Although I live and breathe its meaning, the term Slash (/) Culture first came up during the recent Malta Design Dialogues (Malta’s take on a design week) when Tom Van Malderen who was chairing a panel asked about the issues around branding yourself when you do a variety of things diverse enough to require slashes between them. As a slashie myself, and one that deals with branding (among other things of course), to boot, Tom’s question set me on an exploration.
A few years old, this article is a great overview of slash culture and the reasons behind more and more people choosing to not define themselves through one rigid role. Twenty-eight-year-old Laura Scrivano, a playwright/director/blogger/filmmaker interviewed by the author reflects my thoughts when she says,
”There was a personal calling to do something that allowed diversity in my employment, that allowed me to create the work I wanted to create with the flexibility that comes with being able to define yourself across multiple fields.”
But how do you talk about this whole self coherently? To help me unravel this issue I have spoken to Isaac Schlesinger, writer, artisan, conceptualist, and entrepreneur with an uncanny ability to combine an exceedingly open, rich and colourful personal narrative with a clear, understandable explanation of what he does. Read on to discover his tips for managing to do this.
For myself, each of my slashes represents a part of what I do and I am very much found at their intersection making sense of the jigsaw puzzle they form together and finding opportunities created there. As I grow older and learn more about myself and the world around me, I see increasing need for authenticity. There is so much scope for showing up as a whole, complex, multi-faceted human being rather than presenting just the small chunk of me that fits within a defined role or job description. The more transparent I am, the more I can create a life, work that makes the best of this. The more intertwined who I am and what I do are. The closer I get to letting go of the image of who I am expected to be (by myself, by others) to truly embody the person I am, with all of that which I feel compelled to do here.
I hope that you will also join me in exploring this.