Interview with Scott Ross
This interview conducted and copyright in May 2001.
Scott Ross has been a freelance illustrator/designer living in Tampa Bay for 28 years. He is the responsible for the creative artwork used in all the Miner 2049er packaging and advertising. His unique style created some of the coolest looking video game artwork for companies such as Adventure International, DataSoft, Big Five Software and many more.
You can see some of his work on his web site at ...
What motivated you to become an artist.
More than anything else in the 60's when I was growing up, besides living in the house with a commercial artist father, the Beatles (especially Lennon) hit me right between the eyes. I just knew I had to be in the creative arts after that...it was a very "arty" environment back then.
How did you begin doing video game artwork for ICG?
Back in the late 70's, I was doing a lot of promotional humorous artwork for pro sports teams, magazines, and radio stations around the country. Barry Friedman was introduced to my work through an artist friend of mine in LA . My style fit right in with the emerging game market and for the next few years I was very busy with game artwork, besides all the other facets of my business.
Can you recall which titles you did artwork for?
I did dozens and dozens of box covers and magazine ad artwork for games in those days...Miner 2049er, Scraper Caper, Heist, Pooyan, Robot Attack, Frogger, Wavy Navy, Springer, Space Ark, Clowns & Balloons, and many others that I've forgotten about.
Were all those early drawings done by hand?
All of my artwork in those days was done in traditional media...paint in tubes, illustration board, airbrushes, etc.
How does the way you create your artwork today differ with how you did it then.
Starting in 92 when I got on the Mac, my artwork is now 100% digital. Over the years I kept investing in hardware and now I'm on my 6th machine (G4 Mac). After creating artwork professionally for 20 years the old way, the move to the computer was a complete sense of freedom to create, communicate, research, and deliver artwork digitally...I love the computer.
What information were you given to create the artwork for Miner 2049er?
In the early 80's I didn't have a clue about digital gaming or what it might become. Basically, they would call me with a title, describe the main characters a bit and tell me to go at it...I never once saw any of an actual game. Because of the extreme pixelization in those days it was probably better to just make it all up and try to come up with art that would be compelling to the buying public.
Does this explain why the Bounty Bob character has a wide brimmed hat in the game, yet in your artwork he is wearing a miner's hard hat with a light? Also the Donkey/Mule in the artwork never appears in the game.
Yes. They just let me go and told me nothing about what the game actually looked like...no one ever complained to me, and all the checks were good! As for the mule, who ever heard of an old prospector without his packmule and a little jug of hooch to take off the chill...and it was a nice spot to put the creators name on in each version!