• Artist Editions: Scott Young

    Designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters, Artist Editions is an ongoing series of limited, original designs from some of our favorite new artists. 

    Scott Young is a visual artist working in New York City. His work focuses primarily on pop culture, art history and astrological symbolism. Scroll on to read more. 

    Photos by Heidi Lee 

    Can you introduce yourself — tell us more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do.. 
    I’m a painter. I’m from Olympia, Washington. I’m currently living in New York City. 

    How did you first get into painting? 
    I first got into painting through making flyers, T-shirts, and record covers for punk and hardcore bands. At a certain point the visual art sort of over took my involvement in music. Before all of that I studied art theory in college. I saw an Alex Katz painting at a museum and I really wanted to understand the role art played in the development of consciousness. That is still something I'm interested in. 

    Tell us more about your Studio! Can you walk us through a typical day in the life?Currently my studio is in an old knitting factory. Typical for similar spaces in Brooklyn, the ceilings are adorned with ornate pressed tin. Right now I’m mainly in my studio on the weekends because I have a full time day job helping another artist make paintings. A typical weekend is full of as much art making as possible. I sketch a lot of ideas out as I go and usually make endless drafts before starting a painting. 
    What's been inspiring you lately?
    All the plant life that has been coming back into the world once spring time hit. Also I sort of ignored music for the last few years so it’s been really inspiring to start getting that back into my life. Its a different world from my paintings but they are stating to play off of each other

    How has your style evolved to what it is today? 
    My style is kind of always evolving. I’m always sort of rebelling against what I've done before. I don’t want to make the same thing over and over again. 

    What's the most important thing to you when creating a piece of work? What do you hope for people to take away from it? 
    The most important thing to me when creating a piece of work is that it ‘expresses life’ in an honest way that feels relevant for me. I try and keep it pretty open in terms of what I want people to take away from it. Looking art is such a subjective thing that I wouldn’t want to impose on someone’s experience.  

    Who are some other artists (in any medium) who you look up to? 
    I saw some work by Dawn Clements at Frieze this year that was really took my breath away. Beautiful work… I’ve been fired up about Franz Kline lately. The Leon Golub show on view at the MET right now is great… I really look up to David Lynch for having a strong commitment to staying true to his ideas. The films of Eric Rohmer have been getting me excited. Alice Neel is a painter I love. 

    What are some current projects you’re working on? 
    I currently working on a project where I’m making bigger abstract paintings with figurative elements. I’m translating each of the paintings onto long sleeves crew necks for a new clothing collection that will start dropping soon. Also starting work on an album of pop songs that I will be making a book of paintings to go along with.  

    Any advice for others who are looking to begin their own creative endeavor but are unsure how to start? What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned? 
    The potential for what art can do is limitless. Stay open to constantly learning about it’s potential. One of my biggest take always is the amazing experience of being able to visualize something in my mind and then set down to actualize it. We all have that ability. Once we start to learn and work with it the world really does start to open it. 

    Lastly, what’s a dream project/ collaboration for you? 
    A dream project would be making a film. 

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