Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Scales.
Eric, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in Orange County in the 80’s so it was a great time for cartoons on tv and animated feature films. I’d draw cartoons I liked from comic strips or books. I don’t know if I was good at it, but I enjoyed it and I didn’t really ever question that I would somehow just spend my life drawing, though I didn’t have a specific career in mind. After high school, I took a few art classes (animation, illustration, and figure drawing) at various trade schools, but was still kind of unfocused. In 2001, I submitted a portfolio of sketches and colored pencil illustrations and got a part time job doing character artwork at Disneyland, and fortunately, that has really kept me busy for the last 18 years. As I gained more experience I’ve gotten to do gallery artwork, designs for merchandise sold in the Disney Parks, and murals for Shanghai Disneyland. In between all that I’ve done some licensed character storybook illustration and toy designs. I could never have predicted all the unique projects I’ve gotten to work on.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I specialize in character art. With Disney that means familiar characters obviously. Whether it’s designing animation cels or murals or merchandise, it’s about telling a story clearly with a single image. It’s like casting a bit- you have to know the characters personalities, what they would and wouldn’t do, and then come up with fun ways to showcase those personalities. For freelance work, I’m sometimes using brand new characters with no existing backstory, but it’s still a matter of making characters that are appealing, and coming up with ways to clearly communicate what the client wants, usually just with a single image. My long term pet project is a character I’ve named after myself- he’s a little purple elephant kid named Eric. I’ve been drawing him for about two years, first just as doodles in my sketchbook, and then more fully fleshed out art. Last year, I even inserted him into our family vacation photos so I’ve got a whole photo album of him in Alaska. He’s been pretty fun to develop and I’m planning on doing a lot more with him.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
Don’t underestimate the value of even the tiniest bit of daily progress. Don’t let lack of compensation keep you from working on your craft. Even if you’re tired from a 40 hr job that is not your dream job, try to find just a little time every day to chip away at your art goals. It all adds up quicker than you’d think and you’ll be better prepared when an opportunity knocks.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I’ve barely dipped my toe in the convention waters, but I will have a vendor table at the Mission Viejo Library Comic Con on March 23rd, as well as one at the Ground Zero Animation Expo June 8th and 9th in Stanton. And online the best place to find my work is on my Instagram. Instagram has been great in helping me find inspiration and new artists to follow, and I post at least once a day. If anyone wants to purchase the art I make, a lot of my original ink drawings, paintings, and prints are available at my Etsy Shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/EricScalesCartoons. And of course, if anyone visits Disneyland, they can usually find me and the things I’m working on, in the Disneyana Shop on Main Street.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericscales13
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artofericscales/
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EricScalesCartoons