FAF: Mega-Drop interview with Jonathan Scott

Has the city of Portsmouth impacted your work?

Very much so, having lived in the surrounding area for most of my life, I find the exploration of a place’s history and space an important concept in my kind of work. I studied my BA and MA here and found that although the arts scene isn’t as “front facing” as somewhere like Brighton for example, I found it much more textured and varied.

What’s your opinion on the impact Comic Conventions have on indie artists?

Personally, I’ve always had good experiences at these sorts of events, you never go in expecting to make a bucket load of money off sales, most artists turn a modest profit but make up for it in networking and portfolio reviews. I tend to sell a fair amount of my comics and prints, but I’m really at the conventions to get my work in front of an editor. It’s all about forming a network to engage with.

What attracted you to illustration?

I’ve always found telling stories really fulfilling, I found very early that I was better at telling visual narratives than something like straight prose. I was attracted to comics as an outlet for these stories, but also the “budget” aspect of comics, if you took film as an example, to make something believable in a films own context you’d have to spend a lot of money and work with lot of different artists to make it happen, with comics it can totally work with as little as one person involved. 

Whose work do you find inspiring/ influential?

As an illustrator I’ve always admired the work of Alphonse Mucha and John Singer Sargent, very different approaches, but I find their stylisation of the female form endlessly appealing.

As far as comics goes, Australian artist Ashley Wood has always toed the line between abstraction and realism in his work that’s impacted how I look at comics. But the artist that’s inspired me the most must be the late Darwyn Cooke, he appreciated clarity and brevity in his story telling, always knowing just how much of each element there should be.

What has impacted your methodology/ approach to making art?

Working with different writers and editors has impacted my methodology the most, learning the quirks of each editor you work with helps you guide your art better. It allows you to craft your own layouts and methods much more efficiently, I look at it as having a different teacher for each project, where you take the lessons into the next one.

What’s your latest project?

I’m the kind of artist who likes to keep himself busy, I’ve got one project with award winning horror writer James McCulloch called “CAMP VA07” being published by ComicHaus, a self-published short comic called “Isabelle Unknown” about post humanism and an adventure game using original Game Boy hardware.

How would you describe your work?

This is always a little hard to do, my work varies from illustration, comics and video game projects. I try to work on a method of choosing an aesthetic that fits the narrative/ software I’m using at the time. If I was pressed to describe my work, I’d say dirty pop?

If you could collaborate with any artist, historical or contemporary, who?

I’d love to collaborate with more alternative artists, I’m a big fan of an artist who goes by SuckLord, he manufactures unlicensed toys and figurines, very provocative work. I think that we could make a great series of unlicensed art pieces.

Describe the work your dropping around Portsmouth

For the Portsmouth Comic Con MEGA-DROP, I’ll be dropping A3 posters, one in particular is a poster made to celebrate the classic sega game Shinobi, a personal favourite. I’ll also be dropping vinyl stickers.

Where can your work be found?

Most recently my work can be seen in the ComicHaus published horror anthology “Pure Dead Mental” and Mad Robot Comic’s “Cadavers: World Gone to Hell”, both launched this year. If you want to get a hold of my work immediately www.jjscottillustration.co.uk is my website, for a more casual look at works in progress my Instagram is @jjscottillustration