Hotel:I hardly ever stay in hotels!
Book:The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Having been born and raised in Japan, Reylia Slaby uses the influences from her unusual Oriental upbringing as the main theme in her artwork. Her photos are a rich blend of the Japanese aesthetic, and is greatly revealing of her personal experiences and thought. From the culture of Japan to being a ‘third culture kid,’ her desire is to weave all the different aspects of her life into her art. She strongly believes in an empirical body of work, and is adamant when it comes to adding an individual and unique meaning to each image.
Fine Art Photography.
Photography entered her life as a gradient. Originally a semi-professional graphite pencil artist, Reylia made a gradual switch to photography around her teen years, and then discovered fine art photography in 2012. It instantly struck a chord, and she knew that she had finally found her ideal outlet of self-expression, and for years immersed herself in the fine art world though books, online sources, and other artist’s work that inspired and moved her.
Her work has been featured in several worldwide publications and websites, such as Vogue Italia online, and has worked with several Japanese musicians, including the nation-wide famous Mr.Children. Reylia Slaby was also chosen as one of Adobe Photoshop’s 25 Under 25 artists project in 2015. She is also continuing her personal client work and conducts occasional workshops along with holding annual exhibitions.
Art As Life.
Reylia currently resides in Nara, Japan with her twin sister, living in an area that combines the exciting elements of the city, along with the serenity of nature. She stands by on the importance of travel, reading great novels, and experimenting with other mediums of art, including poetry, painting, and dance. Her future aspiration for photography is to continue her development in exploring the depths of beauty, art, and life.
-How did you first become interested in photography?We always had cameras lying around in the house growing up, so naturally all of the sisters would play with them. It started out with me just taking pictures while with friends, but then eventually I became more creative with my images. At first it was mainly portrait related, and I would use my 4 sisters a guinea pigs. About three years ago though, I discovered Fine Art photography, and it changed my whole perspective about the art. It made so much sense to me to use photography as a visual way to voice my thoughts and feelings, and it has completely changed my life.
-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot?If it's a fine art shoot all I use for equipment is my camera, which is currently a Nikon d7100, and various lenses. I'm not at all extravagant when it comes to the technical side.
-What words best describe your style of photography?I would say emotional. As long I have captured something that I can feel, something that moves me at the time, I am satisfied. Other things about my style can change, but that is one constant I desire for all my future work.
-Is there a single philosophy or theme that runs throughout all of your work?I'm always adding on new philosophies and themes to my art. There are so many things to believe in, or to live by that it's impossible to have a single one. I am always changing and still discovering who I am as an artist and a person. Although I do find it incredible how making art has changed me. Art has been my single greatest teacher throughout my young life, and it has given me wonderful and exciting experiences that I wouldn't have had otherwise.
-What is your post-production workflow like?It varies image by image, but in the beginning I just play around with it in Photoshop, and try to figure out in what way I should edit. It's like trying to put a puzzle together. I play around with the colour tones, add textures, and maybe even replace a head or hand with ones from a different image. My sister once told me that I edit my photos in the same way I go about in life. I'm always trying to add new pieces and elements to make it better, grander and more meaningful.
-What is your dream project?My dream project is to be able to build a life where I am surrounded by art. It doesn't have to even mean taking pictures or painting all the time. Sometimes that isn't art. You know what I mean? I know some people who I would consider artists but they have never created any physical art. Somehow they turn every aspect of their living into art, and I want to be able to be like that one day as well.
-What inspires you to create new work?I can't stress enough how simply feeling and letting yourself be moved by things can be so essential artistically. There is nothing more painful to me than not to feel. New and emotionally moving experiences have definitely been the main trigger for my favourite pieces, and even favourite times in life.
It's funny, because now I'm not afraid to be hurt or to have negative experiences, in fact part of me almost welcomes them, because I know now that so many beautiful things can come from it. And of course I also find inspiration through my models, through books, poetry, other artwork, et cetera. There is really no place in life that can't be a source for some type of inspiration.