Local artist Scott Hynd is using modern technology to create, market and sell his retro-inspired artworks.
Scott had a chat with bmag about his work, the new opportunities on offer for artists, and how to ‘make it’ in today’s tech-heavy world…
Tell us a bit about your work – what are your main influences?
A lot of inspiration comes from my memories of childhood and the images I grew up with. TV shows, comics and the toys that my brothers and I played with as kids are often featured in my work.
It’s the nostalgia that I love to create and the fact that I can incorporate old and vintage items and give them a new life.
Pop art has always meant bold colour to me. I love the work of Lichtenstein and Warhol as well as modern day pop artists like Romero Britto, Peter Mars and Ben Frost.
My process usually involves sourcing images from comics and vintage graphic novels from the 40s and 50s and then modifying them on the computer. Coming from a graphic design background, I find it easier to work on the computer versus a traditional pad and pencil.
Once I have the image I wish to work with I start creating on canvas. The foundation for each image is a striped background and then images are added using hand cut stencils, a good eye and a steady hand. I use an array of mediums on each work including Posca pens, oil sticks, spray and enamel paint.
The joy is not having a set guided idea but allowing the piece to develop on its own. It’s also a great buzz when people see them up close and notice all the hidden items and are amazed to hear that each image is drawn by hand.
You use social media a lot to market your work – how has that affected spread of sales?
I have a hunger and desire to be recognized as an artist both locally and internationally and social media and the online world is helping me to meet this goal.
I’m amazed at how quickly I have grown my audience with the last 12 months and social media has given me the opportunity to sell work both nationally and globally. Most recently, I’ve sold a piece to a couple in Finland, three pieces to a customer in Perth and a custom phone case to a man in Mississippi.
What has the feedback for your work been like on social media?
The feedback I’ve received on social media has been extremely positive. I love sharing the creative process with my audience, as they become part of it and offer great suggestions and feedback.
I love the instantaneous nature of social media. I enjoy using both Facebook and Instagram as they are both very visual mediums making them ideal to showcase my art. While I’m in the studio I can take a picture on my phone and upload it instantly to be viewed by a worldwide audience.
Do you think marketing online is overtaking traditional methods such as galleries and exhibitions?
Social media allows me the opportunity to showcase my work outside of a traditional gallery space. The art world is crowded and established galleries and ‘their’ artists can be clique-y so its not always easy to gain exposure through them. However, I have been part of group exhibitions and my own a solo show which was both rewarding and fun.
Physical gallery shows have allowed to me make connections with an audience who doesn’t spend time online. Meeting someone in person and seeing them react to my work is a thrill and allows them to view the complexities of the work and have the full experience of seeing layers and detail which may not be as impactful viewing it online.
Do you think technology is shaping a new era of art?
Yes, I do believe technology is shaping a new era of art. I love that new ideas and artists are launching all the time and getting worldwide exposure that would have once taken years to gain.
As well as social media, the amount of online art galleries has been growing rapidly over the last few years. I’m a part of three online galleries and they allow me to expose my art to a much wider audience who may not be using social media.
Most online galleries are free to set up and the commission is relatively small and is a simple and convenient process for both the artist and buyer.
What’s your advice to other aspiring local artists in Brisbane?
I think the big thing is that you need to have a real desire and passion for your art. I try to approach my art like a business as that is what I want it to be – a full time passion that also pays the bills.
Artists can have a reputation as being poor, lazy and creating only when inspiration strikes. I am working on some part of my business every day whether it be replying to social media comments, creating new products, updating websites and making connections. I spend a lot of time interacting with my ‘fans.’ I am so appreciative of and value their feedback and support.
That’s a bit like asking a parent who their favourite child is! If I had to pick one, I would pick a recent work that is currently available called Wipe Away That Tear. Like lots of my images, you could apply a different background story to the image.
In this piece the woman is crying, but is she crying tears of sorrow or joy? That’s up to the viewer to decide.