Slaves headline European tour is set to kick off next week (22 October) in Moscow, before they play their biggest UK shows in November – things get under way at Bristol's Anson Rooms on 14 November. However away from the gigs and the music, guitarist Laurie Vincent (right) has rediscovered his love of art and painting. With Youngloversclub.com now showcasing his work (plus some below), he's written Q this guest column on the links between music and art and how he first started painting.
I recently read an article James Rhodes wrote for The Guardian dispelling the myth of all artists being “crazy, tortured” and actually being sane due to our creativity. It really made me realise how lucky us creative types are. Creativity is what makes us human, different from animals and insects. As a child I was always dressing up making battle scenes with my playmobile or giant constructions from lego or building blocks. As long as I can remember I have created things. Its healthy, its kept my imagination alive and made the world more colourful and interesting.
Saying this I feel sad that now when I sit at an airport drawing or in a meeting doodling in a notebook, people are intrigued and think its so great I draw. Everyone used to draw over their books and folders at school, It was natural, when did we get told creativity wasn't important? I feel it could of been in GCSE’s where the creative subjects were less appealing to parents as they might not get you into better schools or university. Especially at A levels doing anything creative seemed to be like a fake subject to other more intellectual students and parents. Attending an art foundation degree definitely scares most adults, “how are you going to get a job?” was a common question amongst peers especially best friends who opted to go study politics and philosophy (proper degrees).
Anyway I showed them right?
Painting for me is my therapy. I do it for myself, its motivated by life around me. Travel, experiences and my thoughts influence my painting. I don't have to paint, its not my job, I choose to be creative and its self motivated. A lot of things we do in life end up being for some return or to better ourselves. I think its good to do things that are for no real reason but because you want to. If I don't paint for a few weeks I notice myself getting less motivated for other things.
Music was my first dream, since I could pick up a guitar I wanted to be in a band and make music for a living. Now I do make music for a living there are bills to pay, album campaigns take priority over jamming with my mate. Press has to be done, endless phone calls to your home phone talking to people who don't really sound all too interested in your band who ask generic questions about how you met your bandmate and what your influences are. (No one warns you of this side of the industry when you start a band). Anyway, music isn't just for fun anymore its life and people rely on me and I have commitments to my band and fans.
Painting has no commitments, it’s just for me. Cathartic. The way I paint is also very important to me, attending art college sucked all the fun and life out of my artistic creativity for me. This lead me to stop painting and drawing for a while when S started Slaves. Everything was over examined over analysed formats were laid out for art. To me there is no right or wrong way to paint. It’s about expression. Everyone tells you to paint in oils and for me painting crassly with acrylic is my reaction to an education which made art boring for me. It’s quick and cheap. I see my paintings like cheap thrills. Bright and trashy. sexy.
I’ve basically ended up reverting more to my childhood style of painting and drawing. Simple, bold and to the point. I used to paint realistically with oils and get a big pat on the back from everyone about how impressive they were. That’s soulless though, boring. I now want to create art that makes people feel something. Use my imagination paint things how I want rather than how things look in reality. Art can be an escape to reality, why not use it? I want to make art that people would like to hang on their walls and art that makes people think. On the surface my painting is very primitive but if you think and go through the layers there’s a lot going on. A lot of opinions to be formed and references to be seen, but at the end of the day they're pretty colourful and look alright on the wall. Laurie Vincent @Slaves