve absorbed everything I can, I’ll sit down and try to process visually what I felt and saw. It’s like transforming a blind and deaf experience into something bright and powerful.
RIK WTP: How do you set the mood for your meditation? Do you play any kind of music, light up candles, puff the magic dragon, sniff your computer screen? I would say sniff paint but you use a computer for your art…
JESSICA: I often meditate really late at night just before bed while playing music. Trip hop and similar styles of music are what really gets me deep into the astral plane. This may come as a shock, but I made all my work sober. I’ve tried working under the influence but it really inhibits my creativity (maybe if I licked my computer it would help LOL)
RIK WTP: Do you like to RAGE?
JESSICA: I’ve been known to get my rage on pretty hard 😉
RIK WTP: If you can turn your art into an alcoholic drink what would it taste like? What liquor would you use?
JESSICA: It would taste like sweet berry wine and take you on an absinthe trip.