Suhm welcomes digital illustrator Scott Ritchie.
Scott Ritchie | Digital Illustrator | Melbourne, VIC
Blissful bubbles join the Suhm gallery in two new exclusive collections, Eggs and Soft Serve.
Scott Ritchie – AKA pixelshifter — utilises his computer as both his medium and artistic collaborator, “deliberately applying curious settings that might yield surprising results”. While a traditional ‘analogue’ artist might experiment with mark-making and substrates, Ritchie’s playful explorations produce digital objects that feel at once alien and familiar. A hypnotic quality that asks the viewer to sit quietly and consider the images as if recognising animals in clouds.
What is your creative background?
It’s been an enjoyable meandering road. I was a scanner operator way back in the early 90’s, long before any digital cameras were available. I got into image retouching and fell in love with computers. A software development job soon afterwards enabled me to learn about both 3D software and early website building tools. Years later around 2000 I ventured out on my own, as pixelshifter, building websites for whomever was in need. Around that same era I was also involved in numerous animation and music video projects and also dabbled in rock poster art. Web development work soon dominated and I found a lot less time for individual creative outlets. I have only more recently returned to personal creative expression, mostly to counteract the demands of client based web development work and just for the joy it brings me. It feels like the right time for me.
How would you describe your aesthetic and your process?
Not sure if I desire an aesthetic, but with my printed works I do consciously try to aim for a result that will bring a pleasant or positive response to the viewer. I enjoy the concepts and thinking behind minimalism and try to bring this flavour to my work. I love colour and the way it can affect mood. A simple idea expressed well has always appealed to me.
My process often starts with animation experiments, creating structures or environments that loosely emulate natural systems, deliberately applying curious settings that might yield surprising results and then examining the output. My machine often frowns back at me. It’s a nerdy and collaborative process between man and computer. The best results for me come from a relaxed approach where I feel more like a guide than a digital overlord.
There’s a very calming quality to your pieces. Would your friends say your art is a reflection of you?
Really glad you think so, thanks heaps. A couple of closer friends have mentioned just that. The art I enjoy the most makes me feel relaxed or nourished in some way. Viewing James Turrell artworks have left me in a sense of awe. Great motion graphics work can energise me. Art can help us deal with the chaos of the modern world, if my self expression can help to bring a gentle reminder to breathe, relax and carry on, then I’d be fine with that.
There’s a real sense of depth and space in your work, like you could reach inside the frame and grab the forms. What inspired these particular pieces?
I am fortunate enough to have a much prized living room light fitting – the Gregg by Foscarini. One late afternoon I was lying on the floor directly underneath said light and thoroughly enjoyed watching the changing colour and shadow that changed throughout the day. The egg pieces are my attempt to bring this experience to print, in a range of exaggerated hues, as I have a mild addiction with coloured lights. The soft serve pieces are an extension of the egg images with a range of shape modifiers applied. The animated versions of these are quite mesmerising.
Like our founders, you're a designer by trade. What's your ideal creative brief?
Obviously some clients allow more creative freedom, which is always embraced. An experimental approach is less frequent but also much welcomed. But I think I enjoy any brief where the final result feels like a collaborative process. When both teams introduce new suggestions and ideas it creates opportunity for best results, and in return brings more satisfaction to the quality of the end product. These days I try to enjoy the process as much as the end-result.
Where can we find you when you’re not making art?
Mostly building websites. The internet she never sleeps. But when I am not in front of my computer I really enjoy time with my partner, friends and family. I love movies, the great outdoors, laughing out loud, cooking is always improving, martial arts training keeps me active and I have a peculiar addiction with Sudoku. My best future will hopefully find a lot more time for both travel and creative endeavours.
Shop pixelshifter’s collections here.