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Scott Balmer: Retro Realm with Modern Elements

Scott Balmer: Retro Realm with Modern Elements


Scott Balmer is a freelance illustrator currently based in the UK, who has worked for numerous clients and Galleries from around the world such as The New York Times, Fangamer, Monocle, The Guardian,  MIT Technology Review, Computer Arts,  Digital Artist Magazine, University of Toronto Magazine and many more. His work has been manifested in numerous art galleries and art shows in the US, UK and Europe.

Q: How do you define creativity?

A: I see the work that I produce as being more in the retro realm with a touch of modern elements thrown into it while also utilising bold colours. Although my work has changed throughout the years I feel that this still defines my creative output and how I feel about it.

Incognito Q: Is there something that you do to put yourself into a creative state of mind? If so, what?

A: Not that I can think of, no. Creativity is something that I feel is something that can’t be forced, sure you can try to induce it but usually it comes randomly sparked by something seen or heard or even just out of nowhere.

Sometimes when I’m working on something, it helps to see how someone else has tackled the same subject but to make sure that I try to go down a different path to what has been done before.

Brokeback Mountains

Q: Which creative people do you admire? Why?

A: There are too numerous to name and a lot from different time periods so it would be criminal to just list a few as I know that I’ll be kicking myself later on for not mentioning them at this time.

Generally it would be a fair few key poster designers and a lot of unsung heroes which have used their art on various objects regardless of how insignificant it was.

Strider Hiryu, you will never leave Aurasia alive

Q: Who or what do you consider to be the greatest influence in your work?

A: I would say that it would be largely things that are retro in design be it in the form of some sort of pulp fiction book cover, particularly old Sci-Fi covers where things get a bit surreal and also just general things made from that time period.

It’s also just amazing to flick through certain things such as old catalogues and see how things have come along but also kind of missing that certain charm that was on all products back then such as wooden sides on old televisions and such the aesthetics that goes into them as opposed to the nondescript slates of devices we see today.

The Age Problem in the Tech Industry

Q: What do you do in a normal day that contributes to your creative work?

A: Thinking about it, I generally do a few things which are seen as being more distractions such as reading, watching youtube videos or playing a few video games.

I don’t do this all the time though it does help to find concepts subconsciously instead of trying to force an idea. I kind of give myself time to reflect on my next move and then when it hits me I know which direction to take the piece I’m working on further.

GodzillaQ: What tools and techniques do you use?

A: I mostly work digitally right now as it is a quick and convenient especially when working with clients that need the artwork as quickly as possible. So it’s mostly a mixture of Photoshop and Illustrator with a dash of Clip Studio Paint thrown into the mix and a Wacom Cintiq display to draw things digitally.

Q: Has your creativity changed stylistically as you have matured? If it has changed, please explain how.

WestworldA: It has changed a lot over the years, in the early days after graduating from Art School I was doing nothing but pen and ink drawings in a similar vein to the likes of David Hughes or Gerald Scarfe which sometimes had paint thrown into the mix.

I then moved on briefly to a period of simple figurative style with a hint of naivety to it followed by a more graphic style in which I used to roll paint on sheets of paper and then cut out shapes to be then scanned in and arranged in photoshop. This evolved further into just doing everything digitally in the end with some more  evolution and refining of this style to what it is today.

A Clockwork Orange

Q: Which of your accomplishments would you want to be remembered for?

A: I’m not sure I’ve reached this point were I can say on what accomplishments that I would be remembered by. I see it as still ongoing in that regard and I think that it’s more of a wait and see sort of thing. So who knows what it may be.

Q: What part of you do you share in your creative endeavors?

A: I at least try to leave my mark on the work that I produce whether it comes to making it for what the clients needs are or for my own projects. I at least leave something there just to signify that I made it.

Neon Mountain

Q: What distinguishes you from other artists in your genre?

A: Since it's mostly commercial art that I produce, there may be a good few people who make similar work to mine but the difference comes from the things that they can’t replicate such as how I treat and handle my own ideas/concepts compared to them.

In the end it’s the way I may draw something differently and also the way I handle my colour selections may help to differentiate my work from my peers.

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