Wednesday, August 13, 2014 Artsy Fartsy: Brittney Scott is Seriously Unserious
L.A.-based digital artist Brittney Scott’s first show is an invitation onto her laptop desktop—just don’t take it too seriously. “I want to cancel it,” she says, sporting her famous top-bun as she sits on a windowsill in Bold L.A., the downtown gallery that’s housing her work (aptly titled My 1st IRL Art Show). “I think people are gonna think it’s really serious and it’s not that serious.” The simple, tongue-in-cheek, MS Paint-y portraits that Brittney (who goes by B6) has become known for are definitely lighthearted (she makes all of them in a “shitty app called ‘Paint’”), but we think some credit is due—especially when you consider that the girl is only 22 and she’s already gained props from artists like Diplo, A-trak, Major Lazer, and Jerome LOL for the portraits she’s made of them. And to think that it all started when she doodled a purple frownie-faced self-portrait to use as her Twitter avatar…
Before you stop by her show, which opens this Thursday, August 14th at 6 p.m., read the convo we had with her about the intimacy of a computer desktop, her Internet gang, and how sometimes parents just don’t understand.
You never imagined that you’d be in the art world. What did you originally aspire to be?
Well I moved out [to L.A.] to be with a dude. I was like, “Fuck college,” so I dropped out and I thought I’d figure something out here or that I’d just chill until I was ready to go back to school. And then this kind of turned into a thing in the past couple years. It’s something to do.
When did you start noticing it turning into a thing?
I started drawing people. That wasn’t a big deal to me because I was online anyway, so I’d just draw people and send them out. I ordered stickers, so I was putting those up and then people started picking up on it and liking it and being like, “Oh, you’re a graffiti artist,” and I was like, “I’m not, it’s just something to do.” People just started asking me to draw other things and then people were asking me to design things so I was like, “Ok, I guess this is gonna be something.”
So it was kind of a surprise.
Yeah. Even still it’s like, “What am I doing?”
It has to be a little intimidating to create a portrait of someone.
Yeah. But that’s why I’ve done it in a way that’s not-so-serious. It’s not that intense because, at the end of the day it’s a drawing, it’s a doodle. But, when I first started drawing people it looked nothing like them. Then I realized I could draw people and it actually looked like them. It’s been a half-and-half thing—half of the people will use it and half just don’t even respond [laughs]. Even my boyfriend—he refuses to acknowledge it because he thinks it looks nothing like him.
It’s funny how you can capture someone’s features and essence so minimally.
It’s hard! Even though I’m not finding lines or anything, I’m just doing the eyes and the eyebrows and the face shape. I’m still in shock that I’ve been able to do that [laughs]. So crazy.
Would you describe yourself as a digital artist?
I am. It’s like DJs who say, “I don’t produce EDM,” it’s like, you do though. I wouldn’t be like, “I’m a digital artist,” but that’s just what it is. I have literally cold called every gallery here in L.A. In the past year I’ve been trying to do an art show and I just didn’t know the culture or the scene of art so I was just like, “Can I have a show here?” and people would be like, “What the fuck is your problem? You need to have a portfolio.”
Have you gotten any backlash from any older people in the art world who don’t really get what you’re doing?
One guy was an older dude and had been in the scene for a while and he didn’t really understand it. He was like, “What are we supposed to do with this?” And I was like, “Well, I like to graffiti, but that’s not what I’m known for…I have thousands of followers online!” but that doesn’t really mean anything to him. So it’s just weird.
Do your parents get your art?
My parents only barely understand it. My mom’s like, “How do you think you’re going to be successful?” and I’m like, “I have a bunch of people who know who I am, I have all of these opportunities coming to me.” She doesn’t think it’s a valid thing because you can’t touch it. So they’re like, “How do I know that this is real?” It’s so real to me.
What’s the theme surrounding your show?
It’s the concept of my desktop. I couldn’t really pick a proper Mac wallpaper so I thought I’d just do the classic Windows one. This shit [gestures to the wall]. I feel like it’s the same vibe as that artist who did a tent of all the dudes she fucked…I feel like it’s kind of in that vein. This is my laptop..!
How many hours a day would you say you spend on the Internet?
I haven’t had a phone for the past month, which was really intense. I lost it and I’ve just been too busy to go and get it taken care of and I finally got it back but I’m literally online from when I’m awake until I’m asleep. I’m literally like this all the time [scrolls on her phone].
What’s the Young Klout Gang all about?
It’s my group of friends and I met them online. They’re in the party scene and stuff. They knew my ex-boyfriend so they started lurking me and then we just became friends online. They live in San Francisco but now we’re all spread apart. I went out there a few times and met them. They’ve been out here to party. It’s eight kids, one’s a journalist, a couple of us are just insane, Chippy’s a rapper, two guys work for Discovery and Twitter. We kind of coined the term “The Realm,” which is just basically our scene of people—the whole EDM scene, the club scene, the Internet, that whole vibe. It’s where the hub of all of the creativity is.
Are there any new mediums you want to try working in?
There’s a bunch of stuff I would like to do. For this show, I have my digital work on canvas, I don’t know if I’ll ever do that again. I want to paint stuff and I want to build things. I really like street art and the fact that you can do whatever you want. And if you’re putting it on the street, people aren’t going to critique it as hard, it’s not as intense. I would love to do installations and big, architectural pieces, and things like that. I got to design a trash can for Coachella and that was really easy and so much fun and Insomniac has been offering contests to design stages and since I love going to raves I’d love to be able to do set design and sculptural things. I want to do big things.