You’re inside a cosmic landscape. Monolithic cliffs and rolling hills swallow an orange sun; the sky swirls candy pink and deep blue. Oversized gums and bright wattle line the bank of a peaceful stream as birds cry out overhead. You kayak ashore and an inviting camp with a fire awaits. No, you’re not flying on hallucinogens – you’ve just found yourself comfortably inside one of Scotty Williams’ striking illustrations.
No one captures the Aussie bush quite like Scotty, so it was a no-brainer to slap one of his designs on our latest tee. We had a chin-wag with him about his work, latest adventures and love for bushcraft. Sit back with a cuppa and dive deeper into Scotty’s world.
Bee: Growing up, were the outdoors a big part of daily life in the Williams family?
Scotty: My Dad got me into surfing when I was four or five, and I’ve spent my entire life in and around the water. I was fortunate to have a Dad who would take us camping, surfing or bushwalking when he could, I think a lot of people don’t get that opportunity. I feel pretty fortunate for that, and it meant that a love for the outdoors was ingrained in me from quite a young age.
How did you find yourself getting into art?
The art is the stuff I do on the side, I work as a full-time commercial photographer. I found that when you turn a hobby into your work (like with my photography) it kills the buzz a little bit and your creativity can go out the window. My drawing’s become a means for expressing my creative side. For a fair few years, I was trying to figure out my style, what I wanted to say and yeah, it just went from there.
I saw that you were recently in the Red Centre. Had you been before?
Nah, I’d never been before. It’s one of those places you think, ‘yeah we’ll go there later on in life’, but I’m glad we actually went and did it now. People tend to go overseas before they do Australia, which I’m guilty of as well. Now, I’m turning my direction more towards home and just realising there are some pretty bloody beautiful places around here. The Red Centre was mind-blowing, so stunning, it’s very powerful land out there, you can definitely feel the energy of the place.
What inspired you to start the Youtube channel ‘Scotty’s Gone Walkabout‘?
It started two years ago, I was watching a few guys from overseas who do similar videos. I’m interested in bushcraft and outdoors videos and there was just no one in Australia that was doing it. Bushcraft is basically trying to connect more to the land and work with the land’s resources, for example, bushtucker, medicinal plants, and plants for building. I just decided to start making my own videos, and that really caught on.
I’ve really enjoyed it, and it encourages me to get out there and explore new places.
Has it been fun experimenting with video?
Yeah, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. You can get a lot more emotion out of film than you can out of a still photograph. So, I really like how you can play more with people’s emotions through a cinematic shot or some nice music.
Do you have a favourite bush tucker or bush beverage?
There’s a plant called a Sour Currant Bush, it grows around the Sydney region’s rocky outcrops. It’s a little green super sour ball, and its really, really nice. That’s probably one of my favorite bush tuckers or plants.
Like a native Warhead?
Yeah, like a native Warhead. The nickname for them is ‘Acid Drops’ because they’re very acidic and sour. Another one is Pigface, which grows on the beaches and tastes like salty kiwi fruit, that’s also super nice.
I’ve loved getting into the bushcraft world because you’re a bit more involved in the environment. You kinda see the bush in a whole different light, you really start to form a deeper connection and appreciation for it. So, that’s why I encourage people to get out there to do.
Was the Serenity Tee inspired by a certain adventure or place?
For my 30th birthday last year my girlfriend and mates chipped in and bought me a canoe. I’ve been doing a fair bit of that, so the design is referenced from a canoe trip around the Tallowa Dam on the Shoalhaven River.
Canoeing is a really nice way to experience the outdoors, especially summer when it’s 39° outside. I actually hate hot weather, the idea of hiking anywhere in summer kills me. So, to be out on the water is a good way to get out there. The design’s quote: ‘How’s the serenity?’ is from The Castle – I absolutely love that movie and am always keen to throw in a Castle quote in my designs.
Any other places you’ve hit up in the canoe?
Down the coast, there are a few places I like to go but I probably don’t like to name them.
If someone puts a nice spot on Instagram it can get blown out so easily, like what’s happened at the Royal National Park’s Wedding Cake Rock. So I’m always careful about saying the names of places. Unless it’s a well-known name, but if it’s not that known and it’s a really pretty place I just don’t bother, because I find that I don’t want to contribute to the whole influx thing. It’s hard, you want to encourage people to get outside, but you don’t want them to go there in the droves either.
So they’re Scott’s secret spots?
Yeah, that’s right they’re Scott’s secret spots…
An honest Aussie bloke who treasures our natural places and can draw like a maniac. Get your hands our latest tee designed by Scotty.
Canoeing… caught your attention?