Having a Message | Isaac Scott | Episode 318

Isaac Scott | Episode 318

Isaac Scott is an Artist working and living in Seattle, WA. Isaac has been working with clay for over 9 years and his work is thrown on the potter’s wheel and decorated with silkscreen images of himself and people/places that inspires him. The goal of Isaac’s work is to inspire and uplift.



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How do you want to be an influence?

I want to inspire people to create more and to follow their dreams and follow their passions. I think there is a lot of pressure not to do that. I want my career to be an example of an alternative.

You put a lot of imagery on your ceramics and you have a message. How do you see pottery as being an instrument of change?

I think when you look at people like Theaster Gates and Roberto Lugo, these guys are already making a lot of change in communities. I think the objects themselves are just catalysts to change. I think it is the ideas behind them that are going to inspire people and eventually make real changes. Theaster Gates made a speech at my first NCECA, I think it was 2012 in Milwaukee. He gave a speech that completely changed my life. It was crazy. I think he shocked and stunned everybody in the room and I think everybody came out better for it.

Is it more important to present culture or a message? 

That’s a good question. I think culture is extremely important because when it goes to what people’s beliefs are and how they act towards one another, I think culture is vastly more important than what a message can be. I mean, politicians give us messages everyday. A lot of that isn’t taken to heart because of the way we view politicians.

When you have your form made and now you have the surface to work on, how do you capture a message with such a small surface?

I guess that’s the question isn’t it? a lot of my work is, I am trying to express things that I am feeling and thinking about while I am making the work. A lot of it is influenced by music the music I listen to and different social events and how I am feeling at that moment. I try to invoke certain feelings in people when they see my work. A lot of it makes people feel uncomfortable.

From your perspective how is being a person of color in the ceramic community different from your perspective than the average white dude?

I think it is like being a white rapper. (laughter) I don’t know, it is definitely a white dominated field. But just like with white rappers, nothing bad is going to come from expanding what is possible. I think that is what Roberto Lugo and Theaster Gates were both saying, when they spoke at NCECA , if you don’t accept people coming in and look for that to expand what is possible, by letting other types of people into the field, then you are only hurting the field. You are only hurting what ceramics can be. I think it can be bigger than what it is right now and I think there is so much untapped potential.

If you could communicate one message and that everyone in the world would hear it, what would that message be and why?

Let’s not all get to caught up in how the world is.  I think one of the mistakes I think a lot of people make when they try to make change is they are very reactionary. I think we should all just focus on changing ourselves more than trying to change the government or changing the person over here and they way they think. We should just do a better job of ourselves and making  changes in our own lives.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho



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