In my short adult life in Houston I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know a lot of local artists, and I mean, a lot! Today, though, I want to shed some light on a recent UH graduate, Trevon Latin. His art, inspired by a mix of human interaction and pure fantasy, is both gritty and mystical, with beautiful attention to detail… Or maybe it’s the lack of attention to detail that give his paintings that authentic stroke…
Images by Cameron Doby
Latin makes clothing, masks, and canvases from scraps of fabric and burlap sacks. He paints in a style influenced by folk art and storytelling. Each piece is unique, but they all seem to be part of a single idea. I spent some time talking with him to get an idea of what motivates his beautiful and bizarre creations.
Where are you from?
Houston, Texas: born and raised.
Where are you going?
Honestly, as long as it’s away from Houston, I’ll be fine. Hopefully, New York is where I will go.
Tell me about Trevon Lat In vs. S.Relentless. Who are they, and what do they mean to you? Where do these projections/ideals come from?
Shaturqua Relentless is a fantastical alter ego I created to tell my story, as well as the stories of people I come in contact with.
Image by Trevon Latin
Have you always been artistic?
As far back as I know.
What inspired you to start sewing? What was your creative path like? Did you start drawing or painting?
I’ve always wanted to create wearable art, but it wasn’t until I saw my best friend’s work that I was inspired to explore fabric more. As far as drawing and painting, I’ve always been into it, whether digital or traditional.
What motivated your decision to pursue a degree? What was your major?
I have a BFA in painting from University of Houston. I figured it would be easy to get to get through it without stress. Boy was i wrong!
What’s your studio like?
My room is my studio at the moment. It’s a mess with fabric everywhere!
Image by Cameron Doby
I know that you have recently been putting a lot of work towards 3D mixed media projects. Have you always been interested in sculpting?
To me its all the same – a way to express myself. I think some things can and should be said a certain way, whether it’s 3D art, mixed media, a painting or a video.
Because I know you personally, I know you are humble and overwhelmingly modest about the intensity of your creations. But I want to know what makes you most proud about your work? What drives it?
Thank you! What I’m most proud of is that I stay true to my vision. I don’t like to compromise too much. What drives me is creating, period. I have to create/maintain to stay sane.
What’s your process like? Do you sketch, use digital drawing programs, eat a sandwich, stretch, etc.?
I imagine myself as a reincarnation of another being. Who do I want to evoke… a princess, maybe a commoner from the 1800’s… Then, I draw it out. But it all starts off as something I imagine, I guess.
Image by Trevon Latin
How do your trial and error runs affect the end result? How do they affect you?
I end up changing my creative process when something works out better; so the initial project is always evolving and taking multiple forms.
You have had an ongoing narrative series. Can you tell me more about your stories and what you want to project with your art.
Right now I want to get into a story I have about a little boy who goes on an “errand” for his alcoholic grandmother. It’s called “Hood.”
Shaturqua’s conquest, however, is an ongoing narrative.
Image owned by Trevon Latin via UH Libraries
What makes you happy?
Traveling, meeting new people. Friends and family.
The more I get to know Trevon, the more impressed I get! Keep an eye out for this creator in the future; I just know he is destined to do great things. Check out the linked video with original music, edited and directed by Trevon Latin, himself.
Thank you for opening up, Trevon! And good luck in the Big Apple!
Featured Image by Jiwei Saw