By: James Rogers
PFresh off major successes designing a Mr. Children single cover and being chosen as one of Adobe’s Top 25 Artists Under 25, Nara-based fine art photographer Reylia Slaby reveals her influences and thoughts on art in the following interview. She discusses experiencing rejection, manipulation, isolation, and her insatiable desire to express her emotions to help illuminate what led her to blossom into the artist she is today.
JR: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
RS: I was born and raised in Japan along with four other sisters that were homeschooled. Being homeschooled, almost every aspect of our family, we were 100% the minority, so it was really strange because it was really difficult to find someone to relate to, but when we did it was really good. It was always really hard for me to express myself, even now, it’s really hard for me to express myself with the language so since it was so hard to find people to relate to it was always going towards the art. I felt like I could find my voice a lot better through that. Before I was doing photography I was a graphite realism artist. After a while I started to get a lot of commissions, and that was fun but it was a lot of pressure, because you are drawing, and you feel like it doesn’t look like them, and they are going to hate me. It was so much pressure. And I was kind of young and I was getting money for it too, and it was like this tidal wave, like panic sometimes with some of these drawings. So I stopped that. It wasn’t abrupt or anything. I was still doing photography on the side, for fun. I used my sisters a lot as guinea pigs. I’d take my sisters and we’d go around and we’d take pictures and it wasn’t like I had a serious concept in mind, like we were just having fun. I was trying to mimic things that I saw in pictures.