Friday, April 17, 2015

Interview with Scott Soeder

Today I'm interviewing the fantastic Illustrator Scott Soeder on my blog. Scott is a digital artist that creates vivid and humorous characters. Earlier this year Scott received an AIGA award for his "Pop Wheels" series.

Scott has worked with startup company Reelio Inc., the band 311 and has his work in Highlights magazine. If you like Scott's work you can buy prints off of his website. For more of his work check out Scott's website at

Dani: Why Children’s Illustration?

Scott: I suppose it's because all the cool characters are in children’s Illustration.

I grew up watching Looney Tunes, reading Dr. Seuss, reading Peanuts, and trying to draw all those characters (Chuck Jones, Dr. Seuss and Charles Schulz are likely my biggest influences). I loved those characters and soon was drawing my own and making up silly stories to go along with them. Books, comic strips and cartoons all blended together. I loved them all. Among my friends I had the reputation of being a Good Drawer. I would get requests from my friends to draw Garfield, Bugs Bunny, and later I would draw some of our favorite rock stars. So I suppose it is just something I have always done.

Dani: What did the monsters tell you?

Scott: Oh, the Pesky, Chatting, Opinionated Monsters? All artists know them. Reminding us that there is someone better out there, that our ideas aren’t good enough, etc. I try to keep those kind on a diet. I don’t share my snacks with them.

The kind that show up in my sketchbook however, are great. Those kind thrive on imagination. I love feeding them!

Dani: Finish these thoughts:

My first drawing…

is often my worst drawing. Every now and then that first one works straight away. You keep drawing, but end up using the first one. It happens. But not all that often. A tennis pro doesn’t get good and stay good by NOT playing tennis. Drawing is a skill that has to be practiced and maintained. I remember reading in one of Chuck Jones’ books that everybody has about a 1000 bad drawings in them. The sooner you can get through those 1000 bad drawings, the better. Warm-up sketches help. I do some quick sketching at the beginning of a work session to loosen up which often are sketches of musicians that I like.

I won’t forget…an easel that my grandfather made for me when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I thought it was so cool and I felt like a real artist when drawing at it. I would sit for hours and work at that easel, churning out drawing after drawing.

I draw…and draw and draw again. I enjoy drawing and the process so much. I love looking at pencil sketches from other artists and pencil tests from animators. They are often packed full of life. My wife got me a DVD player years ago and included in the box was a Powerpuff Girls DVD. While the cartoon was playing you could hit a button on the remote to switch between the final cartoon and the pencil tests. I was thrilled. I don’t know many guys that would be excited to get a Powerpuff Girls DVD!

Dani:  What special about your work?

Scott: No one is making art with precisely the same ingredients. What makes my work special is that it is made by me. And by me I mean the unique mix of influences, personality, technique, perceptions, subject matter and so on that contribute to the artwork. Otherwise known as “voice”. We artists’ are always working toward finding, using and refining that voice. When seeing my kids off, I often say “have fun today!” When enjoying my work, I hope that the viewer thinks of the word fun or has a sense that I had fun making it!

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Scott: To create characters, stories and art as vivid as my heroes. To be a great father and husband. To be remembered.

And to drive a Lamborghini Countach just once. I love those cars. :)


Twitter: @sesoeder

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