Indigenous to planet Earth, Scott Grimando currently resides in the outer spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. He hopes to relocate soon. In the meantime, he paints pretty pictures of zombies and fairies, takes nice photos and tries to write.
- Tell us about your artwork.
It’s the most amazing, fantastical art in the known universe. Or so my mother tells me.
- Why did you choose this type of creative work, and what do you hope to achieve with it?
I assume you mean Science Fiction and Fantasy art? I was raised on it. This kind of art speaks to me. It speaks of the promise of a better tomorrow and a magical past. I hope to touch people with my work - to get them to think and dream.
- What’s your strongest memory of your childhood, and how has it helped to define your art?
My earliest memory is a recurring dream that I had when I was still in the crib. I could see into my parents room and they were being eaten by monsters that later took on their identity. At least I think that was a dream. I can’t see any relationship between that and my art. My goal as an artist was defined by an early Boris Vallejo calendar my father bought for me. It gave my overactive imagination a sense of direction. I wanted to be as good as Boris!
- Are there any underlying themes or messages in your work?
Yes. Monsters ate my parents.
- Tell us about your learning process, and particularly how your work evolved as a result of it.
I was raised by a commercial artist, so I always had the tools and encouragement. As a teenager, I studied under Harold Stevenson, one of the few students of Norman Rockwell. In my early twenties, computers entered the art scene and I applied my classical training to the new tools.
- Of the artwork you’ve created, do you have any favourite? If so, why this particular work?
My favourite personal work is the fjords found on the coast of Norway on planet Earth… Now I’ve said too much.
- How is creating science fiction and fantasy art different from creating other genres?
A Fantasy artist has to be able to create things that don’t exist and make them believable. The viewer must suspend disbelief when looking at fantasy art. That doesn’t work if the Dragon’s not convincing.
- What do you find most rewarding in the creative process?
Creating. Bringing an idea to life. Seeing a person respond to my creation.
- What do you find most challenging, and how do you overcome it?
Illustration as an occupation is the job of visual problem solving. You are given a set of criteria along with an outline or manuscript and you must come up with a visually compelling image that hopefully conveys a narrative in your own unique way. That’s the constant challenge and often rewarding aspect of the craft.
- What have you done to promote and market your artwork, and what advice would you give to other artists?
Traditionally artists used expensive illustration directories and direct mail campaigns. The modern art department revolves around the computer and instant access to the Internet by art directors. A strong web presence is the best approach to promotion now. The web is not the only piece of the puzzle though. An artist must research and reach out to as many relevant art directors as possible. Direct mail is still a good way to keep your most recent work on an A.D.’s wall. However, once a contact has been made, keep them updated through non-harassing emails. Update your website regularly and get involved in as many promotional websites as possible.
- What memorable responses have you had, regarding your work?
A fan once told me that my work had gotten her through cancer. That’s pretty cool. Other than that, I have at least one fan at each fairy show approach me with a whisper of, “Do You Believe?”
- Evolution seems an inherent facet of fantasy art. What new developments are you aware of, with regards to the application of technology, in this genre?
Digital Art is just about the only kind of art being used in publishing today (excluding children’s books). A few painters still make an important impact on the industry, but they are finding it hard to deal with increasingly tight deadlines and editorial changes. More importantly, a photo-illustration style is what’s being sought by publishers and consumers. Here’s the interesting thing: I get hired because I have both sets of skills. I’m a classically trained painter with digital photography expertise. We’re still talking about fantasy art here. Things need to be convincingly made up. The last thing an art director wants to hear is that the “illustrator” can’t convey the message because they can’t photograph the subject.
- What aspirations, or reservations, do you have with regards to your art being used in film and television?
I think a lot of illustrators want to get involved in concept development for TV and film. It seems so glamorous and prestigious. There are downsides but I still want to get deeper into the field. I did character development for video game companies and Hallmark Entertainment and I really enjoyed it. A concept art agent is currently looking for a project for me, so we’ll see how it pans out. No pun intended.
- What do you do when you’re not being artistic?
I kayak, fish, hike, exercise, write, perform poetry and wrestle pandas.
- Describe your art in one sentence.
What? How’s that?
- Where can we find you and your art?
Hopefully you can find my cover work in bookstores. Assuming you can find a bookstore. My first art book from SQP publishers can be found on Amazon or any other online source. Look for, The Art of the Mythical Woman, Lucid Dreams. I think fantasy fans and art students will find it enlightening. The first half deals with components of an assignment and the second half deals with painting theory and the concepts behind my personal work.