Fair   72.0F  |  Forecast »

Detroit Artist and Dad SLAW Mixes Up Retro Art and Fatherhood

With swank mid-century flair, this southeast Michigan guy has a cool-cat, down-to-earth style – and two pretty creative young adult kids, too

(page 2 of 2)

SLAW's Faves

"Everyone thinks that you should be a parent, not a friend," SLAW says. "But at this point, I feel I can do both."

SLAW's entrance into the art world didn't happen at once.

After graduating in the mid-'80s from CCS, he joined the corporate workforce. He did some advertising work before taking a job with Ford Motor Co. as a design engineer. He realized it wasn't for him and switched gears.

About 13 years ago, not long after he and his wife divorced, he started showcasing his work at the Johanson Charles Gallery in Detroit's Eastern Market, followed by shows at the Scarab Club and other venues. SLAW also began to do cover art for a then-fledgling alternative publication called Real Detroit Weekly. From then on, he received more recognition.

"I'll come up with ideas sometimes in the middle of the night," he says. "I'll do the research, come up with a sketch. I never work without a sketch idea."

He paints with acrylic because it "has a whole different set of principles" and likes to use it to create a flat, even-toned image.

Even though his work can now fetch thousands of dollars, it's not always a consistent paycheck. But that's all right, because "an artist should always be hungry. It's how we thrive and create great work," he says.

In that regard, the Detroit art scene is alive and well.

"It's interesting because if you go out to L.A., every waiter is an actor," he says. "In Detroit, just about every waiter or waitress is an artist."

SLAW has hosted about five shows at Wyandotte's River's Edge Gallery. In 2011, he was commissioned by the Wyandotte Street Art Fair committee to create a special rendition of the fair's mascot, Art, for the event's 50th anniversary.

"I'm their adopted art son. I've been welcomed by the Wyandotte community," he says. "It's an old Polish community and I'm an old Polack. It's very community-oriented."

His June/July 2013 show at River's Edge features paintings of TV classics such as The Brady Bunch, The Addams Family, I Dream of Jeannie and Gilligan's Island, among others.

"It's my TV show show," SLAW says. "In the generation I come from, we were raised with the TV. I grew up in its heyday."

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Craft Roundup: Small Projects to Make with Washi Tape, Confetti, More

Craft Roundup: Small Projects to Make with Washi Tape, Confetti, More

Tiny stuff is terrific! This roundup of DIY fun from various blogs shows you how to make matchbook notebooks, gift bags, stickers and bitty butterflies.

Frustrated Mom Creates App to Stop Teens from Ignoring Calls

Frustrated Mom Creates App to Stop Teens from Ignoring Calls

One mother got sick of her kids blowing off her phone calls, so she created an app to make it impossible. Stroke of genius – or an overstep of parental bounds?

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

Combine ice cream with cookies and you've got the perfect dessert combination. Whip up one of these cool treats with the kids!

Vintage Summer Pins Made from Old Belt Buckles

Vintage Summer Pins Made from Old Belt Buckles

A perfect summer craft, this DIY project is centered around used plastic accessories, which are cheap finds at garage sales and thrift stores.

Monroe County Teen Allegedly Fakes Abduction, May Face Felony Charges

Monroe County Teen Allegedly Fakes Abduction, May Face Felony Charges

Hayley Marie Turner, age 18, of Bedford Township reportedly went missing for 16 hours – but it turns out the entire thing was a hoax. What happened to the teen?

Craft Roundup: Back-to-School Fun Craft Ideas for Kids

Craft Roundup: Back-to-School Fun Craft Ideas for Kids

It's only a month away. But there's no need to fret! Get in a good mood about school with these four fun crafty DIY projects from various blogs.

Mom Dresses Daughter as Hooters Girl for Pageant

Mom Dresses Daughter as Hooters Girl for Pageant

The documentary 'Blinging Up Baby' gives you a behind-the-scenes look at kid beauty pageants. Did one pageant parent from London go too far when she dressed her child as a Hooters waitress?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement