Where are you from and what sort of child were you?

I’m from Vancouver BC. I was definitely a kid who liked to play outside. I played a lot of sports too. I was goofy, energetic and constructive. I had the most fun making things like miniature go-karts with my friends or playing sports.


Tell us about your first memories of being creative. What were your early influences and/or exposure to art and culture?

Looking back I would say it was skateboarding. It didn’t seem creative at the time but it was the culture, graphics and people, It was just cool. You kind of made your own rules with it. It was the first time I felt connected to a community and apart of a culture.


Describe your work in 3 sentences or less.

My work explores colour and form through painting. I explore these themes through non representational elements or motifs. Im interested in process, our individual connection to colour, perception, and creating a visual language.


What brought you to the art scene? Was there a pivotal moment in your past where you discovered it? Or was it a progression over a period of time?

I first got started through art through graffiti and skateboarding. I think in high school I was into anything creative. I made short films, drew graffiti, cartoons, etc. That eventually lead me to art school. Eventually I started creating abstract works in 2007 that were informed by graffiti aesthetics but geometric and more stripped away. I think a lot of my process is about building things up breaking them down, again and again, I like the cyclical nature of creativity, and I feel like it’s something that’s constantly on going, but informed by previous endeavours.


Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us!

I own and operate an art supply store in Vancouver. I started selling spray paint from my studio in 2011, and since then have accumulated a larger range of products. I started just ordering the paint for myself, and started to just sell to friends. Now it’s a passion project for me in creating a unique shopping experience and a way for me to stay engaged with the arts community in Vancouver.


Tell us about your first real break.

I’m not sure I have ever had one. I mean I’ve worked on some really amazing projects and from each one comes a different learning experience that’s hard to quantify. Lately I have been really trying to focus on my studio work and in that realm I feel like a baby and I’m just getting started with my career. I think it’s more important to look at where your failing, or falling short. those moments stick with you and teach you what not to do in the future. I feel like those lessons stand out more than the ones where things go smooth or easy.


What has been the biggest challenge of your artistic career that you’ve encountered so far?

I think time management is still the biggest challenge for me, and it’s something that’s always on going, especially when you are your own boss. It’s tough to know when you need to work on what, and to give yourself structure to make sense of it all. There’s times where I don’t feel like painting, and it’s hard to not feel guilty when you’re not making. I’m starting to get better at recognizing those moments and not trying to push myself all the time and to take time to recharge.


What does your average day look like and when are you most productive?

I get into the studio around 10-11. Sometimes earlier if I can but I really like sleeping. I answer emails and then usually start painting around 2-3. If it’s a good day I’ll paint into the night. When I’m preparing for a show I’ll work late and usually on the weekends too.


What or who inspires you to be your most creative self? And how do you overcome a creative block?

I don’t typically think about inspiration as something I need to do my work. I try my best to hold myself accountable for making or being able to push through when moral is not ideal. If I’m not feeling creative, the best thing to do is pick up something and start anyway, and usually for me that can be something like cleaning, or prep work, just something that keep my hands busy. Then before I know it an idea will strike me and the wheels will start turning.


What is your favourite place in the world? Is there anywhere you would still like to visit?

So many places to visit still! I haven’t done a lot of traveling but I would say a fair bit, and whenever I come home I seem to have a new appreciation for Vancouver and the PNW. I love it here and it’s my favourite place. I just love my home and studio so much!


How would your friends describe you?

Oh god I have no idea. Hopefully they think I’m nice? I can take a while to warm up to people so I hope I don’t come off as standoffish but I think I’m just a bit shy with new people.


If you could give advise to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?

Slow down, and take your time. I feel like being younger you want to try a million things but it’s impossible to be good at everything, Now I really see how much time and dedication is required to just do one thing well, so I would tell my younger self to not feel like you need to multitask and do everything all the time.


Tell us about your latest work, and anything that’s on the horizon for you?

My latest series draws a connection between painting and memory, calling attention to my own heritage and certain themes around food – I’m interested in how smell or taste are such strong connections we bond to memories or moments. It’s sort of aligned with how our association with colour is often bonded with our individual interpretations of the world around us.

Scott Sueme

ADDRESS Interview with Scott Sueme.