Our biweekly City Superheroes column highlights the powerful figures walking among us — with the help of a (usually local) illustrator. This week’s pairing: writer and filmmaker Shaun Scott and visual artist Kyle Bolton.
Given Name: Shaun Scott
Other Aliases: Mr. Scott
Superpowers: Can see over any horizon with the help of his golden lantern; elemental endurance
First Appearance: Summer of 2008 when Scott won a $3,000 grant from the Office of Arts & Culture. The money paid for his film The Seat of Empire.
Local Haunts: Flowers, The Elliot Bay Book Company, light rail
Archenemies: Laziness (“If you don’t work, you’re basically fucked.”)
Even Heroes Have Heroes: Jess Spear, Russell Wilson
What Small Object Holds Great Meaning: “I have a watch I got that same summer of 2008 that has two faces on it and for some reason it’s always had a reassuring effect – helping me to be super time conscious. If I ever feel I’m wavering, it reminds me that we’re only given so much time to achieve what we’ve set out for ourselves and it’s probably time to get to work, no matter what hour it is.”
Origin Story: Born in Queens, New York where he lived the first ten years of his life, Scott moved to Seattle in the mid-1990s. He studied history at the University of Washington, graduating in 2008, and started making films: features, shorts, branding videos for non-profits and music videos. He began writing nonfiction pieces in 2012, which he continues to do today.
By studying the changing political tides, global temperatures and public temperaments, Scott began to develop phenomenal endurance to the rages and ranges of history. He has sure-footedness against the waves, an ability to deflect great heat and a deep lung capacity when he needs to hold his breath. During his travels, Shaun was given a golden lantern by an old sage that, when combined with the energy stored in his own eyes, allows him to see great distances. This aids his work as a social justice writer and a producer of films.
His Philosophy: “There’s this great quote where Bruce Lee talks about how important flow is to him. He basically says, ‘When you’re fixed and you can only look at yourself as solid … then you can only fit in so many crevices and you become very finite. But when you get to the point where you think of yourself as water, all of a sudden there are places you can reach that you didn’t think you could.’ As a writer, one of the things that’s important to me creatively is that words flow, so there’s that resonance back to water again.”
What’s Next: His ongoing “Faded Signs” column in City Arts and an upcoming book, Millennials and the Moments that Made Us (The Cultural History of the U.S. from 1984-Present).
About the Illustrator: Kyle Bolton has been drawing since age four. A graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, he has worked for a variety of game companies creating 2D and 3D animations. He currently draws and lives in West Seattle with his wife Jamie and their dogs, Copper and Zeus.
To see all our City Superhero series, go here.