1 year ago
Gentleman Scholar is a bicoastal US creative production company drawn together by a love for design and an eagerness to push boundaries.
The company is proud to present this series of interviews with some of its amazing, emerging talents, in conversation with its LA-based production and marketing maven, CJ Sustello.
Q> Where did you grow up?
Cam> I was born in Macon, Georgia, but mostly grew up in Cary, North Carolina.
Q> Give us a bird's eye of you as a kid. What type of things were you into?
Cam> I had a lot of interests. I played sports, video games, read a lot, built forts in the woods, played piano and guitar, and started doodling in sketchbooks pretty early on.
Q> Was there ever a time that you didn’t know you wanted to be an artist?
Cam> I was always making art but didn't realise it could be a career until I heard my friend's dad talk about artists coming into his work to help design laptop cases haha. Then I eventually found out about concept art, editorial illustration, and production art. I also remember watching a Disney movie and thinking, 'Somebody painted those backgrounds, why not me?' It was settled.
Q> One of the most unique things about you is that you can exercise so many styles and honestly they all are incredible. It's kind of mind-blowing. Is there any style in particular that you like to work in the most?
Cam> Thank you! One of my favourite aspects of art is that there is always more to learn. I love trying new media and using new tools to evolve. If I had to pick a favourite medium and style though I'd choose good ol' realism in oil paint. Oil is such a powerful medium and is capable of creating the most complex and beautiful images if you can unlock its mysteries... and there is no better subject than Nature.
Q> You create a lot of content for Gentleman Scholar's website and social channels. Do you think that social media is a helpful outlet for you as an artist and why?
Cam> I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It is amazing that you can post something and reach so many people so easily but it also will have you making artwork with the sole purpose of getting more likes if you're not careful. I've fallen into that trap before and I think it ultimately makes your artwork very shallow. My best work is done when I don't consider the social media impact. This work also tends to have the biggest social media impact. Ironic isn't it?
Q> What is the biggest compliment you have ever been given about your work?
Cam> That is a really hard question. I always value a compliment but the drive to continue to make artwork comes from a feeling within about the potential of the unmade image. The feeling that the next piece could be the coolest thing you've ever made. I do remember a specific moment when I was younger and working on a portrait of my grandpa. I had been struggling to get the likeness but eventually my dad saw it and I could tell he really recognised his own dad in my painting. I really liked being able to create something that was special to somebody in that way.
Q> If you could be any superhero, who would it be?
Cam> Probably Duffman, Ooohh yeaaaaaaa
Q> Give us a picture of your ideal weekend?
Cam> Rave on Friday. Chill/Read/Surf Saturday. Go plein air painting Sunday. Spend the whole time with my lovely fiancée, Kim. Throw some tacos and beer in there and I'm happy.
Q> If you weren’t a designer what would you be doing?
Cam> Definitely would be a Techno Surf Physicist.
Q> Who is your favourite artist and how has the person inspired you?
Cam> I don't have one favourite artist but I love so many. A few that have really inspired me are Caspar David Friedrich, James Jean, Vija Celmins, Katushiro Otomo, Junji Ito, and Albrecht Durer. The list is really endless though...
Q> If you could learn how to do anything in the world, what would it be?
Cam> Oooh what a tough question. A cheap answer would be to learn how to learn more efficiently so I could learn everything! I would also love to instantly know every language on earth. I know I'm missing out on some amazing books that can't be properly translated into English. Programming would probably be pretty useful...
Q> What has been something that you have learned in your current role?
Cam> It's hard to pick one thing but this job has really helped me expand my visual vocabulary. The variety of projects that come in require you to work in many different styles, some outside of my comfort zone, which help me gain a new appreciation for work that I hadn't really considered before. I've also really loved working with a team of people that are as passionate about their work as I am and want to come together to create something special. I've learned so much from them. We form like Voltron.
Q> Do you have any goals for the future?
Cam> My goal has always been to make artwork that is truly interesting and hopefully brings something new and unexpected into the world. A simple yet Sisyphean task. I also really love being a part of GS and want to continue to grow with this talented, driven, and supportive team. A more immediate goal is to acquire a taco.
Genres: People, StorytellingScholar, 1 year ago