Illustrator Interview: Roy Scott

Illustrator Interview: Roy Scott

Ikon Images

Describe your work in three words

Colourful, Textural, Collage

How did you get started in illustration? Did you always want to be an artist?

My mother was a very accomplished artist, some of my earliest memories are of crawling around her studio while she was working on oil painting portrait commissions. Before learning to write my name, I was already drawing and painting everything in sight… so ‘want’ had nothing to do with it - I just was.

After graduating from Montserrat College of Art, I began my career as a graphic designer and illustrator. My first published illustrations were for the Op-Ed pages of local newspapers. At that time, I actually worked in pen and ink! Eventually developed a cut and paste collage technique and carried that into the digital realm.

Roy Scott's Illustration of two men holding arrows

How do you approach a new illustration, where do you start?

I start by working up concept sketches or just kicking ideas around in my head, then I’ll experiment with different paintings or mono-print textures as a base ‘under-painting’. I build my illustration on top of that in Adobe Photoshop by compositing/layering various elements.

Roy Scott's Illustration of a woman having a group video call

What inspires you?

Commissions are one source. I’m inspired by the challenge and pressure of trying to visually interpret an article/narrative. When not working on a commissioned illustration, inspiration can come from strolling through a museum, cinema, nature, riding my bike. Doodling away with pen and paper or cut and paste collages.

What’s been your favourite topic to illustrate / favourite illustration and why?

Social justice/politics are topics that I seem to revisit often… anything that you feel passionate about brings a lot of energy to the process.

What’s been your most challenging commission?

That would have to be The 2019 International Monetary Fund Annual Report. The cover alone went through 15 rounds of revisions. Sometimes when you’re working with a Design Studio/Art Director, you can get caught between their vision for the illustration and what their client wants. It did have a happy ending, so there’s that.

What is your favourite medium to work with and why?

Mixed media collage combined with drawing, I find the immediacy and synergy of this juxtaposition very exciting, it always leads to surprises.

What does your workspace say about you?

Analog and digital living in perfect harmony.

What bit of kit can’t you live without?

An X-Acto knife and Photoshop.

Roy Scott's Workspace

Do you have any other creative endeavours outside of illustration?

Mono-print making and Mosaics.

Name a favourite artist or an artist who inspires you

Robert Rauschenberg

Roy Scott's 2 Minute Self Portrait

Roy's 2 Minute Self-Portrait