Interviewed in March of 2016 by Jillian Locke
Hometown: Windham, ME | Current town: Windham, ME | Website: CLICK HERE
1. Point of origin? Current home?
My point of origin and current home for the first time in a long while is the same - I live in the woods of Maine, and I love it.
2. Scarecrowoven - I’m sure a million people have asked you to explain this moniker. Make me one million and one, please and thank you!
Sadly, this isn't a very exciting story. I often make up a story when I'm asked this question. I honestly thought that Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld had made up their names to sound awesome, and I completely rationalized this in my teenage head by asking, "Why are bands the only ones that get to make up awesome names for themselves?" So, falling in the fictional footsteps of Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane, I came up with Scarecrowoven. I've been using the name since my early teen years for everything I do artistically, from music to visual art. It was misspelled on a flyer as one word for a music gig I did in Japan, (maybe it was New York with a bunch of Japanese bands, I can't remember) and I really liked it, so I kept it that way for the last 15 years.
3. When people hear Scarecrowoven, what’s the first thing you want them to think?
A horrific fire engine red erect dog penis.
4. What was your first drawing? What inspired it?
I really don't know for sure, but I come from a Cartoon Network-less era. For the most part, we only had Saturday morning cartoons. To fill in the time between, I’d draw characters like Thunder the Barbarian or the Herculoids. Then I fell into comics, which was awesome because they were always there. Somehow, they were more tangible at the time. They really solidified what I wanted from life.
5. What else inspires you?
Well, I have a couple of close friends who are also artists, specifically my friend Alex Kirzhner. He both inspires and depresses me because he's such a well-rounded, amazing artist that can literally do anything. The second I get inspired by him, I immediately relate it to my own work and start thinking about how terrible I am. I think this is probably pretty common for most artists, they just don't admit it.
6. When/where were you first published?
I think I was around 12 - I got a gig doing an illustration of Dick Tracy for an insurance company. It’s kinda ironic because looking back now, I know they didn't get the license to use Dick Tracy and they got a 12-year-old to do it so they could pay him next to nothing. But I did get paid, and for a 12-year-old, I was on top of the world.
7. Favorite medium, and how did you discover your affinity for it?
I just love using a brush and ink, that’s my thing. I used to paint pretty often, but it just doesn’t feel as satisfying as doing a black and white image on paper, which is probably why I do most of my color work digitally now. Nowadays, I keep it pretty simple: mechanical pencil, Bristol board, black Speedball ink and a Sable brush. Beyond that, I do most of my colors digitally.
8. Prints, skateboards, toys, tee shirts - did I miss anything? What’s been the most challenging product to create?
Sounds about right.
I think toys can be the most rewarding and challenging. The great thing about a toy is that it can't be downloaded, you can't put it on a sticker or a t-shirt - it exists completely within itself. Sure, I can draw a picture of the character the toy represents and make stickers and shirts and everything else, but the toy itself begins and ends in the same place. I love that about designing toys. I've been working on two vinyl toys for about two years, and they have easily been the most challenging projects to date. It’s kinda like fate is telling me not to make them, but I'm really not listening. When they finally come out, they will be worth the wait because they are AWESOME.
9. Alright, favorites time. Who’s your favorite superhero? Villain? Why?
Well, that’s always changing. I love my Space Ghost - he's one of my best friends. But typically, I tend to gravitate towards those characters that are somewhere between villainy and good. The Silvestri era of X-men in the 80's is as good as it gets for me. I also like Man-Thing, Man-Wolf, and Werewolf by Night. Having just said that, there's obviously a formula for success, a character just has to have the words "Wolf" or "Man" in his name.
10. Favorite Band? Favorite band/style to listen to while creating?
That’s another tough one. It’s hard to say that anything is my favorite, but I still hold strong with my classics: Grotus, Steel Pole Bathtub, The Doors, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Babyland. While I'm working, I listen to a lot of talk radio and podcasts. Art Bell just retired again, so that’s a bummer, but I'm sure he’ll rise from the ashes as he always does. Night of the Living, HorrorHound Radio, Forever Midnight and Comic Geek Speak are my favorite podcasts right now.
11. Favorite Movie?
Dawn of the Dead, Suspiria, The Thing, Matango, American Werewolf in London, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, and From Beyond remain as some of my all time favorites. It’s hard for me to get into a lot of modern movies, which is strange because I think the two things that inspire me most are movies and music. I think I'm trapped in a time bubble and it’s really hard for me to break out of it. I don't think it makes my work derivative, but it certainly sets a stamp as to the kind of voice that my work speaks, and I'm pretty content in that. I'm sure I'm missing out on a lot of quality movies out there, I'm just let down more times than I am inspired.
12. Do you skate?
I do/did. Jim Phillips was (and still is) THE MAN when skateboarding really started to take off in the 80's. His work was on everything and his style really became the visual voice of the culture. I think my respect for him is clearly evident in my work. When I first started to do work in the skateboard industry, I couldn't have been a happier person, so whenever a new board comes down the pipeline, I like to put that level of excitement in check to remind myself of how lucky I am to do what I do. Just knowing that some 16-year-old kid is out there, taking a break from skating and staring at the graphics I did the same way I did with Jim Phillips work makes it all worth it, because there are a lot of ups and downs being an artist for a living. Maybe more downs than ups.
But yeah, I don't really get to skate so much these days. Since I became a full-time illustrator, I work pretty insane hours - at least 14 hours a day, 6 - 7 days a week - so all of my extracurricular activities sorta take a back seat. But I'm cool with it, as I'm still connected to all of those things because I’m generating content for them now. So I’m not complaining at all.
13. In three words, describe your studio.
It's really big.
14. In three words, describe your art.
Clean, Soapy, Warm.
15. In three words, describe your future.
The year 2016.