Fellow cat lovers hold special places in our hearts. One such example is printmaker and Char and Whiskers artist, Scott Holford. In this memorable conversation with him, we got to sit down and explore his life as a dedicated artist, amazing maker of prints, and lover of cats.
About Scott Holford
A professional artist and art educator, Scott Holford lives and breathes art in his Philadelphia home. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking with a Teaching Certification and an Art History Minor from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 2011. He then obtained his Master of Education from Cabrini University in 2016.
Scott is active in local art shows and festivals showcasing his printmaking techniques, among them etching and screenprinting.
About Golden Key Prints
Soon after finishing his studies, Scott founded Golden Key Prints and is the sole proprietor of the company. Golden Key Prints offers printing services on a wide variety of products: clothing, greeting cards, bumper stickers, magnets, and many more. You can find his works on Facebook, Instagram, and shop his art on Etsy
How did you transition from being a middle school art teacher to a full-time artist and screen printer?
I transitioned from being a middle school art teacher to a full-time artist and screen printer in June of 2022. The pandemic and my involvement in our teachers' union during that time had a large toll on my mental health. I began my current body of work as a way of coping with these struggles.
As I posted it on social media, it seemed to resonate with a lot of people in a different way than my previous work had done. I have been showing and selling my work at various art shows across the Philadelphia region, off and on, since 2016. So, when I decided to leave teaching, selling my work full-time seemed to be the next logical step. I chose to become a screen printer because it would allow me the ability to print my work and print for others.
Is there a statement that you are making with your art? What does it mean to you?
My work varies wildly depending on the medium I'm using to create it. Thematically, most of my recent work is either nihilist or absurdist, drawing on inspiration from the shortcomings of society and popular culture. Currently, I like playing with the idea of existing short, poignant phrases and figuring out the best way to turn them into a graphic by incorporating different fonts, hand-drawn illustrations, and colors.
What does success as an artist look like for you?
Success as an artist is to create work that resonates widely with a range of people and evokes a range of emotions.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
Most of my artistic influences are my friends, who also make art. Philadelphia has some of the best artists in the world.
How has pop culture played a role in your art?
Pop culture has played a role in my art by allowing me to connect to people in ways we might not have otherwise. Despite not knowing one another, a stranger is more likely to comment or engage with my work if it contains a reference to something they know and/or like. Specifically, a lot of my current work takes inspiration from the Netflix show "I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson."
I pull quotes and phrases from ridiculous scenarios and give them a second life by printing them onto objects so others can appreciate them using their own interpretations and connections.
Can you describe your etching style portrait work?
My etching style way of working comes from my experience creating real etchings! I love the repetitive and zen-like act of mark-making. Each piece is made from hundreds or thousands of tiny strokes that slowly build up and produce texture-rich imagery.
Tell us about your pets! How have they influenced your portrait work?
My wife and I have two cats named "Doo Doo" and "Baby Cat." They are certainly my muses for some projects, but usually just keep me company while I create and encourage me to keep at it.
How has having pets changed your perspective on life?
Having pets has changed my perspective on life by forcing me to be more present. Compared to ours, their lives are short, but as people, our lives are also short. They remind me to not take things so seriously and to have a good long nap every once in a while.
How do you want to grow as an artist?
I want to continue to expand my reach as an artist in a variety of mediums. I'm interested in seeing my work in different ways because context changes meaning, and the more reach I have (ideally), the more work I can continue to make!
We thank Scott Holford for sharing his experiences as an artist and delivering his insights on his own work. As we wrap up this conversation with Scott, we are left with a deep sense of admiration for his passion and skill. We now conclude this artistic journey and invite you to support Scott’s work and check out his art.