Taylor Slater: Stoked For A Cause
We sat down with Taylor Slater in anticipation of her first ever exhibition to talk about her unique work and the impetus behind her charity art show at the MBH. Read on to get a straight-from-the-source glimpse behind the art and to get stoked to go strawless (if you haven’t already)!
Tell us about how you got started with photography, videography, and painting…
I first got started with photography when I was very young. I grew up watching my mom and her best friend take photos of me and of each other. When I was old enough, my dad gave me my first polaroid camera. This got me so psyched to capture everything around me. Eventually, my mom gave me a digital camera and I was taking photos of my friends. It slowly evolved from a playdate idea to a full time passion project.
I only got started with videography a little more than a year ago when I created a video of my trip to O’ahu last summer. I love how video allows people to experience what you experienced rather than just imagine it; it really draws the viewer in and gives them a chance to go somewhere without moving from their chair. I don’t make a lot of videos, but when I do my only hope is that these videos inspire people to go outside and live life to the fullest no matter where they are.
Last, but definitely not least, painting. Since I was a child I’ve always loved painting and drawing, but never thought I was good at it. My art teacher in high school used to tell me I was really gifted in it, but I just thought she was trying to be nice. In the beginning of last year I went through a period of depression. I couldn’t get myself to do anything; I was a different person and I didn’t understand it. One day I made the decision to try and get better, which led me to painting. I started doing it to keep my mind busy and get back into my creative self. Painting helped bring back hope and joy into my life. I can only hope that this message transcends through my art.
Do you have a favorite out of the three?
Photography and painting are definitely tied for first place and they also work hand-in-hand. My photography is the main inspiration for my paintings. Painting is more of a creative outlet for me and then photography allows me to capture and share my experiences with others. I enjoy videography, but I’m still in the learning process.
Why do strawless seas matter and what makes this mission so important to you?
A few days ago I saw a video of a straw being pulled out of a turtle’s nose. The people pulling it out couldn’t recognize it was a straw until it was fully removed. Not only is plastic ruining the ocean, but it’s also hurting and killing marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, fish, etc. When plastic goes in the ocean it begins to break apart, releasing chemicals into the water. When animals consume the plastic pieces, the chemicals are passed up the food chain and end up on our dinner plates, thus affecting our health as well. Everything is connected and everything has a consequence. This mission is so important to me because as people we were given the responsibility to take care of this earth. This is our home and we should do our best to respect and care for it.
How did the One Ocean – Seven Strawless Seas show come about?
This is actually a funny story. It all started at a Cracker Barrel in Florida! I sold a painting to a woman named Danielle an
d it just so happens that Danielle oversees the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Conferences of the National Scholastic Surfing Association. She liked my paintings so much that she ordered 25 to stand as the trophies for this past season’s Season Champions. When I was delivering her the paintings at a Cracker Barrel, she looked over at me and asked, “So how do you feel about having an art show?” And now I’m having my first show on August 10th.
Do you have a favorite piece from the show and/or a favorite piece in general?
I’m still painting some big pieces and those will probably be my favorites, but at the moment my favorite is a medium-sized piece entitled, “Into the Deep” – it mocks the movement of the ocean and the way the water transforms from the shore to deep water. It ended up being the image on the invitation to the show.
A lot of artists get in the zone either through atmosphere or music. What helps inspire you and get you in the right headspace for creating?
Traveling always gets me in the right headspace. New views, new people, and new experiences keep me inspired creatively. Most of my paintings are inspired by my time in Hawai’i. If I can’t travel to get inspiration I will look at photos from
my past trips or dream about the places I want to visit.
What is your spirit emoji?
The Hibiscus flower!
Are you as talented a surfer as your dad?
Let’s just say that if I was I’d be a professional surfer with 11 world titles!
Describe your perfect beach day…
Light blue sky, clear turquoise water, light breeze, the North Shore sand, mountains in the background, speaker blasting Tame Impala, aç
ai bowl in hand, friends, the occasional swim and a sunset longboard session.
What do you think makes your pieces feel uniquely “Taylor”?
I think my paintings directly reflect my mind, my experiences, and my passions. My mind because I started painting to find peace, my experiences because I paint the places I’ve seen, and my passions because I paint dreamy beach scenes with resin (the same medium used to make surfboards). I think my paintings really reflect who I am and everything I’m about.
Shameless plug time…any projects coming up that you’d like to boast about/promote?
Let’s see…my first solo art show at The Montauk Beach House on August 10th at 6:00pm! Be there! Additionally, I am teaming up to raise awareness with The Lonely Whale for their #StrawlessOcean campaign. A painting from the collection will be auctioned off on opening night and 100% of the proceeds will be put towards the fight for a #PlasticFreeOcean. Besides that, I am currently working on my second show and booking shows for 2019, so stay tuned!
Please join the Montauk Beach House, Lonely Whale, and 1OCEAN Collection on Friday, August 10th for an evening of charity with artist TAYLOR SLATER, celebrating her first ever exhibition: ONE OCEAN – SEVEN STRAWLESS SEAS. The night will include a silent auction to benefit the amazing efforts of LONELY WHALE.