Mystic female faces with a number of details hidden in them… bright colours and expressive contrasts in black and white… large and small artwork. Multi-talented artist Kay Roy creates really versatile art, as well as designing accessories, taking photographs and meditating.
Roy began drawing at an early age. This is hardly surprising, because he grew up in a classic artist family. So ever since he was little he could experience how people around him created things. It was only logical that he also made his first attempts as an artist. Roy moved to Hungary later on with his family, leaving his birthplace in Transylvania.
From leather bracelet to own design brand
He made his first designs after returning from a holiday in Thailand. With precious minerals in his bags he combined the exotic style of South-East Asia with leather – the leather bracelets created in this manner laid down the foundations of his design career. However, he did not only focus on the end product. Through working with different materials he experimented with innovative techniques.
The next step came fairly quickly. He founded the label Vayaro with some of his friends in 2005. The product palette of the fashion company has broadened up until today to include much more than only a few bracelets: the selection ranges from futuristic-looking purses and bags to guitar cases.
The young artist also likes to work with his camera. Almost anything can be in front of his lenses: landscapes, products and people. The list may be continued without ever reaching an end.
However, the things particularly close to his heart are his drawings. This is reflected in the work he spends on them – depending on the subject, from a couple of hours up to a couple of months. He uses mostly acrylic on his pictures but does not stick to a single material or technique. Versatility is essential for him. Whether with the help of aquarelle paint, salt or modelling clay, Roy’s drawings and paintings are surely not lacking variety.
Trying something new without rules and constraints – these are Roy’s principles. However, he still has a personal touch that you can recognise in all his creative work and sudden innovations.
A substantial part of his oeuvre is black-and-white pictures full of contrasts. With the help of a fine multiliner he inserts the tiniest details on the bright background, which alter with the dominant black surfaces and form a dialogue by contrasting the light background.
“A black pen only lasts a couple of hours with me,” he says.”And drawing equipment in Budapest is relatively expensive. Especially if you compare with other countries, for example the United States, where I have lived and worked for a longer period of time.”
The other part of his artwork is, on the other hand, full of colours, sometimes bright and then again softer tones, with which he often depicts female figures in a mythological context. Sometimes he draws a figure in a striking feather head-dress, sometimes he presents a woman’s face with a highly detailed painting in a contrasting light.
And his approach also applies on the figurative level: no restrictions. Animal figures are part of his repertoire – for example a tiger’s head, surrounded by colourful lines. He also draws completely abstract figures.
Roy is confident about his artistic existence but he continuously reflects on his work. “Although I am convinced about my work and about my knowledge, I also know that there is always room for improvement. This is crucial for my development as an artist.”
He is selling his works to anyone interested but is definitely not a contract artist. “My works are something like a diary of art for me. When I look at them after some time again, I will remember how I made them, what my feelings and perceptions were – what I have seen and smelled, and also the places where I have been.”
Roy is reluctant to name a favourite artist: “I would not like to say that one thing is better than the other. This would be the same as saying the rose is the most beautiful flower. But all the flowers are beautiful. None of them is less than the other one.”
From Budapest around the world and back
He moved back to Budapest only a short time ago after six years in Los Angeles working for a gallery, helping on film sets and designing for his label. Working in the Hollywood environment helped him to make the brand Vayaro known among stars and starlets, and he was able to present his works at many different exhibitions.
However, the second-largest city in the USA got to be too much for him. “Meeting new people was really easy. However, exactly because Los Angeles has so many inhabitants, it was really hard to make deeper friendships.”
He is thinking about another interesting innovation. “I am working on the design of a 3D-logic game, something similar to the magic cube. The prototype is already being prepared but I am not going to tell any more about it yet.”
However, the cosmopolitan man can’t stick around one place for a long time – not even in his home city, Budapest. “Latest next year I will travel to Tibet. The wise inhabitants and their spirituality are really fascinating for me,” the artist explains.
This will not be new territory for him. “I go every year for a completely silent meditation. I have no contact with the outer world for ten days and I mediate up to 11 hours a day. No personal contacts, no material diversion. I even don’t read. The first three, four days are the hardest.”
The Far Eastern culture with its ancient knowledge of healing techniques has influenced him, among other things, to become a vegan. “For that reason I am definitely trying not to use animal products such as leather in my works. I am rather trying to rely on herbal substances.”