My name Is Deighton (Dayton). I like to joke and say my alias is “The Good Lieutenant”, I also like to joke that another alias of mine is “The Bad Lieutenant”.
How long have you been making stickers?
I received my first order of custom made stickers in December of 2013
What inspired you to first start producing stickers?
My fascination with stickers goes way back so I will give you the short
form account. I can remember visiting my brother who was attending school at College of Charleston in 2001 and seeing these stickers everywhere about Andre the Giant. I continued to ask my brother what they meant and he would reply “nothing, it’s just a sticker”. I thought that was so cool but I “didn’t get it”. The mystery and artwork of these enigmatic stickers were hypnotizing. These stickers of course were the early works of Shepard Fairy, a Charleston native. Fast forward to December 2012 and I experienced a near-fatal incident which put me in the hospital. I felt different from that day on and especially in those first few months. I would experience what I would call “flashes of inspiration”. These “flashes” were strong and drew me towards art and fashion, hobbies in which I had never really been into before the incident.
What role would you say stickers play within the greater scope of art?
I feel that stickers are a relatively fast and inexpensive way for an artist to put there work out there to be viewed by others, to spark conversation. Stickers are a great way to put any kind of message out there though. Stickers get people’s attention. I give out a lot of stickers and no one has ever told me “No, I do not want a sticker” when asked. There are not many things that people always accept with a smile. A sticker can make someone smile and that is an art in and of itself.
I use vinyl/silk screened stickers. They are a little more expensive than digitally inked stickers, but in my opinion they are worth extra money.
What are some of your favorite places to put up slaps?
I like to put my stickers anywhere I can, as long as it is in “good taste”. I love to go to downtown Wilmington and put them on random light poles, newspaper vending machines, the docks/riverwalk. My favorite places to put the stickers though are places where people gather. I have one in the window of a local board game shop of where I am a regular customer (They actually have tables in the back where you can rent games or bring your own). Coffee shops, beaches, and skate parks are also prime locations. I really love to just walk around and give them out to people and tell them what the idea behind “gather” is about.
What is the longest one of your slaps has survived in the wild?
There are still many stickers up that I slapped the day I got my 1st batch delivered. It wasn’t that long ago but they are in some pretty high traffic, corporate areas (thanks Starbucks!).
Have you ever had any run-ins with the law due to your stickering?
No, I have never had any run-ins with the law. However I was downtown one time and was slapping a sticker on a trash can when a trash truck drove by and honked at me. It startled me more than anything. A few days later when I went back every sticker I put on public trash cans (probably 20 or so) were gone.
What other artists inspire you?
Certainly I already mentioned Shepard Fairy, but I believe almost every person on earth who has ever lived has inspired me; not just artists. Artist are often inspired by folks who consider themselves to be non-artist, rather it be their parents, grandparents, 2nd grade teacher, or
even someone they passed casually in the street. In contrast, non-artists are inspired by artists. It is a symbiotic relationship which feeds off each other, each component is necessary to the cycle. That being said, this cycle has been going on for millennia and I feel it is responsible for all art. An artistic collective consciousness if you will.
Have you ever had a funny/unusual experience related to stickering?
I like to set my stickers on tables at coffeeshops and watch what people do when they sit down and see a random sticker in front of them. One of the funniest things was when I saw an older couple in their 70s or so, sit down and use my stickers as coasters for their coffee.
How many stickers have you produced to date?
Exactly 1,000; With another 2,000 being produced next month.
Is stickering about quantity or quality?
I go for quality. I am a firm believer in the “power by repetition” theory…but at the same time, I don’t want to be a nuisance. I feel that the image, or message, is more valuable when concentrated and not abused. Sure all publicity is good publicity, but I am not really going for
publicity. I am going for a message.
Do you collect and/or trade slaps with other artists?
No, Unfortunately I do not.
What do you want people to take away from seeing one of your designs in the wild?
All stickers have a message, even if it is unintended by the artist. As stated previously, when I was having periods of really intense flashes I was being drawn towards artistic and fashion driven hobbies. My first sticker project was “Mr. GoodDanger”. “Mr. GoodDanger” never made it to stickers and instead was replaced with “gather.” I felt a pulling, almost as strong as the force of gravity, wanting me to create a positive message….a message of unity…a message that all humans could relate to. That message was of “gather.” I just wanted to make stickers in the beginning with the railroad lantern and words “gather.” I wanted the lantern to be seen as a utensil of light, literally and metaphorically. I have always been fascinated with the imagery of light illuminating the dark, good vs. evil. Ideas and innovation being the light( the dark ages igniting the renaissance), darkness being **** Light being what people gather around in times of darkness. When someone sees my “gather.” I want to invoke an emotion in that person. An emotion of people coming together and feeling connected. It is the concept that going to a concert with friends makes for a better time and better memories than going by yourself. The concept that going to places like coffee shops and reading or working on the computer is more enjoyable than doing it home alone on the couch. It is about surrounding yourself with people. It even goes as far as the notion of when people get together, great ideas are created, not just memories. It is what great historical figures did before founding new countries and democracies; they gathered to discuss and challenge the status quo. It is about promoting the gathering of conversation, people, and ideas. It is the most primal instinct we strive for after food, shelter and sex. We strive for the feeling of being connected to our surroundings, to our community. We all desire a feeling of being a part of something bigger than ourselves. It is the emotion that makes us all so human. It is what we do at births, weddings, and funerals; we gather.
I now want to take the power behind this message to the next level and have t-shirts created so stay tuned for more information in regards to that. If you want any stickers just send me a message through my website www.projectgather.net and I will get them out to you, my only request is you like my page @ www.facebook.com/projectgather, or send me a photo of where you feel most connected to your surroundings. I also want to thank www.stickerslaps.com for the opportunity to spread this message, it means a lot and I really appreciate it. Thank you.
What is the best way for people to follow your work?
Big thanks to Natasha for lining this up, your precious. Also thanks to everyone who has supported me in this endeavor and has told me to go for my dream. Thanks also to everyone who read this.