Si Scott’s work has earned him a truly global reputation and is deeply admired by creative communities. All across the world individual works have been recognised with creative industry awards, and featured in numerous publications. His unique hand-drawn designs are in great demand for projects ranging from album covers, advertising campaigns, branding, publishing, editorial, product and interior design. Today, Si’s client list encompasses luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co. and Liberty, as well as businesses and organisations such as Nike Europe, Adidas, the BBC, and UNICEF.
With a body of work spanning design, art direction and creative consultancy, as well as lecturing at design and art symposiums worldwide, we are privileged indeed that Si Scott has somehow also found the time to create the original works featured in our launch edition, Quite Frankly.
What were you hoping to achieve in creating these erotic illustrations?
When you invited me to join this project I immediately thought, “This is the best brief I have ever had!” Drawing the female body is always enjoyable. It is a beautiful form. And, obviously, if I did this type of illustration off my own bat, people would think, “That’s a bit pervy!” You’ve provided me with a perfect excuse to explore new sources of inspiration.
It was great when I got your initial feedback that the illustrations were not quite erotic enough. It’s been an interesting struggle to get a balance between something beautiful and filthy.
Was striking that balance difficult?
Yes. There are a few illustrations that you won’t see because I am not happy with them. I don’t want to send them just in case you like them. If you wanted to include them in the magazine I’d be a bit like, “Oh shit.”
I often think the worst thing for a designer or an artist is to have a piece of work out there that they know isn’t what they really wanted it to be.
Of course, sometimes projects progress and clients pick work that I’m not really happy with, and I think, “I really didn’t want you to choose that one!” The nature of this project though has allowed me to get away with not showing you every piece of work. I’ve plenty of illustrations I am happy with, so didn’t need to put any filler in there.
With commercial projects it’s always the client’s choice because they are paying. So I can’t really argue. Well, I can but it doesn’t get me anywhere.
At our studio we hark on all the time about the three inevitable compromises of almost all commercial work; the budget, the timescale, and client’s taste. It’s one of the reasons we decided to design a project that was all our own.
With this project though, I had enough time to do the work properly and it wasn’t rushed. All projects are rushed in some way, I suppose, because if you didn’t have a deadline, you’d never finish. So, what I mean is that I have had the time to redraw, if I wanted to. It is a nice project.
Is there ever a point that you sit back and know that an illustration is actually finished, or is it always a case that at some point you simply have to stop?
I know when I’ve got it where I want it to be. At some point I just can’t do anymore to a piece of work. The client always comes back with comments anyway so there is a point that you just need to send the work or risk going round in circles. I’ve had projects come back with comments two weeks after the supposed deadline day.
With these pieces for The Quite Delightful Project I know that I’ve got them to a place that I’m happy with. The images sit well on the page and flow. Some have worked immediately on the page and I’ve just added linework, whereas others have been quite difficult to get right.
It’s funny because the drawings themselves actually take less time to complete than the linework that flows from them and working out how they sit on the page. The linework often looks like nothing, but getting it right is quite difficult at times.
Have you shown the images to anyone to gauge initial reactions?
This is going to sound really awful, but I don’t really pay much attention to other people’s opinions. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, but I don’t really respect many other designers. When I’ve asked for feedback in the past, I’ve got really pretentious comments that make me think, “What are you talking about? I only asked what you thought of the drawings, not what the deeper meaning of life is!”
I have a friend, Darren, also an illustrator, and he is like me: normal and down-to-earth. I often show my work-in -progress to him. Also, I show a lot of work to a friend in Manchester, Lei-Mai. She is a graffiti artist. If I do show people they are generally not designers, or if they are they are ones that I know to be quite normal, and are not going to come back to me with a lecture on Post Modernism.
To read the full interview, and to see Si Scott’s erotic illustrations order the first issue from The Quite Delightful Project HERE.