Tommy Scott (’10, Illustration) became an Emmy winner on September 17, but he wasn’t exactly the first to know. “I didn’t find out until the next morning,” said the background and concept designer who worked on the third season of “Rick and Morty.” A cult favorite, the animated science fiction series and first-time nominee won a 2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program for the third episode in the season, Pickle Rick.
“Rick and Morty” premiered in 2013 on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and follows the misadventures of mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith. Tommy designs backgrounds for the series and has worked throughout the industry for the likes of Warner Brothers, Comedy Central, TBS and Disney. He credits fellow alumnus Scott Daly (’10, Illustration) with introducing him to concept design, a course of study that did not exist at CCS when they were students.
That’s about to change, however. In Fall 2019, CCS will become one of the few colleges in the world to educate and prepare students to become concept designers. Housed in Entertainment Arts and developed by chair, alumnus and veteran concept designer Tim Flattery, the program will take a deep dive into the field, including conceptual skills, 2D and 3D execution, and designing hardware, architecture, characters and environments.
But Tommy joins alumni Flattery, Ed Natividad, James Oxford, Warren Manser and others in a deeply competitive industry that he could never have imagined and now can’t imagine leaving. “I thought if we got nominated for anything it would be the Pickle Rick episode, which features some amazing artwork,” he said.
“I’m lucky. I work reasonable hours doing something I love. But it’s a lot of hard work,” he explained, noting that “if I could suggest anything to current students, I would tell them to be willing to give up other things for now — even free time with family and friends — because your focus and diligence will be repaid in the end.”
To view concept designs created by Tommy Scott for “Rick and Morty,” visit tommyscottart.com