If you’ve sauntered around Sydney for some substantial portion of your life, there’s a serious chance you’ve set eyes upon the work of Scotty Williams. Responsible for a number of murals, beer labels and corporate scribblings around Australia, his homegrown aesthetic is certainly an eye turner.
We first caught up with the illustrator, artist and photographer in June this year, eager to find out more about the man behind this treasure trove of bright flora and fauna. Almost half year’s on from that chat, we reached out to Scotty again to find out what he’s been up to.
Effortlessly capturing the Australian cultural zeitgeist within his eye-catching illustrations, once you’ve seen the work of Scotty Williams, you won’t be able to stop.
HAPPY: Hey Scotty, what’s going on? What are you up to at the moment?
SCOTTY: Hey mate, currently I’m trying to get my life back in order, haha. I just moved house so between that and work being very busy, my life is a little chaotic at the moment. But it should come together soon. I just moved to Woronora in Sydney’s south. It’s a beautiful little suburb tucked away down by the river, surrounded by nature so I’m pretty stoked to have moved here.
HAPPY: You’ve just been travelling yeah? Tell us about some of the highlights.
SCOTTY: Yeah I went to the US for a month in August. We hired a 1980s VW Westfalia Campervan and drove it from San Francisco up the coast, checking out the giant Redwood trees along the way. Then up into Oregon where we just so happened to be in exactly the right time and place to see a full solar eclipse, which was out of this world. Then back down to Nevada for Burning Man. This was my second time, and it’s still a place that I have trouble describing to people. You just have to go there to experience it. Then finally a few days in Yosemite Valley. That place is insane. The sheer magnitude and beauty of it is unbelievable. It’s almost like it’s fake.
HAPPY: Did you keep up the drawing while you were away? What’s your mobile art setup?
SCOTTY: Haha, I had every intention to keep drawing while on the road, but moving around so much made it difficult. It got to the point where I was just decided to shut off and enjoy to the trip. Which I’m glad I did. I think you need to sometimes.
HAPPY: Can you talk us through a few of your latest projects? Since we last spoke?
SCOTTY: Yeah since we last spoke I’ve been pretty busy. I got to work with We Are Explorers which was rad. I’m a big fan of what they do, getting people keen on the outdoors. I also just finished a whole bunch of designs for Barney Cools. They’re a pretty big brand so I was stoked they wanted to work with me. I should have a bunch of stuff coming out over the next couple of months. The Young Henrys Summer Hop Ale also got released a few weeks back so that was exciting. And I just finished up designing a gig poster for Violent Soho. When I saw their email in my inbox I was beyond stoked. So yeah, it’s been a pretty busy few months.
HAPPY: So we last spoke in the depths of June, when you had done the winter ale for Young Henrys. Now you’ve done the summer ale I’ve got to ask – do you have a favourite? Illustration-wise or the beer itself.
SCOTTY: To be honest, I haven’t actually tried the Summer Hop Ale yet. I haven’t had a chance to get into YH to grab some off them, and since I live down south, there’s not too many bottle-o’s that stock YH unfortunately. But in terms of design, I still love the Winter Hop Ale design, and the beer’s really good too!
HAPPY: Do you find your style changes with the seasons at all?
SCOTTY: Hmm, good question. I’m not sure. I think my style stays the same but maybe the content changes. I think I probably do start to draw more summery designs in summer.
HAPPY: You’re kind of making a name for yourself as a go-to guy where beer is concerned. Is it a secret plot of yours to just earn yourself free drinks for life?
SCOTTY: Haha it wasn’t but it should be. Yeah, somehow I’ve marketed myself that way but it was never intentional. But free beer is always good so I’ll take it as it comes.
HAPPY: You have your own beer label collection. What are some of the prized pieces?
SCOTTY: Due to the lack of shelf space where I live, I only have kept a couple of favourites left like the Murray’s Angry Man Pale Ale or the vintage Tooheys Draught can, what’s more impressive is my coaster collection. I’ve kept a coaster from every pub or club I’ve been too over the years. There are some crackers in there. My favourite is probably the old Resch’s Draught and Tooth’s coasters.
HAPPY: Last time we chatted you said you wanted to exhibit more. Is there anything in the works?
SCOTTY: I would still like too but nothing in the works at the moment. I haven’t really have any time to draw for myself lately. Which is something I want to focus on in the new year.
HAPPY: Also you were pretty new to the spray can. Have you picked up any other new mediums?
SCOTTY: I’ve actually just started to get into video. Being a photographer, I already have the gear and know my way around a camera. And with all the hiking and camping I’ve been doing recently, I decided to start filming it and uploading it to youtube. So that’s been fun.
HAPPY: Thanks for the chat!
SCOTTY: No Worries. Cheers mate!