Artist of the Month: Oliver Slayton



Oliver Slayton has been using makeup to express themselves since the age of six. As well as using it as a creative outlet, makeup is a way for Slayton to connect with others and spread kindness.

Entering math class with their bright red confidence-inducing lipstick, Oliver Slayton radiates positivity and immediately makes everyone in that classroom feel welcome to be who they are.

For junior Oliver Slayton, teaching themself how to do their own stage makeup at age six led to an enormous passion which showcases their individuality and led them to be a more positive person.

Slayton said they instantly fell in love with makeup which, over time, led to their unapologetic confidence.

“I was like, I’m going to be good at this. I’m not good at it yet, but I will get good at this,” Slayton said.

During middle school, Slayton was the only one wearing a full face of makeup. Although Slayton said this did not bother them, it resulted in them having to be their own cheerleader.

“I’ve been the only one to do a lot of things throughout my life. I was the only one out at my school. I was the only one who was gender-neutral or genderqueer rather. I’m used to defending myself, my art, who I am and my story to people,” Slayton said.


Slayton said that their journey with makeup has taught them many crucial life lessons, making them more mature than others their age.

“You don’t really have to listen to other people’s opinions. They’ll get it eventually. And if they don’t, then I don’t really care. I think talking yourself into it is like the easiest way to do it,” Slayton said.

Slayton said they use makeup to visually express themselves, taking after one of their role models, Ariana Grande.

“I think it’s really cool that she uses makeup as a tool for her change in identity between each piece of her work,” Slayton said.

Slayton said they appreciate how the impermanence of makeup allows it to show personal growth.

“Unless it was caught on camera, you’re the only one who knows about it.,” Slayton said. “It gives you a new opportunity every time you start.”

Junior Nina Bakum, Slayton’s best friend, said Slayton uses their experiences and lessons to comfort others.

“I think they’re a very good listener. They can just share their experience with the person and use that to make the person feel better and feel like they’re not alone,” Bakum said.

Slayton said that there is another way they utilize wearing makeup in their day to day life.

“I have ADHD, so I typically have extra energy. Sometimes doing makeup will absorb just enough of that to leave me comfortable. It is a morning ritual before school that gets me centered and grounded,” Slayton said.

Kiera Flynn-Carson, Slayton’s previous English teacher who has known them since they were in 8th grade, said Slayton’s positive glow brightens any room they enter and is not only noticed by fellow peers but also by their teachers.

“They can change the weather of the classroom to be more enthusiastic, more open, more friendly and also inviting other people to be who they are,” Flynn-Carson said. “I think one thing that is remarkable about Oliver is the kindness that they treat others with, a generosity that they approach the world with and at the same time they are very brave.”

Bakum said she also notices the positive effect Slayton has on the community.

“Their confidence has been really what’s inspired me the most. Just seeing them be their unapologetic self,” Bakum said. “What they do, the happiness it brings to people, especially within our community is just so nice to see.”