Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10 Questions: Scott Teplin

Welcome to the first installment of "10 Questions" wherein I submit ten questions to artists/cartoonists/interesting people and post the results here.
Scott Teplin is a great artists and a really nice guy. Check out his site HERE



1. What did you do over the weekend?

I sat in my studio like a pathetic loser - waiting for people to walk in and out during my studio building's (mandatory) Open Studio event. I also carved a cyclops pumpkin and sewed together some funny looking ghosts with my three year old. He demanded they have a mustache and singular eyebrow.

2. Do you draw everyday?

Pretty much. I almost always have access to one of my homemade sketchbooks. I learned to bind my own books because I've gotten super anal about what types of paper to draw on, how durable the book is and how flat it opens while scanning. Since we had our son - I don't get into the studio as often as before. But I can always work in my sketchbook.

3. Why drawing?

I need to feel like I'm constantly making progress. Drawing is (can be) relatively fast - and it allows me pursue lots of ideas as I think of them. It also allows me to make tons of pictures while not worrying too much about storage.

4. Do you work a day job?

Yes - but since my hours are 3 pm-10 pm - it's more of a evening job.

5. What are you reading right now? (Or, what's the last thing you read?)

Right now I'm slowly progressing through the classic "Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich" by William L. Shirer. I just finished "Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries" by Neil deGrasse Tyson. So cool. I love deGrasse Tyson.


6. I think we met a few years ago via the Comics Journal Message
board.I'm not sure if you check up on it anymore, but whenever the
"Art World" , or the confluence of Comics/Art comes up, it's often
greeted with a kind of cynicism, or something to do with an inherent
phoniness of the art world. How would you respond to that basic

I still visit the message boards occasionally - not too often anymore. I like both comics and fine art - because I find visually interesting things in both places. People will always complain about something. I "studied" printmaking in both college and grad school, and I found that printmakers often thought of themselves as the stepchildren of the art world. Later I went into 'book arts' and THEY thought of themselves in the same way. Who cares? If you want to make fine art - make it. If you want to make something - do it already. As you know, there are contexts in which comic artists show their work in fine art settings - and vice versa. Taylor Mckimens in one artist who easily crosses into both. Marc Bell too. I am not speaking for them - but I think they just make stuff they like - and it happen to fit into both. That - and they found places for their work to fit. If that makes any sense. When I see art on a gallery wall - I like for each piece to be it's own thing. But in a comic book - narrative is often more important. Every page of a comic won't necessarily hold it's own on a wall in an art gallery.

7. Do you think you'll someday be able to make a living solely from your art?

I have no idea. Since I support a family - it's unlikely to happen soon. It's to unstable to live on art related income. Some years are good - others terrible. I don't have an adept enough mind for business to trust my earning potential. That's not to say that it wouldn't be nice - but I'm too much of a chicken to totally jump in. Maybe it would be a different story if I were single. That said - I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I get to have both a family AND an art career. Awesome. I see it as just having to pay my dues along the way (work a job) - which isn't bad because I like my job.

8. Aight. Drawer type question: Could you tell us about some of your
favorite drawing implements- pens, paper, etc..

Dr. Ph Martin's carbon black ink, wooden HB pencils, Pentel (don't know the model) .3mm mechanical pencil with HB leads, Fabriano bright white Artistico paper - hot press (140 and 300 gram), Windsor-Newton series 7 Kolinsky sable brushes, Windsor-Newton professional grade watercolor tubes, JT-21 Arrow staple gun, lots of fancy aluminum/rubber backed drafting rulers with steel cutting edges, #11 x-acto knife and blades + #11 scalpel blades, Gillott steel pen nibs, crappy plastic pen-nib-holders, gum erasers, retractable plastic erasers - in 2 different widths, PVA glue, vegetable tanned Nigerian goat-skin (for binding books).

9. Are there any artists working right now that you're a fan of?

Living? Arturo Herrera, Robert Gober, Matthew Barney, Tony Oursler, Ed Ruscha, Renee French, Chris Ware, Josiah McElheny, Walton Ford, Sarah Oppenheimer, Taylor Mckimens, Jeff Scher, Jim Woodring - and I know I'm forgetting many more.

10. You mentioned having a child earlier. I don't have a child yet,
but I'm pretty sure it's gonna happen fairly soon. I'm a little
nervous about how having a child might impact my ability to make art.
Did you experience anything like that?

I was very nervous. But you know what? If you want to make art - you will. Simple as that. It's like another weeding-out period. Kinda like art majors in college. How many kept it up after 1 year - 2 years - 10? Same with grad school. It weeds people out. Before Fritz was born - I bound an especially thick sketch book knowing I might not make it into my studio for a while. But I also folded paper into quarters and did larger drawings on my lap at home.



Jason Overby said...

These drawings are awesome!

Aeron said...

Great interview, I see Scott is still exploring the theme of car crashes. I wish he had weird cartoony characters bleeding weird colors all over the place in em!

Paleo said...

Good job Uland, Teplin's such a great, exactingly insane draughtsman, i only wish to know more about his homemade sketchbooks, sounds great, to choose your paper and bind it

ULAND said...

And bind it with goatskin!

Jeffrey Meyer said...

One of my very favorite current artists, thanks for the interview.