How did you become an artist?
Well, first of all ‘artist’ is quite a big word, I create stuff. I come from a family of artists so the interest in and exposure to art was always there, but only fully developed a few years ago when I found my style and started creating these collage type illustrations. My first collage creations where designs I did for my early mix tapes, years ago.
Your work often includes collage with vintage photography and illustration, how did this style develop?
I was always intrigued from a young age by the 50 & 60’s, the generation of my parents. I started collecting vintage stuff about 10 years ago. A lot of magazines, music, books but also furniture. The combination of these vintage imagery and modern forms just evolved gradually wanting to create something new with these wonderful pictures, giving them a second life as to speak. It’s like learning a new language but one you have to invent yourself.
We notice a lot of 1950s Americana in your art, why does this era interest you?
It was an era of beauty, optimism and simplicity in my opinion. Designers, architects and artists all came up with a new way of shaping objects, cars, houses etc in a way that’s very appealing to me and still appeals to a lot of other people. The designs are still being recycled. There’s a ‘realness’ in the design and art of the fifties & sixties we’ve kind of lost nowadays. The age of possibility in comparison to where we are at now.
What do you prefer, vintage or contemporary design?
I love them both but originality is key and that’s where it becomes difficult of course. There a lot of brilliant artists & designers out there so being original is the real challenge. Many artworks have been created over the years, so coming up with something new must be one of the hardest things to do.
How do you make a creative environment?
When I start working on a new design I just go over images that I’ve found (I have quite a large database by now) and then my twisted mind comes up with these suggestions what I could do to arrange them in a way to create a new world where surrealism, aesthetics and humour are the key ingredients. Sometimes an idea is born in an instant. Other times a design is in the drawer for a few weeks before resurfacing and being able to finalise it. The essence is always in the details and less is still more. Two clichés, but oh so true.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love music, art & being in the company of friends. I drive a 1978 BMW boxer motorbike which I like to take out for a spin. In the summer I like to go fly fishing and be close to nature.
Do you have any regrets in life?
Yes, of course but better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do. True cliché again!
What are your plans for the future?
Keep working hard at creating original work, be it digital or on paper. I would love to get some more assignments in books and magazines or a music album. Now, that would be great!
Fast Favourite Five
Favourite Artist: Andy Warhol
Favourite Food: Steak
Favourite Album: Serge Gainsbourg - Melodie Nelson
Favourite City: Paris
Favourite Book: Paul Auster - Invisible
Don’t forget to check out the full Sammy Slabbinck range on Bamarang.co.uk!