Scott Teplin Thinks Big

There are a few constants in Scott Teplin’s artwork: pink-frosted donuts; confounding, M.C. Escher-like architecture; and a whopping sense of scale. Teplin’s illustrations are big — which makes the amount of detail he packs into each one even more impressive.

Big Canal, his first Kickstarter project, was a five-by-six-foot drawing of a fantastical structure filled with boats, vegetation, and, well, pink-frosted donuts. He followed it up with Big Hospital (four feet by five feet) and Big School (six feet wide), both just as intricate and teeming with visual puns and strawberry-glazed pastries.

“The success and positive feedback from my backers has pushed me to create new, more complex architectural works that I never would have attempted — or even thought possible — without their support,” Teplin says.

Embrace being uncomfortable with new work, and recognize the importance of failure. It’s how you invent new things.

That support has also allowed Teplin to build a full-time career as an artist and stay-at-home dad to his two young sons, ages six and eleven. His sons even contributed to the creation of Big School, Teplin says — an “unforgettable bonding experience” that has spawned more creative collaborations.

His advice to fellow artists hoping to build a sustainable creative career? “Never stop working — though if you must, always have your sketchbook on hand. Never stop pushing yourself to try new ideas or techniques outside your comfort zone. Embrace being uncomfortable with new work, and recognize the importance of failure. It’s how you invent new things, and it paves the way for you to travel in surprising new directions.”

Explore Teplin’s latest illustration for Kickstarter Gold — Alphabet City, Literally — right over here.