Vibrant, Whimsical and Otherworldly: Interview with Artist Rebecca Scarborough


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For the next Gen Con 2023 article we meet Artist Rebecca Scarborough.

Welcome, to all of our readers! Today, we dive headfirst into the captivating world of Rebecca Scarborough, a dynamic artist who recently made a splash at Gen Con’s Artist Alley. From the playful blend of words and illustrations in her work to her passion for all things geeky, Rebecca offers a unique perspective on art that seamlessly blends the traditional and the digital, the serious and the whimsical. In our interview, she opens up about her journey, her inspirations, and even how her adorable pup Allonsy becomes a part of her creative process. So, grab your favorite cup of geeky goodness and let’s get into it!

GeekPost: First off, how was your experience at Gen Con?

Rebecca: Gen Con was great! It was my first time attending the show, and I jumped right in the deep end by starting off in Artist Alley. It was very different from other shows I have done since it is focused on board games and TTRPGs, but the nerds at Gen Con treated me very well 🙂

GeekPost: When did you first discover your love of art? How did you get started?

Rebecca: Quite frankly, I’ve just always loved it even when I was a little kid. I was fortunate that my mom really supported my endless doodling by gifting me art supplies and signing me up for art classes. I studied art in college, which mostly covered the basics for how to use different materials. As for getting started professionally, I didn’t get much traction until after I took mentorship courses through SmART school. 

GeekPost: You have stated that words and pictures should be friends. Can you explain more about how you weave these two elements together in your creations?

Rebecca: Wow, you guys did your research! I started using this phrase often back in college when I double majored in English and Fine Art. Originally, I had wanted to be a comic book artist (and who knows, I might get into comic work again someday.) Both art and writing are all about communication, and I think it is important to make your art readable in the same way you would edit an essay or book. I incorporate this into my graphic design gigs and my illustrations. I’m also not afraid to have fun with language by using puns in my descriptions or titles, and sometimes it’s what really makes the piece work. For example, at Gen Con, one of my best sellers was a painting titled “The Swisstine Chapel.” 

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GeekPost: Do you have any art techniques that you favor? What are your favorite mediums to work with?

Rebecca: I am primarily a traditional artist. I use Photoshop to clean up scans and Procreate on the iPad to sketch, but almost all my finished illustrations are done in oil paint or gouache and watercolor. I am a big fan of mixing media–I will start in watercolor or acrylics then seal the paint with a fixative to do the rest in oil paint.

GeekPost: Do you consider yourself a geek? What does that mean to you?

Rebecca: Yes, definitely. I think the heart of being a geek is to be very passionate about your interests. Stereotypically, I think this title is used for genre hobbies and subcultures, but you can geek out about anything truly. 


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GeekPost: When you are not working on your art, are there hobbies that you enjoy in your free time?

Rebecca: I enjoy reading (especially sci-fi and fantasy), going to drag shows (queens and kings, not cars), watching cartoons, beach combing and rock hunting, photography and quite predictably playing board games and D&D with friends.

GeekPost: Your art can easily be described as vibrant, fantastical, and almost otherworldly. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind these distinctive qualities?

Rebecca: First off, thank you, I will be stealing this description for future use. A lot of my inspiration comes from the books I grew up reading by authors like Brandon Sanderson, Tamora Pierce, and Garth Nix to name a few. Part of the excitement with art is that you can make things that don’t exist, and you can allow things to be as dramatic or as stupid as you want. Some of my favorite projects happened because I poured just as much effort into a piece that was silly as I did for more serious work.

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GeekPost: Do you have a list of artists or movements that inspired your own style?

Rebecca: Yes, and I could geek out about them for days. Historically, I am greatly inspired by the dreaminess and composition of Art Nouveau with Alphons Mucha, classical book illustrators like Arthur Rackham, and the comic work of Winsor McCay. I love the figure work, painting prowess, and queerness of icon J.C. Leyendecker. Some of my modern heroes include Scott Fischer, Rebecca Guay, Jon Foster, and Todd Lockwood.

GeekPost: You mention a pup in your bio. Our readers love to hear about animals. Does your animal inspire your work?

Rebecca: This is my favorite question, and I hope you are ready for pictures of the world’s cutest dog. My sweet little weirdo, Allonsy, is very helpful to me and my work. Painting all by yourself can be lonely, but he always keeps me company by burrowing under a blanket next to me. He has also modeled for many projects over the years. An open yawn becomes a dragon face, his legs are used for a wolf, his goofy expression for a drunk frog, etc. And of course, with the sheer amount of dog hair that has wound up in wet paint, I can safely say he is part of everything.

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GeekPost: What are two things that you would like people to take away from your work? And from this interview?

Rebecca: I make art that makes me happy, and I hope it makes you happy too. I am also available for projects 😉

Thank you to Rebecca Scarborough for a fantastic interview! If you would like to see more of her work, follow her on social media or visit her website (or both).

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