Photo credit: Love Ablan
Scott (Scott C.) Campbell is a cartoonist, illustrator, painter, video game artist and children’s book illustrator who was born in San Jose, California in December of 1973. He graduated with a BFA in Illustration focusing on comic and children's book illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 1992. Soon after he graduated, he started working at LucasArts as a concept artist on children’s Star Wars video games. He left LucasArts in 2000 to become an Art Director at Double Fine Productions, the independent game development studio founded by Tim Schafer. While at Double Fine Productions he has worked on such critically acclaimed games as 2005’s Psychonauts and 2009’s Brutal Legend.
In addition to his work at Double Fine, Scott has published many comics and has had his paintings appear in galleries and publications around the world. His comics work includes his Great Showdowns series, the “Igloo Head and Tree Head” series, Double Fine Action Comics and the comic anthologies Flight and Hickee (co-founded by Graham Annable, Cartoonist Survey #152). He recently illustrated the children’s book, “Zombie in Love” and his new book, “Amazing Everything: The Art of Scott C.” which has a foreword by Jack Black, has received much praise from both the comics industry and his fans.
He has been nominated for an Ignatz Award in the Best New Talent category and has received awards from the Society of Illustrators. His clients include Nickelodeon, Fantagraphics, Majesco, Vice Magazine, Simon & Schuster, New Line Cinema, Criterion and many others. Scott lives and works in New York City. Visit his website where you can purchase original artwork, books, prints, t-shirts and more. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
What is your favorite pen to use?
This Japanese Pentel brush pen. It is more of a spongy brush tip though. Not a brush tip. And it is not refillable, which depresses me, so I go through a lot of them.
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use blue pencil to draw first. Just a normal Prismacolor col-erase.
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Depends on the comic. If it is Double Fine Action Comics or other such anthology comics, they are all in black and white. Tones done in Photoshop. But my Igloo Head and Tree Head comics are all in watercolor. Including the linework.
If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Arches rough watercolor paper for sweet texture. Copy paper or bristol board for the black and white line comics.
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I am not a fan of drawing tall buildings with numerous windows.
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I like to go to New York Central Art Supply in my neighborhood in Manhattan. I only go online to buy my cat's tongue Princeton brushes because I can’t find those anywhere!
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I go to a cafe in the morning and get a coffee and pastry and sit and stare out the window for awhile. Then I read my book to relax my mind. Then I close my book and begin to draw.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I listen to whatever is playing in the cafe. If I am at home and need to think hard about something, I either do so in silence or with repetitive electronic music in the background. Or dub music.
Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I love X-Men and all the X-Men sorts of titles like New Mutants, X-Factor and so forth. My brother and I collected lots and lots of comics.
What is or was your favorite comic strip?
When I was much smaller, I loved Garfield and Family Circus, a bit later I loved Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side.
What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
"Hop on Pop" was my favorite. Later on, my favorite was this Troll book that I cannot remember the name of. Richard Scarry was one of my absolute faves though.
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I went to the Academy of Art College in San Francisco to study illustration. Specifically, comic and children's book illustration.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A blessing! I love it! It has opened up this immense sense of community based around all mediums of art. And it makes it easy for people to make things and get them out into the world! I love Twitter and I love Tumblr. They are great for inspiration and meeting other artists. Sure there are a whole lot of terrible comics and art on the Internet, but there are also some very inspiring things to behold.
Did either of your parents draw?
My mom is very creative. She used to oil paint. Now she makes quilts and other sorts of crafty things.
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents have always been the most supportive. They enrolled me in art classes at a young age and could tell that I was really enjoying myself. They are the best, my parents.
Do you keep a sketchbook?
Not really! I should! And I would like to. I usually bring stacks of copy paper out with me because it is much less stressful for me to sketch and come up with ideas on these sheets of paper. I have stacks and stacks of copy paper in my house with doodles and notes on them.
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have! And I love it. I am excited to do more of it. I did a few workshops in London and a few in LA and SF.
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I would like to say passion because that seems to drive people to create some pretty amazing things. There are many talented people in the world. But also talent is a broad idea. Talent without meaning seems boring and stale to me though. In my mind.
Do you collect anything and if so what?
Art books. I am addicted to art books. I have too many. And cheese. I buy lots of cheese and then I eat all of the cheese.
If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I have been called Shaggy for many many years.
Are you a righty or lefty?
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
An actor! Or a chef!
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A drawing table resting against a dirty brick wall with art printouts taped all over it.
Do you play any musical instruments?
Guitar! And ukulele.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Enjoy the process! Treat it like an adventure you are going on.
Who is your favorite artist?
Currently, it is Sam Bosma.
Thanks again Scott!