Psi Scott is an 18-year-old artist hailing from Bangkok, Thailand and currently halfway through his freshman year at none other than Tim Burton‘s alma mater, Cal Arts. On Saturday January 17th, I had the opportunity to interview Psi over a delicious brunch at one of ArtAttack‘s fave LA spots, Salt’s Cure. Between my overly ambitious bites of griddle cakes, I managed to ask the Disney aficionado and major Britney Spears fan, a few questions from his beginnings in art, to his favourite animated film and of course, tips he could give to anyone considering the top Character Animation program he now calls home. Psi’s poise and passion was inspiring to behold, and his commitment to stay true to himself, a sure sign that this rising star in animation will definitely be going places. Just remember, you heard it here first!
ArtAttack: Tell us about your first memories of art.
Psi Scott: Well, I remember I loved playing with Barbie dolls and when I went to school all my friends would have Barbie dolls. But my mom wouldn’t let me bring my Barbies to school and so I drew a Barbie doll on paper, and I cut it out, and I just played with it with other people, and that was one of my first memories of art.
AA: When did you decide this was something you wanted as a career? PS: Well, I’ve always wanted to do a lot of things. I wanted to do fashion, and then I wanted to be a movie star because who didn’t, and then I was always into Disney. So some people just gave me a notion that I should go check out animation and when I went to visit Cal Arts it was like an epiphany, like you just know.
AA: What’s your favourite animated film and who’s your favourite animated character? PS: My favourite animated film is Sleeping Beauty and the character is probably Maleficent because she’s so sick. The guy who did it is Marc Davis and he has this really cool way of drawing females, which I think is realistic and cartoony at the same time.
AA: What did you think of the film Maleficent? PS: I thought as a Sleeping Beauty remake it was awful and a total let down, but as an individual film I loved it. AA: Any advice you can give to kids looking to go to Cal Arts?
PS: I would say definitely be yourself. You have to look at how unique you are in relation to your competition and play up a lot of that. There’s a trend of people who want to do the same things, but if you’re really true to yourself you’ll be different anyway. If you can emphasize that you’ll just grow as an artist.
AA: Talk us through a typical day at Cal Arts? PS: Classes a lot of the time start at 9AM and the final class will end at like 9:50PM. We have weekends, but it’s a little joke [between us] because we always work since it’s something that we love, and it’s homework. So it’s all day, every day. AA: What are your goals after graduation? PS: I used to think that I wanted to go straight into a company but I feel like since being here, so many of my teachers have told me that’s not really important. They say you should have your freedom and your vision first, which was a whole new kind of mindset for me. [They say] that I should just keep doing what I’m doing and the jobs will come that specialize in what I want to do. Eventually I do want to have my own animated movie, but for now I just want to follow my vision so that one day I can reach that sunset.
AA: So your teachers appreciate your passion to portray your own unique interests and perspective through your art? PS: Yes, they love it when you do your own thing. – India Irving