No Choice but to Stan: Artist Interview with Scott Bodin

Love of creatures and commitment to craft

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently doing?

Hi! The name is Scott Bodin and I’m an illustrator from Norway. I’m currently studying fine arts at KiB where I have taken a great interest in sculpting, but my heart lies with illustration, storytelling, and creatures of all sorts. In my free time, I dabble with freelance work and animal photography!

What are your main inspirations and who are some artists you look up to?

Animals, nature, and fantasy. Animals have always been my one true passion, I was that kid who would spend my TV time watching animal documentaries and this passion later moved on to books and stories about magic, fantasy, and mythological creatures. Greg Manchess is by far my favorite painter, I adore the strokes in his oil paintings. Devin Elle Kurtz's tutorials on animal paintings and art have helped me immensely. Bobby Chiu and Adam Duff with their great art talks really changed my mindset towards art for the better. And these are just 4 out of so many artists that I look up to, I couldn’t possibly name them all.

What do you consider the greatest contribution to your growth as an artist?

From the very beginning, my family has played a big role in my growth, and even now they continue to support and inspire me. My mom and I did a lot of fun and creative art projects together when I was young, and she used to paint a lot in her free time where I would peek at her paintings that were bigger than myself in awe. My grandfather on my father’s side was a painter and while he died when I was young I still get to see his works in person every summer. The older I get the more I appreciate his works. Now, the two people who have really pushed me the most over the years are NixBee and Erujayy who you have already interviewed! Without them constantly breathing down my neck I probably would have quit before I even got started.

What would you tell your 18-year-old self about your career path and lessons?

Seeing as I'm only 21, an art student, and have a lot of growing to do, I don't think there is too much to say just yet. But I would probably tell myself to not be afraid of being a total nerd over the things I love, to embrace, and follow those childhood passions. Jump on any opportunity to learn and explore something new. Put less focus on finding and having a style, it will come naturally over time.

Tell me about the most difficult project you’ve worked on and how you managed to finish it?

I wish I had something cool to tell you here but I honestly have to say that I haven't worked on any projects I can consider difficult just yet. I have been so busy studying art in my free time and just drawing whatever I feel like. I do currently have personal projects in the works, but they are still very much secret and nowhere near complete!

In stressful situations, how do you find ways to persevere?

I’m not the best under stressful situations, though I get the work done much faster that way so it's a love/hate thing. Setting up a daily schedule is extremely important for me, I need to have specific hours where I get up and go to bed and I prefer to work and have a break around the same hours every day so my body knows when it is “work time”. Going for walks in nature keeps me sane.

Are you currently trying to learn any specific skill, and how do you go about learning it.?

Well as mentioned earlier, I am currently working on improving my sculpting “skills” in school, which I believe is helping me to understand the form better when painting! My approach to most things is to just jump into it, try and fail, see what I did wrong and try again, look up the works of professionals, and watch their progress. I find that I learn best by watching then doing it myself. On the art side of things, there are so many things I wish to improve once I am out of school, better composition, storytelling in art, painting techniques, you get the drill. I'm planning to “start from scratch” to freshen up my memory and skills by taking some online courses.

What’s been the most useful or educational resource you’ve made use of in your career?

Online art courses and tutorials are what I have been relying on the most, and continue to rely on. I already mentioned some great teachers in the second question, you just have to find the right teachers for you and start learning, if you really look up to them then it is worth spending a little cash on. Being in art communities is very helpful as well, where you can ask for critique on your works from random people. If you follow their advice then it can improve your drawing in ways you wouldn’t have been able to by yourself because we all master different subjects.

What is your dream project and can you tell us a little more about it?

I have always dreamt of making my own art book! Whether it be a “the art of” book, a book filled with art and short stories about specific characters, or a book with creature designs, I honestly want to do them all. I have such a love for art books and have a growing collection myself from various artists that I look up to so having one with my own name and art on it would really be a dream come true.

Interviewed by Dante Ludolf