Makers ~ Seth McCombs ~ Warwick

Artist’s name: Seth McCombs
Shop name: What's Out There?
Website: www.ArtOfSethMcCombs.com
Twitter: @oldsaltyseth
Facebook: Seth McCombs
Instagram: @old_salty_seth


1. Tell us about your work
I write and draw and I love both for different reasons. Art wise, I'm a cartoonist at heart. I like making these big nautical pieces but my main influences are probably Herge and Bill Watterson. With writing, I can dig into anything. I like weird concepts and genre trappings but I ultimately just wanna get into a character's head and write from there. Or if there's an excuse to write in a rhyme scheme I always have a great time with that.



2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
Well, I named my publishing company McAwesome Press because I was hoping my book would be awesome. When I filled out the tax forms for the business and had to say what my job title was I wrote "Captain". That's legal documentation, folks.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I sort of danced around committing to it for a really long time. Finally, a couple years ago, I agreed to do an art show at the restaurant I worked in. I knew what I did would have to be good enough that I could deal with seeing it every day at work for months. I pulled out a rhyming story I had written called Old Salty Dog and made some drawings that. When I saw it all together I thought it would make a good children's book. I used kickstarter.com to raise the money to print it and my life has been different ever since.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Most of my art stems from a deep fascination with animals, space and especially marine life. I have a boundless interest in this kind of stuff and I think, by putting fantastical creatures in Narragansett Bay, I'm starting to express that fascination. As far as writing goes, I draw from everywhere. Any time I'm stuck for an idea I can read something; an article, a book, anything and something will bubble up. Right now I'm working on a science fiction story and if I stop and reflect on it I can trace all of the concepts I'm throwing out to articles and podcasts from the last year or so.



5. What’s your favorite item to create?
Whatever I'm working on at the moment. I know that's what everyone says but it's the truth. When a piece I've made is hanging up somewhere I don't have much attachment to it anymore. It's the making of the thing, solving the problem of the moment. Whether it's having a character do something you didn't expect, learning how to draw something you've never draw before, mixing just the right color or just finding the perfect couple of rhyming words to express what you're trying to say. I've just been writing some sketches to be performed at Providence Improv Guild and that has been a blast. I've never written sketches before and it's really fun to write entirely towards making yourself laugh.

6. What’s your best seller?
Either the book, Old Salty Dog: A Rhode Island Folk Tale, or the small print of the giant lobster with the quahog skiff.



7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
My whole life.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
The two extremes, I guess. The city and the ocean. Providence still feels like home to me and there's so much awesome stuff happening. The weirdest, coolest, most exciting art and music I've ever encountered all happens in Providence and people are doing it just because they want to or they need to. There's not a lot of commercialism here. I also love being close to the ocean, of course. I grew up spending a lot of time on, in and around Narragansett Bay and even though the scuba diving might be easier and prettier in warmer places I still get a huge thrill out of exploring the underwater places I day-dreamed about as a kid.

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Narragansett Town Beach, Providence Improv Guild, Armageddon Shoppe (for records and to find out where a good show is happening) and Chez Pascal.

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Just make stuff! Don't think about it, don't analyze it, don't worry about how you're going to monetize it, don't worry about whether people will think it's cool. All that stuff can be worked out later. Just make stuff! Be honest, don't be fake. All you really have is your own point of view.

11. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
I really loved last year's biography of Elon Musk and I'm looking for something equally inspiring to read. If your readers think of anything, let me know!

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