Photography / Editorial / Print

As featured in Unfolded Magazine Issue 11

Digital artist Jessica Slagle hails from the Midwest and moved to New York about a year and a half ago.  Slagle received a BFA in illustration from the College of Visual Arts in Minnesota and originally wanted to be a dancer and perform with the Martha Graham Company.  As with many artists, she eventually found her way back to her first love, graphic art. She tells us that she has "been making collages all my life, but only since I moved to New York have I started working digitally."

Defining "art as the creative expression of one’s imagination", she tells us about the House Jam work, which she describes as "part of my Deep at Night series" and "illustrates various meditation visualisations I had during an intense period of metaphysical study from 2011 to 2012. House Jam is a brief moment of clarity I had - where I could see my celestial self staring back at my human self."

It would seem that she draws most of her inspiration from meditation and her works are a way of Illustrating her visualisations and "my way of teaching others what I’ve learnt. I want the work to stimulate the viewer’s third eye." Slagle has a BFA in illustration, but the course did not appeal to her and she describes it as a harrowing experience, it "forced me deeper and deeper inside my meditative escapism, which most certainly influenced my work", completing it solely for her job prospects.

Asked if she was a butterfly and what colours or patterns she would you have on her wings?, Slagle replies "I would have a Victorian style floral pattern on my wings and they would have an assortment of cotton candy pastel colours throughout the pattern." Colour and spiritual elements seem to be a major part of her work, particularly evident with Gnosis - the twins are "representative of the duality within us - the divide between our celestial form (our soul) and our physical human body.

By looking into ourselves, we can find truth." she says. In viewing the work, she hopes the "viewer feels more connected within themselves and the universe." adding, as a piece of advice, "Trust yourself. Don’t be afraid. You’re capable of doing far more than you realise."

A preference for digital art and collage is evident in her work and Slagle describes traditional collage as somewhat limiting because you can’t play with transparency as easily. I'm sure I’ll continue to do traditional collages throughout my career, but as of right now digital is what fits me best." Frida Kahlo is her favourite artist, telling us "her work speaks to my soul the way no other work does."

In six words, Slagle says she is "Spiritual, Beautiful, Curious, Eccentric, Unexpected, Lonely" and her favourite work is the Transcendental piece and was "the first digital collage piece I created. It represents the starting point of my new life in New York, and of the start of my new spiritual journey."  Where that journey may lead, we hope will be filled with illustrations - of the future, "You’ll be seeing a lot of me in the future - I am just getting started."

Visit her website to see more of her traditional and digital collages. 
Together with listening to a few cool choice tracks alongside the artworks.

Interview by Nardip Singh

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