Jesse David Scott’s (@jessedavidscott) first experience illustrating came after playing video games and watching cartoons at age 5. He hasn’t been able to put his pencil down since. The Connecticut native and recent Massachusetts College of Art and Design graduate has a knack for finding complexity in simplicity, conveying the depth and poignance of shifting memories in his work.
Q. Some of your sketches are hazy and colorless, giving them a strikingly eerie feeling. What drew you to this style?
A. That’s something I’ve been experimenting with for a bit. My senior thesis, which is what you’ll find on my profile, was on childhood trauma, so I thought I’d use the haziness to convey how memory changes. . . . Each illustration is about a specific dark time from the past, and depending on how fresh they are in my mind, the haziness is lighter or heavier. For example, some of the thesis deals with the loss of a loved one, a parent. And although he was someone real, the idea of him is constantly changing and getting hazy in my head. I wanted to find a way to put that in an illustration.
Q. How often do you experiment with your art? Or have you found a set style that you’re comfortable with?
A. I am incredibly comfortable with the style of illustration and the mediums I use. But sometimes, I like to get some color in there, and I think that’s where I experiment within my comfort zone. Sometimes I’ll transfer images over to Photoshop and block out shapes or play with specific outlines and borders to create a very striking image. It came from a couple of friends who would play with Photoshop in college. At the same time, I think it was an inevitable result of my growth as an artist. Experimentation should be innate to an artist.
Q. How do you determine the approach you’re going to take? And how do you pick your subjects?
A. It all depends on what I’m trying to illustrate, or the message I’m trying to convey. So for example, when I decide to re-create an album cover for an artist I really like, I’ll focus on the realism, on getting the artist’s likeness correct. But for something that conveys a more ambiguous message, something that’s up to interpretation, I’ll get loose and see what happens.