100 Creatives: Tra' Slaughter

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The artist pays homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat.

What he does:Tra' (pronounced "Trey") Slaughter has a drawl reminiscent of McConaughey, a hairstyle that's forever evolving, and he changes residences more often than most people change a tire (14 addresses in the past 10 years). While he currently spends his days working as a landman, Slaughter identifies himself first and foremost as an artist. He is a painter, to be more specific, with a steady presence in Houston's burgeoning art scene.

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Electic Ethel (2010) courtesy of Tra' Slaughter

Why he likes it:While his work in years past was primarily mixed media and pop culture, these days Slaughter is all about people. This is especially amusing considering the fact that the artist, by his own admission, rarely feels comfortable in a crowd. Yet he describes painting a portrait as a way to manage his anxiety, saying, "It allows me to develop a relationship with that person on my own terms."

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Finding Your Inner (2010) courtesy of Tra' Slaughter

What inspires him:
Slaughter is inspired by the physical form, particularly in those that stand out as unique and individual, "People that look like they have an interesting story to tell". He's quick to point out that this does not necessarily mean someone that's traditionally beautiful, rather those with a look that speaks to who they are and where they've been, or as he puts it, "You can see their life on their face."

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Cristina, the Bee and the Red Balloon (2010) courtesy of Tra' Slaughter

His proudest moment:"If you're talking about that one, life-altering moment that makes me feel like everything I've been doing is worthwhile - I don't know that I've had it yet."

If not this, what else?
Slaughter describes childhood aspirations of becoming a marine biologist and a lifelong love of animals. If painting weren't a viable option he could see himself doing something in that arena, saying, "I prefer dogs to most people. But I wouldn't want to be a veterinarian - more of a trainer," adding dryly, "Or a hobo that travels around with dogs."

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Devil Jesus and the Little Angel (2010) courtesy of Tra' Slaughter

More Creatives

(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page.)

Jen Chen - visual art, designer

Howard Sherman - Painter

Nancy Hendrick - Founder of Dance Salad
Misha Penton - Opera Singer and Theater Artist
Ben Tecumseh DeSoto - Photojournalist
Tracy Robertson aka Batty - Goth Fashion Designer
Tierney Malone - Creative Type
Dolan Smith - Painter
Jenny Schlief - Mixed-Media Artist
David Eagleman - Writer
Anna Sprage - Painter
Philip Lehl - Actor
Andy Noble - Choreographer
David McGee - Painter

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