Scott Preston Chenoweth
Art Director, Madewest Brewing Co.
From Ventura, currently living in Long Beach
What inspires your art?
Traveling always opens my eyes to a new way of seeing things, a new approach to patterns in life and helps get me out of my routine and away from the computer. It’s amazing what inspiration comes when you break that daily routine.
What are some spots around the world that have directly impacted your art and why?
Spending time in places like New York, Copenhagen, Bali and Australia all bring different influences into art and design. New York is all about the hustle, go big, do it fast and make more. Where places like Australia or Bali are all about slowing down and thinking about concepts and the reasons why you make art. Copenhagen is amazing for the clean minimalistic Scandinavian approach to everything. Whenever a design or painting gets overly complex, it’s always a good channel some of that Danish sophistication. If I didn’t have the chance to get out and visit a lot of the places I’ve been, I’d probably still be drawing waves on my notebooks.
What's a piece of advice you wish you could give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to put all your eggs in one basket, especially if it’s a creative endeavor. It takes a bit of obsession and whole lot of drive to be successful in anything. Don’t go into anything lightly and never hesitate.
Name your top 5 favorite artist to check out on instagram?
How has Social Media affected your artwork?
The tools that we have at our fingertips for free are amazing right now. 5 years ago I couldn’t have ever imagined getting a portfolio website in front of thousands of people every day, creating dialogue and having a platform to sell artwork on. And now with Instagram, that's the norm. There has never been a time like this for young artists to make a mark as easily. It’s a game for sure, but if you learn how to not only play it, but treat it differently than the masses, it's a very valuable tool.
The downside is how it affects the scale of the work I do now. I love making big paintings. But those aren’t conducive a quick turn around, easy to scan and post to get attention. It’s almost hurt the end product. Where do you put a bunch of big paintings after you post them? There’s no magazines left to showcase work in. Galleries only target a very small number of local residents. It begs to ask the question of why we’re making artwork now. Digital pats on the back vs. creating change and lasting physical pieces.
How does the current state of the world/time in which we exist impact your art?
This has been an ongoing theme in my artwork over the last couple years that I hadn’t really noticed until recently. Everything around us is grasping for our attention. Social media, the news, the shit that happens every day is just overwhelming if you slow down to think about it. There are a lot of artists focusing on these topics and making some very powerful work, but I’ve decided to go the other way. I hope to bring a brief moment of relief and humor into your already daunting day. When things are heavy, I want to offer a piece of light hearted fun.
What other mediums interest you that you'd love to push yourself into?
I’ve always been fascinated with installations. Taking a space and completely transforming it into a new world. Like being able to walk into a room and be inside the artist's brain, see the world through their eyes. Not just hanging some paintings and drawings, but completely taking over a space. Lighting, walls, even the way you have to walk through and interact with a room. I just put up 50+ pieces in a new advertising agency in San Diego; painted murals, hung original pieces, made a ton of work for them and it definitely sparked something. What if I just turned up the volume on this and make it take over your entire field of vision and sense of space? MadeWest has been amazing for that aspect as well. Exploring that and getting off the digital platforms a bit more.
What are some goals for the future you have for yourself?
I’m having my first art show in over 10 years this April and I’m really excited about showcasing larger paintings. And adapting a bit of that installation idea into the room. How to transform every element in the room to coincide with the shows theme. It all plays off that idea that when things are heavy, here’s something light to make you smile and forget about the bullshit.
I’m hoping this will lead to more hands on artwork in the future. I love getting away from the computer and putting paint on the walls. Being sore after a day’s work. Leaving something permanent on a wall that wont get scrolled past in .5 seconds.
What's your favorite part about working for MadeWest?
Working at Madewest has really brought some new things to light as an artist. It’s such an amazing vehicle to get artwork out and into peoples hands. Drawing and designing all the beer cans, making art for something that people literally hold in their hand to enjoy down to the last drop is so satisfying. Filling the walls at the brewery with murals touches on that concept of transforming a space I love as well. The taproom is starting to look like a 30 foot version of my sketchbook. I’m super excited to help make a mark in the new taproom on the Pier too. Being from Ventura, it's a pretty big deal to put up artwork and have a logo hanging off the pier.
What's your favorite part about being the MadeWest Art Director?
Working with a crew of people I’ve known since high school and seeing us all grow into humans with such different skill sets. I also love that we’re just three years in and we have so much ahead of us. So excited to see what the future holds for the brand and where we can take it.
What's your favorite MadeWest beer and why?
Just one?!! I have to lean on the Red Rye IPA as my absolute favorite, but I’m more likely to have a few Ventura Lights over any other beer on the menu.