First off it is an honor to be a regular contributor to Muddy Colors for 2017. Thank you for having me. If you had told the artist that I was back in 1990, (freshman year of Art School), that a place like Muddy Colors would exist- A place where you could get this level of knowledge and inspiration from some of the greatest artists working- on a DAILY basis, I would have thought, “Yeah maybe in the afterlife. But Van Gogh and I will tip a glass of wine to all you suckers still on the earthly plane trying to sling a brush.”
Beyond that, if you had told 1990 Scott that he would be here, not just as a visitor, but actually contributing to a place like Muddy Colors, he would have thought you were the Devil, with a little piece of paper for him to sign in blood (and I would have signed it). Because 1990 Scott sucked. (And was Metal!)
Shall we take a look at his 4 years (1990-1994) at Savannah College of Art and Design?
Especially pay attention to year one and two. (top) I wasn’t the only one who thought I was sub-par. If you asked my freshman art school pals down in Savannah GA, if they thought I’d be here today, writing this, they probably would have said, “Scott? Um, no. I mean he has a lot of grit, but doesn’t have the chops to go all the way.” And they were right, I didn’t have the ‘chops’, and many of them did.
But few of them are still around today, over 25 years later.
Because the most important thing in the ‘made-up’ reply above, isn’t the word ‘chops’. It is the word ‘grit’. I simply would not f’n give up.
And the power of grit shows in retrospect. Though none of them are great, there is an improvement from year one to year four. And by senior year, I got a little plaque from SCAD saying I was the ‘Best Painter of the Year’ (Which I think had more to do with my ideas than my ‘chops’.) How? Simple. No social life. No parties. Total focus. I studied Bridgeman. I studied Hogarth. I studied Rembrant. I cussed at my paintings. I threw brushes at them. I fought for every new revelation. The bottom line is I worked my ass off. Literally, I have no ass. Just a flat plane back there from back to thigh. (Bridgman would have hated drawing me.)
To sum it up, you have to put the work in. You all know this. It takes YEARS. But as Kevin Smith says, I’d rather be a ‘will-over-skill’ player than the reverse. Don’t f’n stop. Butt in chair. Draw.
So, to 1990 Scott, I’d say, ” Dude we still have a ways to go. We never stop. But it feels pretty amazing to be among this group of artists. I hope we do Muddy proud. (And we are still f’n Metal!)” Then I’d throw up the devil horn salute.
(Note: The first image is a collaborative portrait between photographer Allan Amato and myself for Temple of Art.)