Park County is blessed with a variety of artists, and Park County Creative Alliance is bringing them together to showcase the talents and inspire others to find their creative side.
Scott Bullock is one of those artists. His most recent painting, “Moose in Aspens,” is featured on the cover of PCCA’s “Art Adventuring Maps” that can be found all around Park County. The map showcases inspirational points around Park County, as well as businesses that are members of PCCA. The moose in his painting inspired Mooseangelo, a drawing of the moose being an artist and painting, which was used as a coloring contest in The Flume a couple of months ago.
Bullock, born in Grand Rapids, Mich., moved to California and Ohio, before settling in Aurora, Colorado when he was six. Bullock graduated in 1979 from Gateway High School.
Growing up he was always drawing and making up comics and cards. The first time he remembers using his talent for a reward was in eighth grade. He was given extra credit points in history class if he drew people they were studying. He drew several presidents and generals. People took notice of his talent and he began getting paid to do drawings from photographs for people.
He excelled at art in high school, but never thought of becoming an artist as a job or as a living.
“It seemed too risky. I guess I always heard about the “starving artist” and that kind of scared me. I was told about commercial art, now known as graphic art. I heard that in this field I could be an artist and get paid a salary, so I took a 2-year commercial art course at a local vocational school my junior and senior years in high school,” Bullock explained.
Bullock enjoyed the courses and his instructor got him a couple of paid illustration jobs and he created his first logo for Jewell Elementary School in Aurora.
After high school, even though he was told he was ready to tackle graphic arts, he continued his education and graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in graphic design from Colorado State University. He got a job as a graphic designer/illustrator/art director with a publishing company in Denver that produced a newspaper and several magazines for the cattle industry.
“Not a very exciting subject, but I did learn a ton about print advertising and creating ads, layouts, and designing magazines”, he said.
“This was all done old school. There were no computers, it was cut and paste and we had an in-house typesetter. That job became obsolete almost overnight when the personal computer came around,” he continued.
After a little over a year, he saw an ad in The Denver Post for a graphic designer in Breckenridge. His dream had always been to live in the mountains and work in the art field. He applied and sent his resume to Wilson-Lass Creative Communications, a small but growing advertising company. They produced logos, letterheads, posters, brochures, etc., and the Breckenridge Ski Resort was one of their clients. He got the job and moved to Breckenridge in 1985. He convinced his high school sweetheart to also move to Breckenridge and they were married in 1986.
While working at Wilson-Lass, he met the owner of one of the T-shirt shops and was asked to create T-shirt designs to sell. He did designs for a few shops in Breckenridge over the years, as a way to earn extra money. He met a few editors of the local newspapers, was hired as a freelance illustrator and would do illustrations for stories and even front-page cover art when needed. He followed by submitting editorial cartoons to newspapers. This led to a meeting with an editor who asked if he would create a local comic strip to appear in the paper every week. He created two: a fun strip following three ski bums that lived in Breckenridge called, “Garth in Paradise,” and “Somewhat County” for the Summit Daily News. It ran for ten years, but his “real job” as a driver for UPS took him away from Summit to Park County.
With the birth of a daughter in 1990, he left the free-lance business and took the job with UPS in Silverthorne to make a better living and to be able to obtain health insurance. Bullock has been with UPS for 30 years.
“I didn’t really paint until I left the graphic arts world and was working for UPS,” Bullock said. “I missed my connection with art and started painting just to see if I could. I liked the way they turned out and they started selling. That is what I really enjoying doing.
The Bullocks lived in Breckenridge, Alma, Placer Valley, and moved to Fairplay in 2004. His hope is to retire from UPS within the next few years and get back to doing art on a daily basis. He says he is never at a loss for ideas.
“Most of my paintings are what those in the art world would term whimsical,” Bullock said. “I like doing paintings that make people smile. I don’t paint a lot of landscapes, well I should clarify that, traditional landscapes. I like to paint something that’s alive within a landscape.”
Bullock joined PCCA in the Fall of 2019. “As a local artist I know how hard it can be to get your art noticed and this organization is here to do just that,” he said.
Bullock’s paintings and bronze sculptures can be viewed on his website, scottbullockart.com, or seen at Coyote Creek Studio Arts in Fairplay, or the Big Nipper in Alma.
The PCCA was created to unite Park County through the arts while helping to support and promote local artists from all genres such as writers, musicians, painters, photographers and so much more. Learn more about PCCA by visiting their website parkcreates.org.
“I think it’s important to always do what you love and what makes you happy, whether it be on a small or large scale. Keep smiling and find the humor in everyday life,” Bullock concluded.