Young San Francisco based artist Slvstr recently created the artwork for Kreayshawn’s new album, we then had the chance to talk to him about the project itself, inspirations, and whether he considers himself a graphic illustrator or artist. Known for hand drawn typography and illustrations, as well as his whimsical color palette, Slvstr has applied his talents to mediums such as apparel, event flyers, installations, and album cover artwork. As our culture has moved well beyond just t-shirts to communicate, it is interesting to see the new generation of artists find different ways to get their work out into the world.
Visit Slvstr’s blog here.
Photos: Dudley Calle
SLAMXHYPE: How did this project come about?
Slvstr: The project came about pretty organically. I had created artwork for Kreay before. So for her album, she wanted simular illustration.
SLAMXHYPE: What was your inspiration behind the work you created?
Slvstr: Kreay wanted to feel like she was on a different planet and that all the creatures of that world where watching her. My style of illustration is very reminiscent of concert posters in the 60’s. Kreay’s fond of that style so I pulled inspiration from 60’s alien illustrations I found. Shemp who creative directed the artwork and I worked close on the composition of the over all piece. Between Him and Kreay, they pretty much gave me full reign on how creative I wanted this illustrated world to be.
SLAMXHYPE: You’ve surpassed just doing t-shirt designs now, have you always wanted to be seen more as an artist than an illustrator/graphic artist?
Slvstr: Over time I always worried where my path would lead me. I’ve always been pulled between graphic designer and artist. Through the experiences I’ve had I now know that the artist route is more of what I enjoy. The graphic design role still plays a big part and is helpful to me. Both art and design go hand in hand which makes me more effective as an overall artist in my opinion.
Designing tees for steetwear brands and others will always be a passion of mine. I think what best I like about the artist route is that people come to you for your style. As a graphic designer they come to you to develop a look and feel for them.
SLAMXHYPE: What is the main driving force behind your work?
Slvstr: When I was a kid, there where NO black artist / designers that where on the scene that I could look up to, at least to my knowledge. Their possibly where a few but not accessible to me, or connected to things that I enjoyed.
I want that more than anything, to the kids of color in the streets that have no one like them to look up to. Coming from where I’m from I thought drawing or art in general was just a hobby. I want to let those kids know that hey, its possible. I want to be the prime example. Most black kids in the streets see that its only two paths, sports or rap.
The majority of the artist / designers I look up to are primarily Asian or White. I wanna be that one black artist / designer that paves a way as Kaws, Parra, or as Hiroshi and Nigo did.
I feel I can really do it, lol!
SLAMXHYPE: What can we expect from you in 2013?
Slvstr: Gallery shows, art in the streets, a Slvstr© brand. I will be creating more tangible products and art that the people can actually see, feel, touch, and wear. I will do a few collaborations as well. It’s definitely time to get from behind the computer, you can get trapped back there if you stay too long, lol.