This last week has been dubbed the unofficial official #glitchweek by glitch artists, curators and fans of the genre. In celebration, here is the interview feature of Jarid Scott, a prolific and talented glitch artist and Community Development Lead at Makersplace, about Glitch Art, his inspirations and experiences. I met Jarid through Glitch Alpha Force – a community of Glitch artists founded by Dawnia Darkstone – in which we mutually lurked on each others artwork and development in the space. I appreciate Jarid for taking the time to answer my questions.
Hey, I’m Jarid Scott (@jrdsctt). I am a digital artist currently living and working out of Salt Lake City, Utah, although I am originally from Minnesota. I have a bachelors of fine art in digital art & photography that I got from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 2012. I have been working as a freelance digital artist/graphic designer since about 2016, I got into minting and selling NFTs in early 2019, and got a job working for a NFT platform, MakersPlace, in May of 2021. My main style would be considered “glitch art” or “photo manipulation”, though I also dabble in A.I. art as well as doodling in Procreate on my iPad.
How did you get started as an artist?
I became interested in art as a young lad. Salvador Dalí was my first introduction to fine art and I fell deeply in love with his dreamlike worlds and landscapes. At first I wanted to be a cartoonist (cos I was a kid and loved cartoons), but soon learned that I had zero ability to draw. Photography became my next passion in high school (mostly because it involved such little drawing). I was so into it in fact, that it’s what I ended up going to college for, tho, as I spent more and more time in photo classes, I found myself more and more drawn to the “post” and “editing” parts of photography, and less into actually taking pictures. This new found interest in photo editing paired with my love of Nine Inch Nails’ art direction (at the time my art hero Rob Sheridan was their art director and his glitch style was incredibly inspiring to me) led to me becoming a photo based glitch artist. In 2016 I decided to challenge myself to creating one piece of glitch art a day for an entire year, and this led to the birth of “jrdsctt”, my artistic identity. Between 2016 and 2019 I was a freelance artist, mostly making album art for smaller bands, and then MakersPlace and NFTs entered my life, and it’s been all consuming of my time and life ever since.
What does Glitch Art mean to you?
To me, glitch art is an escape from reality. It’s a break in our typical reception of the world and it forces us to look at it from a new perspective. I especially love when it takes recognizable forms and shapes and places, and breaks them down almost to the point of being completely unrecognizable, when it challenges our ability to make connections with things that should be easily accessible in our memories. Glitch art also rides that fine balance between embracing technology and destroying technology. Loving tech and fearing tech. Insert glitchy ying yang. One of my other favorite aspects of Glitch is how anti-elite it is. There are so many ways and methods and techniques involved in glitch that almost anyone can jump in (for a relatively low cost) and start making amazing art!
Why did you get into crypto/nfts?
I honestly thought I would never get into crypto. Back in 2018 I vaguely knew what bitcoin was, but I had zero interest in it. At the time I was posting a lot of my art on a website called “ello” which is an art sharing social network. One of the features of the site is that people can reach out to you and ask if you are interested in collaborating or doing commission work, and I kept getting emails from some company called “MakersPlace” asking if I wanted to check them out and sell “Rare Digital Art” through them. I honestly thought it was a scam, until I noticed a few of my friends post on Instagram that they were making sales on MakersPlace, so I decided to check it out. I joined their Discord, got an invite to mint and sell there, and instantly fell in deep. Overall, NFTs have been a life changing experience for me. I recently bought my first house, and 100% of the down payment came from NFTs sales of my own art. I know the NFT world isn’t perfect, but it’s hands down the best way for an artist to make a living off their art.
As boring and unfunny as this story is, I think my favorite NFT story is that I was able to buy a house because of NFTs. Since graduating college, my partner and I had been renting or living with parents. Renting is fine and all, but, it’s a bit disheartening to know that all of that rent money was just going into someone else’s pocket, and not be invested in us and our future in some capacity. And then NFTs came along. I’m not gonna lie, I am not sure I would have sold as many as I did had it not been for the big Beeple sale in March of 2020. The buzz surrounding it led to thousands of people flocking to MakersPlace to see what NFTs were all about, and, a lot of first time buyers trying to get in on this industry that just had this massive $69 million sale. I sold a lot of NFTs between 2020 and 2021. So many in fact, that we were able to afford a down payment on a house that we moved into February of 2022. It’s an amazing and surreal feeling, and to be honest, it still doesn’t feel real sometimes. But regardless, it’s incredibly inspiring and empowering knowing that this house is ours cos of some jpegs I sold on the internet.
Can you discuss your role at MakersPlace?
My current role at MakersPlace is “Community Development Lead”, but I started out as a “Customer Success Specialist”. I joined MakersPlace as an artist/user in early 2019. At the time I was working at a small print shop in SLC as a graphic designer for my day job, and doing a side hustle as a freelance artist in my free time. I was hungry for any opportunity to sell my art, and MakersPlace/NFTs seemed like something I should try out. In 2019, only a year after the formation of the company, they had an extremely small staff (I think only about 4-6 employees), and since I was working this desk job and sitting around on Discord all day already, I got in super deep with their community there. So much so that I was asked to become their first official Ambassador, essentially helping the community out, doing mod/admin duties in their Discord, and answering questions where I could. After the infamous Beeple/MakersPlace/Christies sale in March of 2020, the platform was flooding with new users trying to get in and learn more about this new NFT craze, and MakersPlace did not have a dedicated support person at the time. So, since I was already spending most of my days answering questions on MakersPlace, they offered to pay me to do it, and I said yes! After a year with the company, my strengths and interests moved away from support and more towards community building, and that’s how I landed where I am now, as their Community Development Lead.
Where do you see the future of crypto art going?
It’s really difficult for me to imagine a future (at least before climate change or antibiotic resistant disease wipes out most of the life on earth ) that doesn’t have crypto art/NFT. This technology and the entire web3 movement has been a monumental game changer for creatives and their ability to make a living off their creations. Going to art school, we were taught that the days of “being an artist and nothing more” were over. We were told that we would have to get graphic design jobs, photo assistant positions, and rely on gig/commission work if we wanted to “be creative” for a living. NFTs changed that. They made it possible for artists to pay the bills simply by making the art they would have already been making in their free time. I no longer have to make album art for bands, I can just make the art that I wanna make. NFTs are here to stay. And where will they go from here? I feel like the days of this just being an art thing will be over soon. I don’t think fine art NFTs are going anywhere, but the tech has so much potential beyond just art. Mainstream media, movies, shows, video games, etc., I think that’s the next big step. How will it all work? I have no clue, but NFTs and crypto tech have so much untapped potential, it’s hard for me to imagine it not creeping into more and more things as time goes on.
Advice to newcomers to nfts/art from what you have learned.
The best advice I can give, and this applies to both new artists and new NFT artists, and it’s a line I stole from sgt_slaughtermelon (which is a line he stole from the show “Oz” which is a show I have never seen so I am sure I am messing it up): “Find a gang”. The NFT art space, and even just the social media art space is an endless sea of noise. There are thousands upon thousands of artists constantly posting, Instagraming, Tweeting, sharing, uploading, shilling, and screaming about their art. It can be super difficult to stand out and be seen. This is where the gang comes in handy. Find a crew, find a group of like minded friends/acquaintances/strangers who art you dig, get to know them, and just befriend them. I can’t begin to tell you how much good can come from this. You need people to support you, share your stuff, help you through the hard times, celebrate your wins, and just in general be there for you. And, you will be doing the same thing for them. Everyone wins. WAGMI.
3 Artists I Love In Crypto
2. sgt_slaughtermelon: My crypto blood brother. Melon and I go way back, in fact, while I might not have been the guy to actually get him into NFTs, I was for sure the first person to tell him to get into NFTs, tho at the time, my understanding of the tech was not so great, so I am sure I didn’t sell it the best. Melon has to be one of the hardest working artists in the space, and he’s always ahead of the game. He always seems to be wandering around on the ground floor of the cool stuff that is just about to take off (Artblocks, based ghouls, glitch forge). On top of that, his style, aesthetics, use of color, and consistency are unmatched. A true artist in every sense of the word. Nothing but love and respect for my melon blood brother.
3 Artists I Derive Inspiration From:
LINKS TO EXPLORE JARID’S WORK FURTHER: