Today we’d like to introduce you to Bob of Scotland.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My path to becoming an LGBTQ+ artist and creator has taken many winding years and so many humorous diversions: from conducting art therapy classes in kindergartens to running writing process groups for adults experiencing homelessness and severe mental disorders in NYC to photographing at an all LGBTQ+ summer camp for youth in California…I’ve jumped into many things! It’s funny, I actually started out my career in art as an oil painter, making large paintings of houses and landscapes staged in New England which were sold to hospitals and nursing homes and office lobbies. Looking back, I would say that these were pretty repressed paintings with obviously phallic lighthouses and ship masts from my hometown of Boston: I needed to break out!
A defining moment that changed the course of my life and artistic career was the afternoon I first visited Tom of Finland foundation house in Los Angeles after moving to California at age 25. It was a day that changed my life. The house is full of his drawings and a diverse collection of erotic art from LGBTQ+ artists collected from around the world. More than that, the founders have also created an inspiring community and series of creative events during the year to sustain this vibrant legacy. In many ways, it was the first time I could really see myself reflected by a community and the library awoke in me a desire to explore my own desires and longings that has continued to this day.
Another defining moment in my life was attending RuPaul’s drag con in Los Angeles for the first time. I remember feeling so inspired by the creativity of everyone attending and just wanting to capture the incredible uniqueness of the outfits, makeup, and queer aesthetic. It is a beautiful experience to be a part of that community and attending each year has encouraged me to pursue making art that reflects this vibrancy. It is a huge movement with so many young people that seems to just get bigger every year. It feels exciting to join the leading edge of the LGBTQ+ movement, and it is an honor to capture this vibrant energy in my photography.
Has it been a smooth road?
I do think that there still is a huge lack of representation of LGBTQ+ lives, artists, activists, and performers in television, film, and the other important areas of life. Just as the protests of the last few weeks have illustrated how it is dangerous to be black in America, there have been so many incidents which have indicated how it is dangerous to be LGBTQ+, especially transgender and gender non-conforming, in America as well.
In a small way, I hope that my art can play a role in initiating conversations about redefining masculinity, gender and racial inclusivity in the LGBTQ+ community and ways to expand opportunities for queer visibility.
More importantly, I hope that my photographs might provide a launching pad for viewers to consider and dialogue in their own communities what it means for them to be LGBTQ+. The most amazing compliment for me to hear is that my artwork has inspired someone to reconsider how to become more inclusive within their own community and maybe given them a little nudge in the direction of finding ways to become even more welcoming and inviting to those who may be different and feeling on the margins of acceptance.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
We are a small group of photographers, designers, makeup artists, activists, creative thinkers, and friends who are passionate about LGBTQ+ visibility and artwork. We are most known as a photography studio that celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and seeks to elevate the art of portrait photography. We are also looking to expand our work into film and video in the future, as well. We also like to have fun.
For me, I feel so fortunate to live in Los Angeles and have the incredible opportunity to meet and get to know such an extraordinary community of LGBTQ+ artists, performers, activists, and people who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries. I am especially proud to work with models and performers who are so politically engaged and passionate about making change happen, whether through art or more direct political action.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the feeling of never really getting to fully know the city of Los Angeles. It really doesn’t matter how many years you live here: there will always be more secrets to discover and more new characters to meet!
The food is amazing, the creative energy is invigorating, the beaches and weather are rejuvenating, and it never gets boring. There is always something exciting going on, that’s for sure!
- Website: https://www.bobofscotland.com
- Phone: 617-755-7349
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bob_of_scotland_studio/
Arad Winwin, Manila Luzon, Dahlia Sin, Liam Riley, Austin, Kuper Liotta, Alex Riley, Jacob and Harley, Jacob Hansen, Seth Peterson