Shell Within Shell.

I AM PAPER SERIES ©Reylia Slaby 2016



Today I was again caught in a whirlwind. A cruel, blustery tempest. These past few days have been full of me chasing after myself, but then running away from it as well. I fidget all day, carrying this anxious feeling within my chest, that threatens to choke me. It seems to say: When is it good enough? “It” being the art I produce, or rather, myself. I spend so much time fixated on it’s perfection in my mind, rather than production of the physical art itself. I am aware of this in myself, and it leaves me in even more suffering and guilt, stuck within a vicious circle. I tell myself that perhaps this is growth, but I find myself trapped within shell within shell, like a matryoshka doll.

Even as I type, I am fearful. Will even this be good enough? Where have I developed this abnormal fear of imperfection from? Perhaps it was something that naturally permeated and stained my being after being birthed and bred in the Japanese culture? A slow trickle of poison. Undetectable in small doses. Could that be the culprit?

Because when I was younger, I remember not fearing anything. I remember what it felt to be inspired by a piece of work rather than intimidated of or jealous of it.

Can I reclaim that sense of self? Hopefully I can find it again this year.



My work for Adobe Photoshop! 25 under 25!


Hi everyone! I have some exciting news to share!
皆さんこんにちは! お知らせしたい嬉しいニュースがあります!


This year marks Adobe Photoshop’s 25th anniversary, and in honor of it, the Adobe team has been searching the globe, looking for 25 artists under the age of 25 to create a piece in celebration of it. Among them are digital artists , photographers and even typographers. I’m super excited and honored to say that I’m one of the 25, and this is the piece I created for them.

To read more about adobes 25 Under 25 project, please check out the links below!…/photoshop/25-year-anniversary.html…/25-under-25-the-search-is-on-for-2…

A HUGE thank you to the Adobe team, for all their support and advice, and a big congratulations to the other 24 selected! You guys earned it!

I’m also taking over adobes Instagram for about two weeks! Would be so wonderful if you could follow, like, and comment on there! Link below!

Also thanks so much to all my incredible friends, family, and viewers for their support and encouragement! You truly are my rock. And a shout-out to the model, Dagny! You were so amazing on the shoot! I can never thank you enough.

Here’s to 25 years of creativity!


Reylia :))



詳細は下記のリンクでご覧になれますので是非チェックしてみてください!…/p…/photoshop/25-year-anniversary.html…/25-under-25-the-search-is-on-for-2… (EN)








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Never Leave Me


“Never Leave Me”
Photo: Reylia Slaby
Model: Dagny Tarver

Finally a new piece. I owe my “delay” to several things. One being that the shoots I’ve been desiring to have involve purchasing rather expensive things, and in that case I must wait, and one by one accumulate all that I need. The second is that this year, my focus has shifted. I see art now as the shadow of experience, and without embracing life, art can become meaningless. My prerogative now is to live.

But more about that later.

This shoot was so wonderful to do for me. Dagny was such a sport, and I can’t thank her enough for going through with it, despite the rain and the cold. She is truly a great model 🙂

As for the idea itself, it stems from my tendency to cling to the things that I love. I have felt this to the extent that it can be borderline obsessive. Despite my undying love for these things or people, I cannot make them stay. I have always known and been ok with this. When it comes to people in this equation, everyone has their own path, a stage entrance and exit. It is ok to let go, because that is the natural flow. Very few things stay.

But on the bright side, many things come back.



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Painting backgrounds / Shoot with Madison

A portrait I did a week back, or so.
In the morning of the shoot, I decided to paint my own background. I had earlier purchased a black cotton backdrop for photo-shoots, but each time I attempted in using it, it has just been a hassle to work with. Since messing around with cloth has been frustrating, I wanted to buy something sturdy (Like plywood) and paint it. Both my sister Johnna and I needed to go to the Home Depot, but neither of us can drive, and we both had heavy purchases in mind. While scanning the shelves at the store, I knew we both couldn’t carry what we wanted back to our home. After thinking about it a little, I remembered that in our house, there was a door that was sitting in storage, and no one knew where it had come from. I decided to buy some paint, and to use the door as the canvas. So after a bit of paint splatters and toxic inhalation, it turned out to be a lovely background. I imagine I will be doing it this way again.





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Back from vacation! Now back to work :)



I haven’t written in a while. Of lately I have other outlets that satisfy my need for a release of words. I have had more people to talk to, and articulate my feelings and theories to, so it feels almost superfluous to write them out. That might be one reason.

Lately, I have been thinking about what I was doing this time last year, and the stark difference always takes me aback. In comparison to last year, I am extremely content and happy, despite having tendencies to complain a bit, which is a natural occurrence in all lives, even if a lucid reason isn’t present.

I have been extremely busy, though. I have been working on a project in Tokyo, and each time I arrive in the Kanto region I feel filled to the brim with gratefulness towards the people I am working with, to the point where it overwhelms me and I often feel compelled to prayers of gratitude and thanks. While I am alone, “Thank you…Thank you..” is always escaping my lips.

Also, I had a two week vacation in Nagano, even though it feels like it had been longer, which isn’t a bad thing. The location I go to in Nagano each year is a unique one. There, time is forever stopped and the only thing that changes are the exteriors of the people that go there. Each time I go, it feels like I had never left, except for the obvious fact that I have gained a year in my life.

I did have a few photo-shoots in Nagano, although not as many as I had intended. I am always distracted there, and it is very hard for me to be creative. I think that the reason for that is because everyday there I find myself surrounded by so many fascinating and fun people, that I would much rather sit talking than photograph.

I think I also work better when I am close to home, and have full control over my surroundings because I know and understand it. As I arrive home, ideas of shoots fill my head, which is odd because when I left for Nagano, it began to empty.

It does feel wonderful to be back home. Since I have been doing a lot of work in Tokyo, several people asked me if I am going to start living there. At the moment, I don’t know if I could. There is something about the Kansai region that I can’t shake. I have spent my whole life here, so I’m sure there is a natural unwillingness to leave one’s home, but I think it is more than that.

Either way! I am definitely excited about the new project. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many amazing and kind people.

More updates later on 🙂

Much love,