The first time I saw a painting by Ayo Scott, it immediately made me think of cotton candy. Syrupy pigments of pinks and purples and blues and yellows rolled around and through each other to depict a little house with a number “7” doormat and a utility pole rising up from behind it. And tied on the end of the power lines strung from that utility pole was – a comb, hung from a cloud. It was a visual treat that made me smile. Just as sweet as Ayo’s artwork is his story; the son of one of the most influencial artists to come out of New Orleans, John T. Scott, young Ayo grew up surrounded by inspiring art of every kind. Musicals, dance recitals, and galleries from NOLA to Paris afforded the young artist a view of the world and the people in that few get to experience, let alone at that age. In an online article title A Father’s Influence, you can read more about how Ayo’s exposure to and perception of the world around him shaped his creative process. Get more info on Ayo Scott’s current art exhibition at the McKenna Museum in New Orleans here.
Name: Ayo Scott
Age: 31 (born March 12, 1980)
Hometown: Hue Orleans
Art form: Painting, Mixed Media, Graphic Design
Explain what you do in 100 words or less.
hmm. i paint for the same reason one brings a beachball to a graduation. though at times the authority figures may frown upon it…. its only to bring a smile into the lives of everyone around it.. even if only for a moment. i paint to celebrate life’s joys and my name means happiness; i paint to bring ayo to the world.
How did you get started in the arts?
my dad was an incredible artist who exposed me to the arts from a VERY early age.. and it always shaped how i saw things.. ultimately shaping how i create.
What themes do you pursue in your artwork?
that varies from time to time… but my most recent work is centered on my personal experiences and feelings about new orleans.. and life here.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
my wife… my family… my friends… my city… and traveling
What music do you listen to when you create?
outkast wu tang, mayer hawthorne, john coltrane, steel pulse. bjork, lil brother, and chris blount
What is your dream project?
an exhibit of paintings and sculptural installations that create a complete sensory overload for those who attend. i want to do a piece on the side of a skyscraper.
What role does the artist have in your community?
i believe artists have a responsibility inspire or uplift the audience and to help OTHER artists… to reach their potential.
Which artists from different disciplines inspire you? Why?
andre 3000 (just so versitile and organic… ) my dad john t scott. (endless reasons… aside from personal bias) raymond saunders (use of different media and the crudeness of some of his lines yet a finesse to the overall style).
Name an artist from the same art discipline whom you are often compared to.
ive yet to have many people compare me to anybody in particular.. though some of my most recent house pieces have been to compared to terrence osborne (who’s a good friend) or michalopoulos. though i can see an untrained eye making the comparison.. i think these two painters are lightyears ahead of myvocabulary.. its an honor being referenced in their company.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
” the only things u dont control are being born and dying.. only a fool doesnt control what’s in between” (my dad via my grandmother)