Just in case there are any readers that don’t know, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Sure! My name is Scott Campbell, I go as Scott C. sometimes.. I paint watercolor paintings for gallery shows and little illustration jobs. I also make comics such as Double Fine Action Comics (a webcomic) and Hickee comics. I have contributed to anthologies like Flight as well. My day job is Production Designer for a game company called Double Fine Productions. We made Psychonauts and the upcoming Brutal Legend starring that fellow Jack Black.
I personally first became aware of your work through the Hickee books. How did you first get mixed up with those Hickee dudes?
We all worked together at Lucas Arts making games. Well, I was next door at Lucas Learning, but we all hung out in common places. Graham was already making little mini comics and the five of us got together at cafes in San Francisco regularly just to jam out comics together and make each other laugh. We eventually decided to make books together and Hickee was born. It mostly been a great reason for us to all hang out and keep in touch.
Do you guys plan to do more Hickee books? I hope SO HARD that the answer is “yes.”
It’s been more difficult as people move to various places. Graham is in Portland now and Nathan and I are in New York. But we are planning on compiling everything into a book and adding a bunch more stuff to make it epic. That is our plan. So more to come for sure! Perhaps we can get a sweet buzz going. Heh.
How long have you been in New York? Has being in New York influenced your work at all?
I’ve been in New York for just over a year. It has been the most inspired change ever. There is so much going on here and so must sweet history and such great looking trees and buildings and benches and people. It’s just great. An epic place. And it has driven me to be even more productive. Everyone is productive here, so I dont mind working on stuff a whole lot. But really changing one’s surroundings helps any artist I think. No matter where it is.
I’m always curious about influences and inspirations. Are there any particular artists that have had an impact on your comics and drawings?
Oh, definitely. And it is always changing as I discover new artists. Through the years, I have been influenced by artists like: Steve Wiessman, Dan Clowes, Matt Brinkman, Evan Dorkin, Jason, Chris Ware… more recently I have gotten into French artists like Joann Sfar and sweet webcomic artists like Kate Beaton and Ryan Pequin. My paintings have been influenced by people like Bosch, Shag, Marcel Dzama, Saul Bass, Jon Klassen, Eyvind Earle, Tim Biskup, and Charlie Harper.
Your day job is at Double Fine Productions, making video games. How did you end up there?
Out of college I started working as Background Artist for Lucas Learning. A small games company that made Star Wars kids games. That’s where I met Tim Schafer.. at Lucas Arts. When he left to start Double Fine, I went with him as Art Director. I’ve been there ever since doing concepts for the two games we have made.. Psychonauts and Brutal Legend.
So was working in the video game industry always something you wanted to do? Did you go to school for that sort of stuff?
I never considered video games when I was in school. They weren’t as big a deal as they are now. They didn’t have any video game classes at all. I just ended up in the field because I wanted to use my drawing and painting skills for something. And drawing for Star Wars was a dream come true. So once I started, I just stayed in the biz. I never went back to school for it after I started. I learned photoshop at Lucas and got my first email account even. I never used computers for drawing prior to that job.
I’d seen photos on the internet of a few puppets that were based on some of your drawings. I was lucky enough to actually hang out with one for a little bit when I bumped into some friends walking around with it back in June at the MoCCA festival. What’s the story behind the puppets? They’re awesome!
Thanks! I had a fellow in LA make them for a show I did at Gallery Nucleus called HOME SLICE. It was a show of paintings depicting houses, cutaway to show the insides with all the people hanging out. I wanted visitors to the gallery to be able to hang out with some of the residents. So this fellow Russ Walko, who works as a freelance puppet maker for Jim Henson, took some turn-around paintings I did and made those amazing puppets!! I would love to make a video or live show with those guys. I just need to write something out and get a game plan. They sometimes come with me to comic cons now.. heh.
Is there anything you haven’t yet done as an artist that you’d really like to do in the future?
Yes! so much! I am working on a kids book right now, so that is definitely a realm I want to explore. I would love to get into animated stories at some point. And definitely graphic novels. And get those puppets into some sort of adventures. OH, and I would love to get some toys going at some point. So much to do. I make lists. And I enjoy looking at them.
Are there any comics by other people that you’re really enjoying right now?
Do you have anything you’d like to plug? Go for it now!
Ok! well, you can read my webcomics! I post like 3 times a week or so: http://www.doublefine.com/ScottC And you can follow me on Twitter for updates on shows and things.. http://twitter.com/scottlava …and of course my blog and flickr… http://scott-c.blogspot.com/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/scott-c/ OH, and look for Brutal Legend on October 13th! (They are calling it Rocktober 13th to be clever in the world of metal)
Thanks for the great interview, Scott!
– Phil McAndrew