Nerds and Beyond will be hosting a new series featuring a different fandom artist each month. For our first month, we were fortunate enough to connect with Scout Villegas. Scout creates different Supernatural and Louden Swain inspired art pieces. She is a highly skilled artist with a unique style that is loved by many members of the fandom. One of her most well-known projects is her God’n’Gabe comic series. Scout also created the art-work for Jason Mann’s recently released album Covers with Friends.
We hope you enjoy learning about Scout as much as we did.
Name: Online pseudonym is consulting-cannibal, but I answer just as quickly to Scout Villegas.
What Fandom(s) do you create art for?
Namely Supernatural and the band Louden Swain, but on occasion I’ll do a piece here or there for a show or movie I like. Nothing with a lot of commitment, though.
How did you start working on fandom art?
It’s something I’ve always been kind of into in some shape or form. The very first painting I remember doing was in high school, and it was of the lead singer of OK Go. The only reason I really wanted to do it is because I’d become hugely inspired by that band’s work, and after I saw the positive response it received my interest to create more fan art snowballed from there! I focused a lot on original work and music fandom-related pieces at first, but when I started doing comics for Supernatural, I was completely hooked.
Do you have a favorite piece or project that you’ve created?
I totally do, and it’s the God’n’Gabe project. It’s my baby, and I’m so proud of the reach it’s gotten. It’s something that extended as literally one comic inspired by a little one-off skit Rob Benedict and Richard Speight, Jr. did at a con, and turned it right into a comic book series. Over the course of three years, it’s become the project I always look forward to working on the most. On the weeks that I do super intensive work on it, I kind of wish I could just move to a remote cabin in the woods and spend like, two or three more years just compiling everything I want to do with it.
What does your creative process look like?
If I had to put a visual to it, I would have to say my hands are Wile E. Coyote and my brain is The Road Runner. In my mind, I often muster up ideas and pieces much faster than I can actually execute them, so I always feel like I’m far behind in my work. I could create 100 pieces in a day and still feel like I’m not doing everything I want. But looking at my physical being when I’m headed into the creative process, normally it’s me slapping my desk and yelping “GOT IT,” then proceeding to struggle with my tablet for twenty minutes.
What’s one of your favorite episodes of Supernatural? What is one of your favorite Louden Swain songs?
I really feel bad every time I’m asked these questions because my answer is consistently and endlessly different. So at any given point in time, for Supernatural, Changing Channels was that episode that really inspired me to the fullest. On top of the sets, the execution, the incredible story telling–it hit all the right notes for me. It has one of the most satisfying character reveals I’ve ever seen.
As far as Louden Swain songs, this answer still falls into the “forever changing” category. Medicated has a special place in my heart though, largely due to the live performances it garners now. Anyone that’s ever met me in person knows that nothing riles me up quite like a huge chorus of happy, wailing kazoos.
Do you have any projects that you haven’t yet been able to tackle but that you hope to work on one day?
There are so, SO many. Most of them are in animation in regards to Louden Swain songs, which I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It’s also a hope of mine to do a comic book series about Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster as medieval sorceresses. Other than that, I have a lot of dream projects that bounce around in my head. I’ve gotten a chance to work creatively with musicians and crew that work with both SPN and LS, but I’d absolutely love to do more and get even more involved. I can say I’ve been crazy lucky and honored to do a lot of the projects I’ve already been able to execute.
Is there anything challenging about being a fandom artist?
Honestly, there are times when there’s a pressure to please everyone, for sure. There are also thousands of ideas for pieces others will throw at you and a guilt that follows when you know you can’t take on all of them. When you’re dealing with a huge audience that’s taking in the same media as yourself, they’re also taking in the work you’re doing with it regularly, and the ability to get treated like a machine is almost inevitable. One of the challenges I had to overcome was sticking true to my own ideas over the ones I knew were heavily requested or popular.
Are there any fandom artists that you especially admire?
Oh gosh, yeah. Tons. euclase, armellin, gorlassar, quercusrubra, just to name a few. They make me incredibly proud to be an artist, and to be a part of a fan art community. But honestly, I’m overwhelmed with admiration with every fan artist I see come through. I try every day to encourage new or uninspired artists to pick themselves back up and bring their creativity into a fandom. What I really admire is when they do.
Is there a cast member or performer that inspires you?
I tried to not go with my most obvious answer, I really did, but there’s no denying it. Rob Benedict is the most genuinely inspirational cast member and performer that comes to mind. He just shows what I would love to strive for: Balancing and combining your work in the arts without losing hold or passion of one. I adore the work he’s done, and how he’s had the ability to regularly speak up about the struggles over the awful mix of anxiety and depression while trying to keep everything together. That gracious and encouraging nature to his fellow coworkers to not give up their chance to musically perform is something that hits me hard as well. Just overall a really cool dude that I find inspiration in every day.
What’s one tip you would give to anyone who is considering creating fandom art that they can market and sell?
I’d consider a good tip to be that you need to listen to your audience and observe what’s doing well in terms of other fandom art. A lot of times beginners in that market will get discouraged because their pieces aren’t selling or they aren’t quite hitting the target right, but you really have to put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. You have to consider from an outsider’s point of view if you’d also put forth the money that’s being asked for what you’re selling, or if you’d rather go and treat yourself to a nice dinner instead. Fandom merch is considered an investment to a lot of people!
Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
Get out there and be creative! Transformative works in media are just as important now as they were in the renaissance ages. And if you’re already creating, don’t take yourself too seriously or compare yourself to others already established within fandom art communities. I got my start making what would be The Sunday Funnies on the back of a Supernatural newspaper, and they’re still my favorite thing to make today. You never know what’ll work out until you try and pour a little passion and effort into it.
Where can we find your art?
If you have suggestions for future fandom artists you would like for us to consider featuring, email firstname.lastname@example.org.