Creative director by day, illustrator by night, artist all in all - Walter Parenton, The GraphixSlayer. His stylistic edge and fresh vision is manifested in his artwork, from the design down to its intended purpose. His ‘Dark Webdings’- a Future Clipart: GraphixSlayer’s work is designed to live beyond his own reach, and his own time; inspired by and made for the Internet Era.Parenton was interested in the arts since his days in elementary and high school, and developed a passion to draw. As he continued to illustrate through the years, he explored as many methods that were available to him, from traditional illustration to 3D and motion graphics. Eventually, Parenton would blend and refine a great deal of complexities into his artwork, turning them into something greater.
"Over the years, I condensed down my creative process. Started with pen and markers on paper, then sketches and Illustrator, and now straight Illustrator (finishing with color/effects in Photoshop)."
"I've stopped drawing on paper, and just go straight to the digital canvas because I want to eliminate the amount of steps I need to take to get the idea out. I try to be completely mobile with just needing only my laptop and mouse to create."
"So yeah, I just see these images in my head, inspired by a tv show, movie, music or game.And if it is a GOOD idea, it haunts me till I get it out and illustrate it."
Along with his method, his style has always been ever-evolving. Before his current moniker- GraphixSlayer, Parenton made work under the name of GoodBoy (Graphics.) Under GoodBoy, Parenton developed his method through the creation of numerous graphics, putting his accumulated knowledge into practice. Exploring trendy and colourful visuals. With each stylistic identity, he explores different subjects and themes. With GraphixSlayer, Parenton has advanced his distinctive visual language through streamlining his process, shaping up his linework, and limiting his colour palette. With dark themes, sharp lines, and hyperactive shapes that are ready to burst through our screens, GraphixSlayer depicts a future we can not see yet.
"I went from cute and cuddly to absurd and nonsense, then I started to explore some neo-Y2K style."
"I came to a crossroads of where I wanted to take my graphics. And after doing work for AG Cook, it influenced me to get back to the dark side of things. Dungeons & Dragons, those satanic occult vibes. It's something that oddly comes to me naturally for me. I have a lot of nightmares, ( haha ) I am very much a jokester and love dark, mysterious stuff."
"In order to really make an impact, I was like “Okay, I need to kill Good Boy Graphics, and delete all my old work!” Bit of ego death, and just going “Why not? What do I really have to lose?” And this could be the dumbest idea I have ever had, who knows."
"But it feels awesome and I wanted to be a part of this new movement into the new Virtual World of this new Internet Era!"
Taking inspiration from the brash, abrasive feeling that metal creates as a genre, Parenton believes that disrupting the status quo is the best way for him and other artists to spur progress. This, in combination with his appreciation of horror, provides a unique basis for his new graphic style.
"Imagine hearing Metallica and Slayer in the 80s? Its sounds so terrifying, futuristic and abrasive, no wonder parents were freaking out."
"I want to channel that feeling but with graphics."
"(I am now) creating graphics, based on visions of what the future might be like. Like, I try to imagine my graphics all faded and worn on a vintage tee 20yrs from now. Almost like future nostalgia. It’s abstract and I’m trying to capture that with the lines and composition."
"Not sure how I would really describe my style now, but it's kind of like neo-Y2K, but the other, darker spectrum of it."
"It’s less aesthetic, and more of a feeling.And with how fast the future is moving, I feel like there is this new fear of the unknown, and a lot of creativity is evolving with that. The future is sharp and scary, but there is also this glimmer of hope. And this new generation is going to be ushering in a lot of that cool change."
"Sure, there are probably a lot of people that might not like the new direction, but I don’t care anymore."
"I’m tired trying to please everyone, and really, good art doesn’t please everyone.”
Before the advent of the personal computer, clipart came from the practice of cutting out images from pre-existing printed works to use for publishing one’s own projects. Once the personal computer was made widely available to the public in the 1980s, digital publishing pushed a demand for pre-made electronic images to serve the same purpose. These electronic images are the clipart we know today: professionally illustrated images and graphics made for the public domain.A lot of electronic clipart that has been available since its conception are made in rudimentary fashion; made to serve the purpose of representing certain ideas in a superficial manner, typically having the ‘tacky’ feel to their nature. Because of this certain stigma, not many artists would consider their own work to be clipart.But Parenton has a tendency to break the rules. Not only does he create graphics- “Dark Webdings” under GraphixSlayer, he publishes them specifically with the purpose of public usage under his project: Lucifer’s Clip Art. With this fascinating creative decision, his work exists on a very unique plane, and playfully disrupts a long existing paradigm. Parenton believes that disrupting the status quo is the best way for him and other artists to spur progress.
"The main driver was the music scene, seeing all these new rave flyers, and using old graphics like Felix the Cat or that acid house reaper or smile. That is cool, but I thought 'What if you use new graphics, that capture that same feeling, and you can kind of completely own it, without licensing issues. New, original rave graphics!'”
"When I was thinking about (my) rebrand, I remember I had another Instagram account that used to be for my small, old net label Boyphonics. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with that account, whether reboot it with a new name, or just leave it. Then it hit me! Why don’t I make that the place where people can go to for the clip art, and it will be a case of 'if you know, you know.' Kind of tapping into that counter-culture vibe online."
"Anybody can take those graphics, and do whatever they want, and it kind of adds another layer of obscurity. If people don’t know, you’d look at it and go 'Where did that graphic come from?! What is this mysterious, familiar vibe I get from it?'”
"I've always toyed around with the idea of just making a clip art website, inspired by ambient music- but for graphics. That's kind of what clip art is. No one knows who made it, and it just exists there to add to whatever you are placing it on. It's kind of contributing to the bigger scene of art and creativity."
Parenton is an artist that finds himself greatly inspired by the dawn of a new age. With his stylistic edge and his bold vision, he redefines the way we think about art in the public domain, and celebrates the feeling of wonder that the new Internet age once shared with the world.To creating a future nostalgia -He is the GraphixSlayer!