Josh Scott, where do you call home?
J: Dublin, Ohio...suburb of Columbus
What got you into motorcycles? Did you find them or did they find you?
J: I had mini bikes, dirt bikes and quads as a kid. After high school and through college I didn't think about them that often. Then I moved to Southern California when I was 24. While I was living there, my older brother and my dad both bought street bikes. I heard about this and it peaked my interest in them again. I was also living in a place where you can ride year-round! I researched what I wanted and then made the mistake of buying new. In 2004, I bought an '03 Honda 750. Soon after buying it, I found a forum online where guys were chopping the shit outta the bikes. Hardtailing them and stretching the tanks, etc. This really got the fire started and it has never gone out.
How long have you been painting and when did it start colliding with motorcycles and helmets?
J: I think it was around 2005 that I attempted my first real paint job on my bike. I was living in an apartment in Marina Del Rey, CA and I turned my balcony into a paint booth! I bought a large compressor from Home Depot and returned it soon after I finished the job. Looking back on it, I should have been arrested. Fast forward two years and I am living in Colorado and working at a small custom bike shop. I became friends with the owner who built XS650 chops from the frame to the paint in house. He taught me a lot about sheet metal and metal fab in general and that is mainly what I did. But I was always interested in the paint side of it. I would watch him paint simple one or two color jobs. This helped me understand the process from primer to polishing. I started painting helmets in my free time at his shop in early 2009 and sold them one at a time. It all snowballed from there. In 2010 my family and I moved to Ohio and I never went looking for a job. The helmets were selling like hot cakes so I kept pushing forward with it and pushing myself to learn more and become better. I also started painting tins at this time.
What are some of the most challenging things for you, when it comes to painting?
J: Basically how labor intensive it is. If you have never painted, you have no idea. Whether it is brush work or spraying. The shit takes a LONG time and a LOT of intense concentration. I push myself pretty hard so I think that adds to it as well. I have a deep respect for the painters out there who are good at what they do.
What other forms of art do you enjoy or are dabbling in? Anything you love more than painting?
J: I have been playing guitar on and off for 22 years! Fuck, I sound old!!!! Hahahahaha I played in a band that gigged regularly for 2 years while living in Southern California. It comes and goes for me. I was real intense with it for about 6 years and was also into home recording. I own one acoustic/electric guitar right now which was a gift from my wife on our first Christmas together 11 years ago. It's a Takamine.
What are some of your favorite motorcycles you have ever owned and/or still own? What makes it so special to you?
J: When I was 10 or so, I rode an old Suzuki 100. I don't know the model but it had darker green paint and chrome fenders I think. Early to mid-Seventies if I had to guess. That bike probably made the biggest impression on me. I dumped it quite a bit but that comes with the territory and makes you respect it that much more. Also, the first bike I ever built from the ground up was my Yamaha XS650. I now own my first Harley which is a 1972 Ironhead. I am in love with this bike.
Do you have a place of serenity that you like to ride to or does painting give you that sense of peace?
J: I like riding out into the country here in Ohio. I grew up in the country and will soon be living out there again. Not a whole lot of people running around and that's how I like it! Painting also gives me a sense of peace. I try to remind myself to enjoy it as much as I can because it is very rare for someone to be able to make a living doing something they have always loved to do.
What are some of your favorite things about motorcycles, the community and the industry?
J: The FREEDOM to do whatever the hell you want . . . almost! Normal guys like myself get to start and run small businesses. When you run a business, you get to put it out there into the world. You get to show everyone what it's all about and what you are all about through your work. You get to put together rides and runs and campouts and (almost) no one can tell you what to do or that you are doing it right or wrong. I also like to see the concentration on craftsmanship and quality on a daily basis. I follow some amazing artists and craftsmen on Instagram. I love seeing something and just thinking, "WOW!"
How do your ideas generate into reality? Is it a line you first draw and go on from there, does it come off the top of your head, or is it carefully mapped out via computer?
J: I have always steered clear of the computer when it comes to getting my ideas down. I usually sketch with a pencil. When it comes to laying out tins, most of that is a simple idea that grows into whatever it wants. I just get to say when it's finished. I like that about art and songwriting. A simple idea gets out of control real fast and when it comes to a screeching halt, you sit back and think "how the hell did that just happen!" And most of the time you really dig it!
If you could jump on your bike and go anywhere right this moment, where would you go and why?
J: Mountains or Ocean. I don't care which and I don't care where. I would prefer CA or CO since I lived both places and loved every second of it but I also like discovering new places.
What are some of your favorite memories that painting and motorcycles have giving you?
J: My Dad visited me in CO a few years back. We rented him a Harley and I rode my rigid Honda 750. We did a giant 250 mile loop that day up through the mountains and along the Arkansas River. We encountered rain, high winds, and finally sunshine. That was a good day! As for painting, I think being a part of the Oil and Water 2 show was special. It is put on by the US vs. THEM dudes and I was even filmed and in the trailer for the show. I painted a tank for the show and went with my wife and a couple of good friends. There were some great artists in that show and I am proud I was asked to be a part of it. Thanks Mike Glory!
Who are some of your biggest influences or inspirations?
J: My wife is the first. She is a special person and not just because she is my wife but because she truly is. She lives her life differently than most people I know and encounter. She has never changed the way she lives in the 12 years I have known her. She has always supported whatever I wanted to do without hesitation and her positive attitude and beautiful smile is inspiring to me. Booyeah! Gettin' lucky when she reads this!
As for painters and bike builders there are too many to list. Instagram has opened my eyes to so many talented people around the world in our community/scene/industry.
Is painting your full time gig or a goal to make it eventually the only thing in your life, or do you find it as an escape and better to keep as a passion?
J: Painting has been my full-time (or part-time) gig for the past 6 years. I think the fact that it is my job really pushes me to get better and stronger at what I do. People pay me money for what I do so I better give them the best that I can. I think if it was a hobby, I would not be disciplined enough to do it almost every day. Over the past 6 years I have regularly made it a goal to tell myself that each job I do is for someone and that someone is gonna (hopefully) cherish it. I know when I have someone make me something I truly love it. I spend my money on it and I expect it to be awesome! As of right now, I have painted or helped paint 1,277 helmets. Some customers buy a few helmets at a time but for the most part it is one person buying one helmet and I want that one helmet to be the coolest they have ever seen or worn.
Any big goals or projects you are currently working on you would like to share?
J: Not motorcycle related but still cool is the fact that I traded my beloved XS650 chop for a 1950 Ford 2-door Sedan (shoebox) project. This is my 2nd such car. The first I owned for 3 years. I plan on building this one into a convertible.
Is there any other hobbies or interesting things about yourself that some may not know?
J: I like taking baths lately. I am 38 years young. I exercise my 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms and I think that it is extremely important that this right never be taken away. You see what happens around the world when citizens cannot arm themselves. Whether you like guns or not, it is in our Constitution and should be protected at all costs.
One time I shit my pants racing my bike home from a friend's house when I was 11 years old. It feels good to get that off my chest. It was embarrassing and liberating at the same time.
Hahahhahhha. I don't know where to go from there. ahhah
Any life mottos or codes you try to live by?
J: Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try
No hell below us Above us only sky
Imagine all the people Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too
Imagine all the people Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one
I think John was onto something here.
What is your ultimate go-to flavor of ice cream?
J: Coconut, if it is available. Mint Choco Chip, if not.
Anyone you would like to thank or give shout outs to?
J: My awesome Wife! My incredible kids! My family and friends!
THANKS to Mikey Arnold, Tyler, Kyle and the Lowbrow crew and Jesse at Gasbox for the invite. I am honored. THANKS to Bill and Mcgoo at Biltwell. If it wasn't for their helmets, I would not be doing what I am doing right now.
Make sure to come see Josh's skills at Fuel Cleveland on May 9th and if you want to check out more of Josh's paint work go here: www.digthelid.com or on his Instagram www.instagram.com/oldschoolhelmets