March 30, 2010

iScribe Interview Series - Finding Himself a City

Name: Eric Slade
Major: Studio art
Year of Graduation: 2009
Position: Featured artist (Fall 2009; Spring 2010, cover)

Have you always enjoyed creating art? What first piqued your interest in art?
I’ve enjoyed creating art for as long as I remember, but talent alone won’t get you anywhere if you’re not continually pushed to test its limits and see the possibilities that can open up. An enthusiastic, motivational art teacher early on in one’s education can make all the difference in the world, and I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic example of one of those in middle school. So I guess I have her to thank for the state of my bank account right now. I could have been an engineer…

What was your inspiration for your artwork that was published in the Fall 2009 issue?
I studied abroad in Florence during Fall of 2008, and during that time I took a break to spend a week traveling solo by train through France, Germany, and Switzerland. That image evoked all of the exhaustion and, at times, loneliness, that can be effects of such a long foreign journey. I then printed the same linocut image on multiple train tickets that I had saved.

You designed the newest logo for the Scribe — explain your design.
This logo was based on the classic image of the '50s “nuclear family” gathered together around the television. The Scribe seeks to promote writing and literacy, so I thought this slight alteration, with the same family gathered around a book, would be an amusing take on the idea. It’s a simple graphic that encapsulates the most important things we need to encourage literacy – replacing TV time with reading time, and, for kids, reading with the family. We need to get enthusiastic about books again, in the same way that people are for "Lost."

Are you currently working on any new artwork?
At last count I had 23 ideas for new art projects written up in my sketchbook. I’ll be happy if I get around to one or two of them. One thing I am excited about is that I just bought a 10-yard roll of drawing paper and covered a whole one of my bedroom walls with it. I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, whether to doodle ideas or to actually make one massive drawing, but the possibilities it opens up have my imagination swimming.

What is life post-URI graduation? What are your plans?
I don’t actually make any money from my art, so I’ve been teaching this past year in order to get by. Since my hopes to go to grad school this Fall fell through, the new plan is, to quote David Byrne, to “find a city, find myself a city to live in.” It would be nice to live in a place where people buy art, since they certainly aren’t doing it in New Hampshire. Not that anyone wants art anyway; they want decoration to hang on their bathroom walls. And that’s why we have Christmas Tree Shops and Thomas Kinkade.

Oh, and of course I hope to continue submitting to The Scribe as long as they care to keep taking my e-mails.

[ed. note - we're always happy to take your emails!]

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