Artist Scott Gustafson
, who was born and raised in Illinois, creates fairy tale treasures for the child in each of us. His paintings — as well as possessing visual richness — are rich in imagination. His creations breathe life back into stories from long ago, reinventing and interpreting fairy tales in ways which appeal to all ages. Most of us can count at least a few of these stories among our favorites: Don Quixote
, Jack in the Beanstalk
, Merlin and Arthur
, The Frog Prince
, The Wizard of Oz
, and Little Red Riding Hood
Among Scott Gustafson's first artistic inspirations were the cartoons of Walt Disney and the Warner Brothers. It wasn't until he was halfway through high school that he discovered the book The Boy's King Arthur
tucked away in a corner of the library. Its illustrations by N.C. Wyeth galvanized him, making him realize that this was the sort of detail, color, and vibrancy he had been looking for all his artistic life. By the time he reached adulthood, Gustafson was convinced that he wanted to be an animator.
While Scott Gustafson
pursued animation at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and Columbia College, also in Illinois, he studied the illustrations of N. C. Wyeth, Arthur Rackham, Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and others. It was not until he discovered the realities of the animation industry that he started to consider art illustration as a career option. Gustafson realized that "the opportunities of animation, in terms of subject matter and creative control, weren't nearly as interesting or rewarding as those of illustration."
Scott Gustafson's classic opulent approach elicited immediate response, and soon his work was appearing in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post
. His work also came to the attention of many book publishers, who entrusted him to illustrate anew such children's books as The Nutcracker
, Peter Pan
, and The Night Before Christmas
. At that time, Scott illustrated his original book titles including Alphabet Soup
and Animal Orchestra
As Gustafson's readers grew, so did interest in his work as a subject for collector's plates. He has created more than a dozen paintings based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes for this purpose. Then in 1997, The Greenwich Workshop Collection introduced Gustafson's "treasures for the child in each of us" as exquisitely detailed three-dimensional works of art. Gustafson's work can now be enjoyed in a variety of artist-inspired products, including limited edition fine art prints, fine art porcelain, and puzzles.
Gustafson's use of animated facial expression, body gestures, movement, texture, and color are all essential ingredients in his joyful interpretations of these works. He comments, "I want to make my characters' emotions clear to children, but I also want to create something that might make adults say, 'You know, I loved those stories when I was a kid, but now I see even more in them'."
Today, Scott continues to explore the delights his paintings can bring to young and old alike. He works and lives in Chicago with his wife Patty and son.