Landscape photographer Scott Seiler finds inspiration in community and volunteerism – InForum
FARGO — Fargo-based photographer Scott Seiler is well known in the local art scene for his panoramic images of North Dakota and Minnesota landscapes. His use of lines and geometry is surprisingly emotional and helps bring out the personality of the spaces he captures with his camera.
An artist whose work often requires long stays away, the other side of Seiler is a bit more social. Whether he’s promoting art as part of his daily job in Sanford Health’s marketing department or volunteering with the
sitting on the board of directors
and acting as President of
art, promoting art and being in community are at the heart of his efforts.
As an artist who loves getting to know the community, we wanted to take a moment to learn a bit more about the artist himself. Meet Scott Seiler.
Q: Are there any artists in particular that inspire you?
A: Ansel Adams, a photographer who took great black and white photos. When I was little it was probably his work that got me excited about photography and what you can do. It just amazes me at the equipment they had at the time. Photographers would talk more about the concept of room dimensions: ratios and composition. The composition rules have not changed, but the equipment has changed.
I think some of the early photographers had to do a lot more to get that great shot than we do today. I also think a lot of people sometimes forget about composition, the rules of thirds, and other rules that really help people bring attention to the subject.
Maya Angelou was an inspiration to me later. I think the delivery of the writing is essential. I like to hear him recite his own poetry. There are inflections, pauses, etc., which have a big impact, and the message is delivered better and more succinctly.
Q: Which local artists do you admire?
A: I think they all inspire me. With the more established artists, I love seeing what they’ve been up to over the years and how they’ve grown. With new artists, what intrigues me are the different concepts they come up with. They always have a story to tell about their art. I like this. I’m not a painter – I can’t paint all my life – so I’m intrigued by people who do. How they can paint freehand, what their concept is, how they add layers and it grows. It’s just amazing to me, so I try to absorb as much as I can. Every day I try to learn something new about art. I’m just trying to keep my eyes open.
Q: What’s your favorite way to find creative inspiration?
A: Driving is dangerous for me. It’s my time alone and I’m processing so much information and it’s so visually appealing. I probably get more creative when I’m in the car, because it’s clear, the roads are clear, the space is clear, and I can think better. I come up with a lot of concepts, so when I get to a location to shoot, I try to think, “How can I do this differently? How can I present this landscape in a different way than other photographers have done before? How can I really show the beauty of this landscape?
Q: What do you do when you feel uninspired?
A: A martini? I laugh! Especially today, people are inundated with messages and the brain has been so stretched that sometimes we just need to have some downtime. I think it’s OK to do nothing. Or I could take a walk, ride a bike, or take a drive. These are some of the things I just don’t have to think about. I go there constantly, and this downtime allows me to recuperate, rest and then get back to work.
Q: Is there anything you wish people knew about your art?
A: The most important thing to know is that each of my photos has a story to tell, whether it’s a personal story for me, or a geographic location in the state, or something I came across. When I tell people about my pieces, they like to start a conversation about them. It’s “Why did you do that?” or, “What inspired you?” And most often, they live a similar experience that they will tell about on their side. It’s not just a conversation starter, it’s an interaction, almost a bonding experience of shared stories.
Check out local artist Scott Seiler at
or its website,
Brandi Malarkey, TAP Partner and Community Content Contributor, is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, administrator and occasional artist. She is a collector of dead bugs and good books, and believes that ordinary miracles and small kindnesses have the power to change the world. Learn more about Brandi on her website: