Black Books: Brett Scar
Where are you from?
Moved around a bit when I was young. Born at Wollongong hospital, we lived around Thirroul, then the fam moved to queensland. When my folks split I was maybe 6 years old and we relocated to Western Sydney and then when I was 14 or 15 we moved down to Ulladulla where I finished off highschool and lived till I was maybe 20.
Where are you at?
Recently relocated to Sydney after a 7 year stint in Melbourne and a 2 year stint in Perth that were cut short by Covid. Decided to come back home to Ulladulla to be around my family.
We’ve all been artists since nappies but when did you start taking it a bit more serious?
I'm not sure when I took it more seriously. I messed around with styles and concepts for most of my twenties even studied film and television trying to find a medium that I liked. My folks were good drawers and I've always been keen on it too. Drawing skate related art has only dominated more recently. I drew some Melbourne spots when I was living in Perth. Melbourne has so many spots and Perth is a bust everywhere except Woolstores. I was missing those Melbourne spots so I drew them. I guess that's how this started and since then I've taken it more seriously.
How long have you been afflicted with the joy of skateboarding?
Maybe 20 years or more. I've been skating since i was 10 but in my 20's I lost a bit of motivation for about 4 years and my time was dedicated more to other things. There was always a set up around for those random sessions.
Your drawings are very intricate, detailed and very well proportioned, have you studied art or self
I wouldn't say I've studied art but I've been into drawing since I was very young. Loved drawing my favourite bands and skaters etc. In highschool I chose a subject called Technical Drawing which I obsessed over, It's a class about perspective drawing, scale drawing, drawing shadows and light on metal and plastic surfaces. Made school fun lol. I took it for two years and when we moved to the south coast they didn't have that class there. I was pretty bummed. I started experimenting with different art forms after this. I became obsessed with the work of Brett Whitely, an Australian Surrealist artist. His artworks got me into the study of movement and energy in art and I played around with collage, painting, sculpture and more drawing. I guess I figured heaps of things out by trial and error.
That's cool. Lots of different influences and experiences from different fields but it has all contributed to the artwork you are creating now.
You mentioned to me that you're colour blind. Do you think this has an influence on your work?
Haha, It's really hard for me to tell what impact it has on my work because I may never see my work the way others do. I do my best to match the colours, I read the pencil description almost every time I pick one up. I'm Red green colour blind which I think is kind of common. Anything mixed with those colours I will find difficult to define. When I was a kid I only used black and white because I didn't like getting questioned as to why it's pink when it's supposed to be purple etc. Now I don't really care. If I make a mistake I'll let it be part of my style and most of the time I wouldn't even know that I'd made a mistake until somebody says something.
That's amazing. I haven't really noticed anything out of the ordinary but I might have to have another look.
What mediums do you usually use?
haha If you notice anything strange let me know.
All the drawings of skate spots are in coloured pencil, but I like painting and collage so will eventually adapt those mediums.
It works well because I can move around and all I need is a flat surface and light.
Nice and mobile.
I’ve noticed you draw a lot of spots that have graff and tags all over them. Do you like the added
texture or can it be a headache?
Um, It's just the way it is for the way I draw. If i didn't draw the graff then it wouldn't be the spot. I'm not gonna choose what looks better, I just care about the spot as it is. I don't mind the texture, though it does take longer for sure. Sometimes I actually have no idea what it says but sometimes people who wrote those tags or peices say thanks for portraying it and that I nailed it and that means a lot. At the end of the day it's the spot and if it's got tons of bricks and grass it's just as hard to draw as a wall full of tags.
Yeah right. Well as someone who's shitty tags have turned up in your work I was fucking stoked. It's amazing to see your work reinvented on someone else's work.
It defiently made the work more special for me as well as being an iconic spot i love.
I'm guessing a lot of people who froth on your work have a connection to the spot. You must hear some amazing stories brought up when people see your work.
Yeah The tribute wall is dope and glad it was part of the spot. People do like to share their stories, I often hear 'this was my entire childhood' or 'i broke my arm on that thing' etc. I'm glad that people can relate to my drawings. To me, it's just another way of paying tribute to skateboarding. Good things don't last forever. We can battle with it, challenge ourselves with it, be creative with it, and make friends around it. When it's gone it's just a shared memory, like stockies in Perth, Yarra Pads or Lincoln in Melbourne and the old Pit in Sydney, each skater with a different perspective of what those places mean. When I move to a new area and learn about places from the locals that I've only seen in mags or on videos I hear the best stories. Who did what? Whose career started here, A local who was a prodigy but drank too much or got into drugs, fights, injuries, Where it got the name, what it once was before the council capped it.
Are there any dream spots you want to draw? Any plans to exhibit your work?
I hadn't thought about dream spots. If I could turn back time I'd draw love park plaza. It meant a lot to me when I was young. I just want to travel and skate and continue to draw spots while I do that.
Thanks for the interview Brett. Is there any shout outs or things you want to promote?
When we can, i'd be keen to have an exhibition in sydney or canberra. but while these restrictions are still in place i'll mostly try to colab with other artist and skaters.
Yeah Thanks Kane, it's been fun and thank you for letting me share my work and insights with you.