Artist Interviews 2021

Scott C  
By Julia Siedenburg

Scott C is a native Californian whose sketches and illustrations bring fun and happy memories for the whole family, from the special cinema series “The Greatest Showdown” to posters, calendars and books filled with his adorable characters.

He is a true master and can sketch anything from Kenue Reeves to animals and the cutest cacti floats. He has recently expanded to puzzles and even made play figures. There is nothing this man can’t sketch and there is no limit what he will do with his sketches.

I discovered Scott through my boyfriend who has multiple of his pieces covering his one apartment wall. I immediately found joy in looking at them. I knew right away he would be a great addition to our magazine.

While creating new art in light speed time while also carrying for his baby daughter, Scott C somehow still somehow found time and was so kind to answer my questions. So my dear readers, no matter if you are film buffs, parents or just like enjoyable fun sketch art, do yourself a favor and follow this great artist. And the perfect way to start to get to know him is by reading this article.

What inspires you the most when making art? Any artist you look up to the most?

There is not one person who inspires me the more than any other. I find inspiration and excitement from everything I take in everyday from the books I read to the movies and TV shows I watch, artists I enjoy online, conversations with friends, and strolls in the park! I find peace within myself every morning at the coffee shop when I sit down to read a book and settle by brain before sketching. The mornings are when I come up with my best ideas.

Your works stretches from fun artistic prints to digital story books to games. How would you describe your style?

I would call what I do naïve and childlike. I find comfort in thinking like a child because the stream of consciousness of a child is something I have been chasing as an adult. Anything is possible in the mind of a kid and every moment is unbelievably exciting. I try to work this mentality into the children’s books I create, the video game concept designs, and the paintings and projects I create on my own time. It is the thing that keeps my mind fresh and happy. I like to make things that make me laugh and enjoy myself. Watercolor is a lighthearted airy medium, so it compliments this loose peaceful vibe quite well.

Did you always make art like this or did it change/ evolve to what it is today?

I went to art school to me a realistic fantasy painter and draw comics like X-men. My style was very different back then, but as I became exposed to new artists and storytelling styles through the friends I was making, my style began to evolve. I discovered comics like Eightball and ACME Novelty and painters like Paul Klee, Jim Flora, and Shag. A trip to Japan in the year 2000 shifted my work to an even cuter degree. I still enjoy painting in those realistic styles and got the chance to do so with the second video game we made at Double Fine called Brutal Legend, a heavy metal fantasy game in the vague style of Frank Frazetta. Our first game, Psychonauts, was much more in the style that I usually work though.

Tell us more about the Great Showdown Series. How did you get the idea?

There is an annual group exhibition that Gallery 1988 has been doing for many years in Los Angeles called Crazy 4 Cult. The first show was back in 2008, I believe. I did the first 10 bite-sized showdowns for that exhibit. I had never really used film as an inspiration for my paintings, so at first, I was a little resistant to the idea. As I began to make lists of my favorite films and sketching bits from them, I fell in love with the process of revisiting the worlds that shaped who I am as an artist. I found myself doodling characters from these great moments of tension just smiling at each other. I enjoyed seeing a page covered with these little moments. I chose ten of my favorites including two of the most iconic showdowns in my eyes, Clint Eastwood at the end of Fistful of Dollars and Raiders of the Lost Ark - the scene where Indy shoots the dude holding the sword. I began doing them every year for Crazy 4 Cult and the project just grew from there.

For the Great Showdown series, how do you choose which movies you’ll be doing next?

I have a huge list of films that I still need to get to. I keep adding to it when people make requests and remind me of movies I have yet to tackle. However, there are an almost infinite number of films that exist, so I try to choose films that have some sort of cultural relevance and fandom attached to them. I have discovered quite a few amazing movies over the years that people tell me about. I love it! Some nice patrons have stopped by my table at conventions to drop off DVDs of films they think I need to see. My wife, for example, has been exposing me to the most important rom coms in film history over the past few years. I am enjoying learning about them and appreciate her pointing out the famous scenes. Those are the moments I try to pull from.

Is the reason why you only have your prints available to order for 48h because you want to keep them more exclusive. What is the highest number you ever sold your prints?

Well, they used to be limited edition prints, in fact, I still do limited edition with other painting series, but the Showdowns began to sell out so quickly that many people missed out and expressed great disappointment. It felt like just hardcore collectors could experience the Great Showdown prints. I wanted them to be more accessible to the casual collector. Timed releases are wonderful because they give casual collectors a relaxing window of time in which to purchase the ones they want while still keeping them relatively exclusive for harder core collectors. It has been a really great experience! I think the biggest run was around 950? And that is an edition size I would never have thought to create, but it is nice the know that all the people who wanted one could get one.

Please tell us about your background and upbringing.

I grew up in San Jose, California and went to art school at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. I had a pretty pleasant childhood. I had one brother who was close in age, so we were very good friends and played all the time together. We made books and played action figures and created all kinds of fantastical scenarios to act out. We were both eagle scouts and my parents were scout leaders and coaches of our soccer and baseball teams. I was mediocre at sports though. We took a lot of trips as a family in our trailer exploring much of the western United States. My brother and I got into collecting comics and going to conventions to get them all signed by every participant from the penciller to the editor. Our comic collecting career ended when we attained our crown jewel item X-men #1. Then we could rest and enjoy our spoils.

Which piece / series is your favorite and why?

I enjoy painting extravagant scenes with many characters enjoying themselves. I love losing myself in those worlds and pretend I am the various characters. One painting from 2020 entitled “Koala Pool Party” depicts a bunch of koalas enjoying themselves on a sunny day at their pools amongst the eucalyptus trees. I love pool parties, so this particular scene spoke quite loudly to me. Koala’s are my wife’s favorite animal and we are pushing them quite heavily onto our daughter.

Has becoming a Dad changed your ideas and motivation for your prints?

My little girl is just turning 1 year old in a few days and it is amazing how much has changed in just this first year. She likes to joke around and be funny. I love seeing her discover everything. Everything! Everything is new to her. She got her first balloon today. What an exciting thing a new balloon is. She loses her mind when she sees dogs and cats. It is fun to point things out to her and see how pumped she gets. I enjoy reading simple board books to her, my favorites being the Taro Gomi books like Little Boat and Little Truck and Bus Stops. They have just the most wonderful simple cadence and humor to them. I am looking forward to creating with her and watching her begin to truly express her strange little self.

What is next? Any plans for starting another series?

Right now, I am focusing on new book pitches, but would love to venture into moving images. Cartoons are something that has interested me for quite some time. There was a short sequence I designed and painting for an episode of the first season of Umbrella Academy. To see that actually move was very exciting. I want to do more of that. We shall see.

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