How can you not stop to admire Scotty’s colorful, mid-century inspired illustrations? It is abundantly apparent that after seeing his craftily arranged illustration scenes, he also has a solid understanding of design principles. The illustrations are full of carefully planned negative spaces and shapes which give each a balanced texture. Scotty Reifsnyder has an ever-growing portfolio of work in a style he coined: New Century. His background and schooling, both in design and illustration, has made his art win numerous awards, features, and a long line of clients. I was privileged enough to ask him a few questions about his work and aspirations as an artist. Below is our interview:
1. When did you realize that illustration was what you wanted to do?
I’ve been drawing since I was four, but I think it was in my third year as a junior designer that I knew illustration was a good possibility. My illustrations were being picked over the artist our firm hired on a packaging job. I thought, “maybe I do have a future in the illustration game.” I left the working world to attend graduate school for design, and it was there I decided I was going to illustrate all of my projects. Graduate school led to a job at Headcase Design which is 50% publishing design 50% illustration work. The experience at Headcase reinforced my confidence to go out on my own as a full-time illustrator and never look back.
2. What/Who is your biggest inspiration for your work?
As far as artist I really love the work of Disney conceptual artist Mary Blair, American painter Andrew Wyeth and the immortal Charley Harper. To me, post WWII artist’s work is unlike any other. The influence of cubism and modern design made every mark those artist made feel organic yet designed and well studied. Designers Alvin Lustig, Paul Rand and Saul Bass are a big inspiration as well.
3. How would you define your illustration style?
New Century™. Most work I admire is of the mid-century illustration and design variety which definitely has left a big impression on me, but it’s 2012 so I’ll call it New Century™.
4. What is your favorite part of your job?
Getting the opportunity to meet other artists and designers whose work I really admire. Drawing for a living is pretty great too!
5. As an artist, what are your career goals or aspirations?
Next up, I’d like to illustrate and author a children’s book. I’m working on one now that I hope to try to get published next year.