We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Dykema and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scott, why did you pursue a creative career?
This is an interesting question because I didn’t choose this career at first. I was into drawing from an early age. I took portrait drawing classes and loved to create from the time I as about 10 years old. The idea of having a job in creativity was not even on my radar of possibility. My sights were set on being a dietitian. When I enrolled in college, I was pursuing the nutritionist degree. While I was studying that, I needed to take some electives and drawing was one class I chose. I liked it alright. I got to investigate painting a little in another elective, and I liked it a lot. Then I took a second painting class. I loved it so much, I immediately switched my major to Bachelor of Fine Arts. Helping others to live a healthy lifestyle seemed like the ultimate, but once I discovered painting, nutrition seemed much less interesting to me. Art is something that seemed like it could go on forever. I could do it and never get tired of it and never learn it all. Making art became my favorite thing, my favorite way to spend my time. It was the thing that I could do all day long. While finishing up my degree, I met a woman who was a full time artist. This was the first time I had ever met a person who made a living from making art. She graciously took me under her wing as a decorative artist. We worked in homes to make things look like marble or brick or whatever her clients needed, and we would use plaster over stencils to create things that I had never even seen before. We painted on furniture, walls, fireplaces, and giant canvases that were installed at Enron Field in Houston. The work I did as a decorative artist influenced and fueled my creativity in the studio and took my artwork to new places. The desire to be a working artist was born that year, and it is something that is still filled with magic to this day, 20 years later. There is nothing that I would rather be doing.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Tell us about your art. What sets it apart from others work?
Color is very important to me and I think that shows on the canvas. My work is about a lot of things, but most of all it is a collection of moments of feeling admiration and love. A lot of my recent paintings are about heroic figures, and all of them are created in a space of love and a deep respect. I know that people say that you should sing your life or paint your life, but I paint what I love and so my work is consistently evolving. I let my heart lead me. I let my inner voice tell me what I will be working on and I am always open to working with new subjects, with new materials and with new color palettes.
What am I most proud of?
I am proud that I graduated from college with honors after barely making it out of high school. I am proud that I take the risk every day to do what is important to me. I am proud of being self employed, because that comes with it’s own ups and downs. I am proud that I keep going, no matter what. I am proud of the work that I make. I’m proud of my family and my relationships. I am proud of the love that surrounds me. I am proud to call myself an artist.
How did I get here professionally?
I am here now as a result of getting an education, being exposed to possibility, learning about starting up a business, making cold calls to local designers and getting decorative painting jobs to pay the bills, and continuing to make my own art at night. I was a full time decorative painter for years. I still work with designers who hire me to create murals, complex wall finishes, tinted plasters, intricate stencil work and decorative metal leaf. Right now, my concentration is mostly on my fine art, which is available for sale through my own website (https:/www.scottdykema.com) and through an online gallery called UGallery (https://www.ugallery.com/artist/scott-dykema). UGallery has been amazing to me, featuring my work in a number of shows in New York when I was first getting started. Over the years I have shown all over Texas and the United States, and through it all I have gathered a long list of collectors who continue to support my work. I’ve gone from working in a spare room in my apartment, to working in a barn with no heat or air-conditioning, to a rented office suite in a sketchy part of town, to my current studio, a 1947 Chevy school bus which is parked behind my house. The journey has been filled with a lot of learning and it has not been easy, but it has been worth the struggle to forge my own path.
What do you want the world to know about you, your brand and your story?
I guess that I would want the world to know that I love what I am doing and I do not plan on quitting, ever. I look forward to continuing to evolve as a person and as an artist. I am here for the long term. The work that I make takes a lot of time to make and it has taken a lot of time to get to where I am now. When you buy a piece of art from me, you are investing in your own joy, just as I have made the investment of my time and experience in making it. The work that I am making is made out of love and joy, and when you live with it you can feel that. This is what my collectors tell me, anyway.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hopefully they would visit me around the second Sunday of the month so I could take them to Comedy Club at Theatre Arlington! It is my favorite thing to do in Arlington. The show consists of a group of incredibly talented improvisers and comedy professionals. The shows are filled with short form improv, games and sketches as well as some amazing improvised musical work. The group is led by the super talented Ben Fort and it never disappoints. We would go see live comedy and drink coffee. I would also take them to see comedy at Four Day Weekend in Fort Worth or at Stomping Ground in Dallas. Both are great places to see different kinds of improvised comedy. During the day we would probably see some art at the Kimbell Art Museum or the Fort Worth Modern. Or if they are up for it, I would take them to the trails at Cedar Ridge Preserve to hike for a while.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who have been instrumental to my creative journey and my parents have been a huge part of that. They were completely supportive of my decision to try art in college. When I told them I was changing my major from nutrition to fine art, they stuck by my side. My wife is also an artist. She has backed me up when I have gone dark with doubts and insecurities. Every time I have thought about throwing in the towel, she has been there to remind me of who I am and to remind me that life has so much more depth when doing the things that are ours to do. She fills my heart with unconditional love and acceptance. I have countless people to thank for helping me on my path. The college professor who inspired me so much that I changed my major deserves recognition. My collectors deserve a lot of recognition. Without them I would have had to stop painting long ago. I appreciate all the interior designers who have given me opportunities to beautify interiors all over the metroplex. The artist who took me under her wing and showed me that art is a viable option for a career. My students who teach me so much about creativity every time we work together. These people will know exactly who they are when they read this. Much love to you all.