Thursday, February 26, 2009

Exclusive Hunt & Gather interview with Scott C.

So you may know him as Scott Campbell or maybe you call him Scott C. as its easier to find him on a google search. The talented illustration was born in San Jose, California and studied at the San Francisco Academy of Art college and he has been drawing since... well.. forever as he says its always been one of his things . No longer a CA resident he has crossed the country and is living and working in lovely New York City as a full time illustrator and artist. There is so much more to say about Scott C. but I wont give it all away in the introduction, so read on and enjoy the interview!

So Scott C. your work seriously gets me laughing out loud and can cause stomach cramping if I see too much of it at any one time, exactly how did you get to be so clever and who/what is your
biggest inspiration

Oh, man, thanks for saying that. I have always been into making funny things. My brother and I used to make our own family circus comics when we were very young because they were easy. They were just kids doing dumb kids things, which we did anyway, so automatically funny by those standards. But Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes comics became bigger inspirations. My friends and I used to make home movies parodying our favorite things like Star Wars and Bruce Lee. I would watch Strange Brew, Blues Brothers, and Buckaroo Bonzai three times a day. I recorded all episodes of Saturday Night Live and had a collection for awhile. Also had a big Monty Python phase. So comedy and pop culture in general have been my biggest influences in life.

Who is your favorite comic book artists/writer?

It is always changing with the more stuff I am exposed to, and I get excited easily. Right now my favorite is the French artist/writer Joann Sfar who did the books Vampire Loves and Little Vampire. I have also been enjoying Nicholas Gurewitch a whole lot. And I still very much enjoy looking at Mike Mignola’s work.

How often do you read other comics?

As often as I can. But I don’t get a chance to as much as I like. After conventions I usually have a large stack of new books and I have a surge of comic reading energy for about a month and then it peters out and I move back to whatever book I am reading. Books take me forever to read.

When did you first start drawing and doodling?

Ever since I was small. My mom always encouraged me to draw. She used to paint and has always been very crafty. So she enrolled me in little art classes around town. I remembered taking a class at age 5 or 6 maybe? Around the corner from where we lived at some lady’s house. I don’t remember what we did at all, but I remember the place smelled awesome. Like oil paints. But I didn’t know what oil paints were. I know we didn’t use them though. And I always drew with my brother. We would copy from our coloring books and comics and create our own books. I used to cheat and trace a lot.

What was your childhood dream? – What did you want to be when you grew up?

My mom showed me this little packet from when I was in kindergarten, where I wrote “I want to draw Star Wars when I grow up”. She showed me this back when I got a job at Lucas drawing for Star Wars kids games. So I guess I nailed that dream. Besides that I wanted to draw x-men comics and make children’s books.

Would you consider yourself a kid today or have you crossed the line to Adulthood?

I suppose I would be more of a kiddish adult. I still get very excited about things in a kidlike manner, like cool trees and pretty light. But I don’t necessarily need to climb those trees. I have always wanted to capture that childlike excitement with my art to keep myself interested in creating. I want to wake up in the morning totally excited to get to my drawing. Rather than see it as a chore. So it better be of something that is fun looking and tells an enjoyable story.

Are your story lines and characters based off any thing in particular, like a good joke or a cartoon show, or are do you free style completely? I have noticed you use a lot of references to history, child story books and fables. Can you explain that a bit?

I am very much into natural flow to my stories. I want them to feel natural and the dialog to flow in a way that is identifiable to myself and other people. I think every day conversation is so funny sometimes. People talk about the craziest things, but even the mundane things are funny to me. I love to imagine knights and mummies talking like this. I have always loved to imagine what ordinary people in history talk about when they are just cruising around. Like if they were chilling on their horses waiting for their other knight bros to arrive.. what would they talk about? Maybe a lot of the same stuff we would talk about. But just they would be dirty and wear knight outfits. I like those in-between times. The times in-between major events. I almost enjoy those more than major events. But major events give those dudes purpose, so I dig those , too. I also like a world where all these people and monsters from different time zones and myths can gather together and eat pizza. I think that creates a vibe where anything is really possible. And when I see one of those dragons unsure if he should bring any beverages to the party, I think that I most likely have wondered that. probably recently.

When could you say you made a break through with your art and creating your unique style that so many have grown to love?

I used to show paintings in group shows in San Francisco for a number of years, never really sure what I was saying with my art. I really struggled with that. Everyone seemed to have something to say and absolutely had to create art or they would just die. I didn’t have that crazy weird passion. I wanted to get that excitement I had when I was a child to draw. It wasn’t until I saw a show consisting of paintings by Marcel Dzama that I got super inspired. I loved how simple his paintings were, yet how fun and enjoyable they were to look at. I liked the airy texture to the watercolors as well. So I tried watercolors out for a show in SF called APE$#!T and the I AM 8BIT show in LA. I think that was 2006. I did some little characters hanging out for one show and an oldie timey version of the classic arcade game Paperboy for the other. All sepia toned. This was the first time in awhile that I super enjoyed the process of making these things. Part of what made me interested in these were that they each had to tell a touch of a story. They couldn’t just be a character posing. That got me excited.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in life?

To make people laugh and be happy. I like seeing people laugh and be happy. And I like meeting other people who do this. And I like working with them on things that do this. Psychonauts was probably the first major thing that I was super proud of that seemed to make so many people laugh and be happy. I feel very fortunate to find myself amongst such people.

So you're a funny guy.. who gets you giggling ? Do you have a favorite comedian?

Jack Black is still the most brilliant dude. But Danny McBride has been getting me pretty psyched.

What would your dream art show- or exhibition o project be like?

I would like a show with full on audience participation and submersion. I would love to change a place into a full on world that people could cruise through and experience the characters and buildings as if they were real. And eat some food that the characters made for them. watch some shows they have put together or just walk through a room where they are all hanging out partying. Maybe animatronics dudes if they can perfect that technology. Wait. I guess that is Disneyland that I am describing.

Have you ever or are you currently working on any commercial jobs or do you tend to work free lance?

I have been working in video games for many years. I have been at Double Fine productions for about 8 years now. We made the game called Psyhonauts and an awesome new one called Brutal Legend. I have designed covers for albums, books and DVDs, such as the alternate cover for King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters. I just recently finished an ad campaign for this company called Show Off Films in Portugal. I’m also working on a children’s book. So I guess all over the board style.

What is a typical day in the life of Scott C.?

Scott C wakes up around 8am and avoids his computer. It is off limits in the mornings. He then walks through Tompkins Square Park, perhaps past the dog park, so he can check out the dogs going crazy. At one of the local cafes he will eat something and drink something and read his book, so he can get in some sort of zone. And then Scott C will draw for awhile. He will later return home and work on whatever he needs to do for Double Fine. Drawing something or painting something. By 7pm he is usually stir crazy and needs to leave the house. Maybe go meet up with people. Cause pleasant trouble.

If you were left alone in a white room for 24 hours, you can have one thing to entertain you.. what would it be?

A dance party. And that probably comes with a lot of stuff, so…

How long do you dedicate to drawing a day, and when do you feel is your most productive hour to work and where?

Probably about 9 solid hours. My most productive times are mornings until noon and 4-7pm. 4-7pm is a weird surge of energy time. I think because the day is ending and any stuff I get done is like a special gift to myself. So I usually crunch a lot of stuff into that awesome time. When it gets dark, my drawing energy leaves me and I must go somewhere else.

When are you going to go all out and PAINT HUGE or is that just not your style? I think a life size scene would be amazing!

Oh, man, that would be amazing. I would love to do that! I need to find a big wall first, I guess.

Do you have a favorite song o album to draw to? That really gets those creative engines working?

When I am trying to come up with ideas, I usually listen to no music or whatever is playing in the café. But when I am painting, I dig electronic repetitive dance music. Or the Ethiopiques. Or old rock steady and ska. Or Wes Anderson movie soundtracks.

So you have a solo show coming up really soon, can you let us in on that, Where, When, and what do you have in hold for us?

Yes! I do have a show coming up. It is at Gallery Nucleus in LA, March 7-23. The name of the show is HOME SLICE and the theme is basically cutaway houses. Houses like a rocket, and a cloud and a pyramid, cutaway so you can see the residents inside doing resident things like doing laundry, dancing and playing basketball. The residents are who you would expect to live in such houses, mummies in the pyramid, spacemen and aliens in the rocket, and so forth. As a kid I used to love to draw underground civilizations, that looked like ant farms or Dig Dug. I think most people drew things like this because they wanted to live down there and imagine exploring it. I am doing a whole bunch of pieces for the show, ranging from small one room houses to massive paintings of many room houses. Some of them are my biggest paintings ever, so I am slowly working my way up to Empire State building sized paintings. But super slowly.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any new projects your working on?

A couple months after the Nucleus show I will be taking part in a three person show at Gallery 1988 in LA, titled " A Quite Storm" opening on May 26th.

·Brutal Legend( Brutal Legend is a heavy metal hot rod game about a roadie pulled back in time to the age of metal to fight demons and free the humans. The roadie is played by Jack Black along with a number of cameos like Rob Halford, Lemmy, and Ozzy.) is due out in the Fall. My Double Fine Action Comics book is due out any second. Besides that, just plugging away at this kids book for Simon and Shuster. It is about dragons. And knights. And emperors. Double Fine Action Comics is a web comic I try to update every day or every other day (besides weekends) on the double fine website. I started it back in 2006 I believe?.

My last question for you, just out of curiosity is,If you could have one meal at 2 am after a long night of drinking what would it be?

Probably pizza. Pizza and high fives.

Oh yes, thats all folks, but to find out more about Scott C. and see more of his work go straight to his webpage HERE. or make sure you go down to Nucleus Gallery On March 7th, 2009. Opening reception from 7pm to 10pm.

More Scott C. stuff:

His dailyish comic…

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