Cam Scale is a Melbourne based artist whose practice extends from large scale mural-work and graffiti to digital and canvas based art. He works with several mediums but sticks mostly to aerosol, oil and acrylic.
Cam was born and bred in Sydney but has spent the past 10 years immersing himself within the Melbourne art and graf’ scene. He has since linked with Juddy Roller and we have had the pleasure of collaborating together on many successful occasions.
His work explores the complexities and characteristics of an individual or subject always capturing what surrounds him in a raw and emotive way as he combines contemporary art with a street based approach. His humble and friendly attitude makes him a highly likeable human, and his artwork only reinforces this. Let’s see what the man has to say.
JUDDY- Hey Cam, what’s good? What have you been up to as of late?
CAM- Hey, life’s good! I recently did a little bit of travelling with my girlfriend for both work and pleasure. Now currently back in Melbourne to start a big project. It was really good to get away for a bit, I jumped all over the place. Had a few weeks amongst nature in North Queensland, then managed to get over to London to see the final VNA show that I was lucky to have a piece in. As well as Vancouver and Portland to visit some friends. I painted some large walls, met new and old friends, visited museums and galleries and spent time in nature, so a great experience all round.
JUDDY- Is that all? You sound a little busy. You also seem quite busy around the studio through the day, are you typically a night owl or an early bird?
CAM- I spent years working through the night, it’s peaceful and you have the time to yourself. But as life seems to speed up, sleeping in late isn’t as easy or productive. I am trying my best to become an early riser.
JUDDY- Aren’t we all… What’s your drink of choice?
CAM- Well I’m drinking coffee more regularly now.
JUDDY- Do you prefer painting indoors or outdoors?
CAM- A bit of both. That’s the beauty of this line of work but it also depends on the job at hand, it’s pretty cold at the moment, so studio days are better by the heater. In saying that, if I had my choice, outside in the sun is my favourite. Especially working on something fairly big, I think it’s the vitamin D, bit of physical activity mixed with big mark making and a real sense of accomplishment that makes it so much fun.
JUDDY- How long have you worked with Juddy Roller for?
CAM- I don’t know how long I’ve been in Juddy now, about 2 years maybe? It’s a great place to be in and there’s always something happening. Having good, hardworking people around is a great motivation to get things done.
JUDDY- How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Muralist?
CAM- I really don’t like all the labelling bs [bullshit] that is going around right now… I’ve done a lot of things, I would just call myself a painter.
JUDDY- That’s fair. How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
CAM- Primarily I started out in graffiti. I’d like to say it was a self-taught apprenticeship. It teaches all the fundamentals of creativity and ingenuity. Today my work is just more varied. Like anything in life, you want to progress, learn new techniques and skills and attempt different things. I have been focusing on portrait painting over the last couple of years as I always found it the most difficult, now I want to incorporate it into more figurative work.
JUDDY- Well said. Do you have a formal arts education?
CAM- I moved to Melbourne after school to do an illustration diploma at NMIT. The only things in NSW were stupidly expensive design schools and I didn’t want to fall into that trap. I was doing a few paid jobs already and figured I should get a piece of paper if I was going to do it as a career. I’ve never actually shown it to anyone but just the skills I picked up throughout the course were well worth it. I would have definitely recommended it, but thanks to the Abbott government gutting Tafe it’s pretty expensive now as well.
JUDDY- When selecting a subject to paint, I have noticed you quite often select a more obscure character, like the local city council worker for the ‘Fitzroy faces’ project or the local farmer at this year’s Wall to Wall festival (pictured at top). Is this intentionally done to pay homage to the “little guys”, or does this just happen by chance?
CAM- These days I find celebrity status and fame seem to play a much bigger role in the perceived quality of a person. I just want to paint average, humble, everyday people. There are so many just going through life and doing their best with whatever hand they were given. You never hear their back story. Trying to capture their outlook, whether positive or negative and the effect life has had on their face is exceptionally difficult.
To sum that up I guess the Plato quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
JUDDY- That’s very humbling, you’re definitely one of the good guys.
Tell us about your process? You offer a unique style of raw graffiti and art, how do you set out to achieve this?
CAM- I have no idea? I feel like my process changes each time I paint, depending on the subject, surface, materials, or access etc. It’s a little bit of stress and adventure each time, sometimes you get it right, sometimes not so much.
JUDDY- I guess that’s all a part of it hey. Do you have any secret talents?
CAM- I have had explosives training?
JUDDY- Very interesting, could be handy around Juddy Roller too. What are your creative plans for the future?
CAM- I definitely want to have another solo show next year, as well as branching out and applying for some grants or awards. Collaborations are something else I find really broadens your outlook so would love to do some more of them.
JUDDY- Which city do you love to visit most, to work in?
CAM- I really want to visit Japan, I feel like it’s a window to the future. It has this blade runner feel that seems to me more and more like the direction the entire world’s heading. Keen to visit, not to stay. I actually feel like I want to get away from cities, to try and enjoy as much of whats left of our natural world before our puppet politicians hand everything over to big business and we are left in a stinking pile of disposable plastic razors and redundant selfie sticks.
JUDDY- Sad but true. Final question, what would be your dream project to work on?
CAM- Painting an overgrown Inca temple to the sun god.
JUDDY- I love it. Very good answer indeed.