Marcus Scott – Time to Man up!

4 minute read
Marcus Scott – Time to Man Up 1

My name is Marcus Scott, and I am currently a practising artist studying at Central Saint Martinis college of Art in London. I always find that those who are deeply passionate about their work always tend to have a somewhat complicated relationship with it. For me it is very simple: I need my work to survive.

When I was fifteen years old at school I got into a serious fight with another pupil, and my punishment was to spend the whole afternoon in the Art school. When I went there I met a teacher who is to this day one of my biggest influences and inspirations. She calmly gave me a pen and paper and said “We are going to learn about each other as we draw each other…” we sat there the whole afternoon, and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced before: to be able to sit and create took me out of myself and my own turbulent mind. The Art school quickly became my church and my muse, and every free bit of time I had I would spend there. I felt safe, and protected from the rest of my chaotic life. I never looked back, and to this day my work serves the same purpose: it allows me to process and deal with what I see going on around me. It keeps me out of trouble.

What is your relationship with your own mind?

Sometimes it can be a very difficult. I have always been an extremely anxious person by nature. Those who know me will always joke that when I have nothing to worry about, I will worry about not worrying. I think I find it difficult because due to the life that I led, and some of the things that have happened to me over the years, I tend to have a very negative view of the world. I tend to focus on the bad instead of the good, and when everything is going well I look for conflict where there isn’t any. Despite being confident and outgoing (sometimes perhaps too much so) I will sometimes get extremely depressed, and when things get bad I can lock myself in the house for days on end.

However, I have recently been trying to confront these issues head on personally and in my work. I feel as though one of the amazing things that has happened in recent years is the change in public perception when it comes to mental health, and I am trying hard to use my position as a “man’s man” to talk about these issues as honestly as I can, and display them in my art for any audience to see.

In a strange way, the more honest my work has become, the more it has set me free from myself. I also founded and am the lead curator of the exhibiting London art collective “Boys Don’t Cry UK”, that aims to raise awareness for men’s mental health and male suicide within the creative industry. Our first show was in June of this year at Candid Arts trust in Angel, and our second major show will be held in February 2019 in Soho.

How do you relate to the phrase “Man Up”? what are the negative outcomes of being told such a thing?

I find this phrase extremely interesting, because it is something that every young man has heard at least once growing up. It is almost like a knee jerk response from any parent if their child starts crying: “Come on, man up, it’s not that bad, get a grip.” But the problem is that it produces men that are not in touch with their emotions. They find it embarrassing to cry, and difficult to express how they are feeling when they are down.

I personally went over six years without crying as a teenager for that exact reason – I didn’t want to seem weak. The sad thing is that in reality it’s the exact opposite, and everyone would feel a whole lot better if they allowed themselves to shed a tear every now and then, and be more honest if they are feeling low or out of sorts.

How does your work relate to the theme “The Mind”?

All my work is about how I see the world through my eyes, the things that have happened to me, and the state of my mental health. When you look at my work you are either looking at something that has happened to me, or someone that I know.

In order to make my work I have to go into a place of introspection, and battle my demons in order to expose them to the world. What you see when you look at my work might not be beautiful, pretty or aesthetically pleasing, but it is my reality. Again I come back to this idea of having a strange relationship with my practice…though the things I am showing are at times horrific, the process of getting them out of me is utterly cathartic, and makes me feel happier as a person.

My hope is that others can look at what I do and see that talking about it is the most important thing. I want people to see that they’re not alone, and that although the pain is uncomfortable, it will set you free if you discuss it with the world.

Find Marcus here:

#17 – The Mind – Contributors