Artist Spotlight: Scott Tanner
By Elise Olmstead
A massive flourescent sculpture built for the “Werking Man” contest at The Werk Out was my first taste of Scott Tanner’s artistic abilities. He of course won the contest, and I became a fan of not only his art but his dedication and enthusiasm. On the hottest, earliest mornings at Werk Out I would still see him situated by the stage with his easel creating. His striking neon art is so pleasing to the eye, and his hair styling is beautiful, too!
Where do you live?
I now live in Thornville, OH, almost on Legend Valley grounds.
What’s your favorite band?
Now that’s a near impossible question to answer. My favorite live show hands down has to be Umphrey’s, but how could I compare them to Pink Floyd? As for creating, anything that has a good beat and gets me up grooving from The Funky sounds of P-funk, to the electric fusion rock sounds of Conspirator, Turbo Suit, and Yheti.
Tell us about your live painting.
I definitely dig the whole experience of live painting, and do it as much as I can. I’ve been active in festivals such as the Werk Out 14&15, Colordance, Paradise, Family Roots, Resonance, and a few more. I love to paint local Columbus shows for My Best Friend’s Party and Illuminera studios which I lately have joined up with. As for the experience I provide, I have always loved artist such as Denny Dent and such that can take a blank canvas and make it something in little to no time. I thrive on painting fast and making an image come to life in front of a crowds face.
How would you describe your style?
My artistic style is fun. I love outer space and the possibilities that exist in its vast reaches so a lot of my art has celestial themes. Other than that I really dig to combine aspects of realism with aspects of abstract and sacred geometry. Last but not least I go bright and by bright I mean super bright. The more glow the better. I want my canvases to be so bright they have no choice but to catch your eye. Then as I told my buddy Allan that questions why I make everything glow “Everyone loves stuff that lights up.”
Were you always artistic?
I have always been drawn to the art side, as a kid spending time building Legos and drawing on the back of my dad’s work flyers, the latch key I mentioned earlier or simply not paying attention in class and doodling the days away. I also took a painting class in high school where I found my obsession of the acrylic kind in my teacher Mr. Gioffre’s class.
Why do you think art/creativity is necessary to society?
The importance of art and creativity in society is quite profound. Number one is it is a complete mental outlet, if you need to get something out that’s eating at you just “art bout it” and I promise you will feel so much better. Two, art and creativity allow us to express our imagination and get the ideas in our head out to share with others and hopefully inspire them. Someone’s art is generally a pretty good window into the persons being so through art you can connect with someone on a level not possible without it, not to mention it makes life prettier and way more fun.
What is your favorite piece you’ve done to date?
My favorite piece hangs right above my toilet. It is the first collaborative piece I did with my daughter (Ari) and it just flows so well. It has the sentiment behind it and it is this whole created style that I could have never done on my own.
What or who inspires you?
I have so much inspiration from a ton of people. Patrick Milescu and his unrelenting positivity, Vince Dibiaso and Samuel Navarre with their helpful hints, and Blais Bellenoit and the fact that he is one of the best artists alive yet cool enough to chill in a pool and drink bloody marys. Then you have all of the people that supported and gave me a shot: Elise and Taco Olmstead, Caena, Zack Zsabo, Nick Reed, and Shae. They all have motivated me and kept me going. Other than that Outer Space, the fun in life, and the neon psychedelic era are main inspiration behind the images I produce.
What are you working on currently, what are your plans for the future?
Right now I am working on a 24×48. The images will be up on my Facebook page here soon it’s kind of a secret from there. I started working with Greg over at Illuminera studios learning a ton about art installations and set up, so I’d love to continue working there and learning what I can as well as build some installations of my own (including a tiki head dj stage for first year festival Laniakea this year). Other than that I just want to further hone my craft until u can truly capture the images that exists in my head in full detail.
What are some challenges you face as an artist?
The crazy part is I don’t find anything to be a challenge in my craft the only challenges I face are personal boundaries which just take time to acknowledge and then break down because I realize they are only a superficial thing manifested by myself. So no real challenges.
Tell me about your studio where you work.
My studio is split one side it has a hair station and the other a workbench with an easel. I often work on paintings in between my hair clients. It thoroughly entertains them all to watch the progression.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
The things I would teach the new generation of artists would be. One, you are your only limitation, so overcome yourself. Two learn your medium and make it like second nature. Three, if you practice it will help you improve don’t be afraid to practice new things until you can gain a comfort level with them. Four always have a mindset on art. Study and look at things in a different eye to see how you can apply it to your benefit on your next creation.
Where can we find and purchase your art?
You can find my art for sale at any of my shows as well as my Facebook page. Scott’s Cosmic Paint Playground. None of them have listed prices but most are for sale so just contact me personally for pricing.