Devon Plett has been painting since he was a kid, but he still sees each day as a new step in his creative process...
For him, painting is less about where you get and more about how you get there.
Plett’s studio is chaotic, but also shows how he is forging his own path and developing a unique style. The studio is crammed with canvases, sculptures and other works in progress. Plett’s paintings are often done on canvas and contain a variety of elements that range from splattered house paint, checkerboard patterns, corporate logos, and graffiti. For Devon, it’s all about including imagery that represents something about himself.
Working towards his own voice as an artist is what motivates him to paint every single day, but how it happens - or when it happens - isn’t much of his concern.
“There’s no roadmap in painting, but that’s good and bad. There’s not a ‘right’ way to do it, but also, there’s no map, so you’re just driving, but you’re still wondering when you’re going to get there.”
Plett got his start in painting young. His mom, a painter herself, always encouraged him to be creative. “We had one day every year where she’d call in sick to school for me and we’d just stay home and paint,” he said.”
Later on, Plett got into street art and dove deep into a variety of concepts that are still found in his work today. “I think there’s aspects in street art about being able to communicate aggressively with whoever sees it,” said Plett. Looking at his work now, you’ll see pieces of the same big, bold design commonly attributed to street art.
Since then, Plett has begun experimenting with mixed mediums and sculptures. “Another artist told me that you should be able to use anything to replace paint.” It’s a lesson he’s taken to heart as he’s incorporated, among other things, spray foam, wood, metal and some dishes from the kitchen in his recent works.
To Plett, painting is a cathartic experience. He said that there were times in the past when he didn’t have painting in his life and found himself craving an outlet. Plett sees painting as an answer to most of life’s pressures, saying “Painting is the one time I don’t have to care about anything else that’s going on.”
Written by Scott Davidson.