At some point during childhood, most of us become fascinated with drawing. From drawing our homes
to animals to sunsets and more, we all do our best to let our imagination flow through our pencil onto paper. For most of us, it’s a mere passing dream that one day we would be a great artist. For a select few, however, that dream becomes a reality.
We recently sat down with one of those talented individuals, Scott LoBaido. “Citizen Scott,” as he
is commonly referred to, began his art career in the second grade and hasn’t looked back since. Mostly recognized for his three- dimensional American Flag designs, LoBaido is a true patriot at heart who’s changing the landscaping of America, one flag at a time.
When did your interest in art begin?
It kind of came naturally. I remember being in second grade art class during Halloween and everybody had to draw a haunted house. I remember being so into my work that the whole class gathered around my desk.
Why do you gravitate toward work about our country?
Do you have a message about America you are trying to convey? That’s the best question I’ve ever heard because it’s the one people ask me the most and that’s the answer I always want to give. People don’t understand, especially in the art world.
I’ve flirted with the Mona Lisa, it was amazing. When I saw it, I cried. I saw the Sistine Chapel and I lied on the ground and stared at it with awe. I went under the ropes and touched the Statue of David. But my favorite work of art is The Star Spangled Banner. It is the most recognized, most powerful, most meaningful work of art in the world. No other is more recognizable.
I’m taking [the flag] and promoting and spreading its beauty. Many others don’t see it as a work of art, but what is a work of art anyway? It’s something that brings out passion and is powerful.
Your website says you want to “show the extraordinary in the most seemingly ordinary places.” Can you elaborate
In 2015 I did my third 50-state tour, driving around every state painting American flags. This time around I did VFW American Legion Halls. Our veterans are finally getting their due. These are the people who lose their limbs and lives so I can have the freedom to paint. That’s why I’m so blessed and really respect these
men and women, because they allow me
the freedom to do whatever I want to test the boundaries of the First Amendment.
How do you define beauty?
God is the greatest artist because no artist can paint a sunset like God does. God also created the most beautiful work of art, which is the woman. Women are beautiful.
What was the best advice you ever received?
I had a fire in my studio in 1998; it was an old building and someone left a heater on downstairs. I lost everything — all my artwork, my writings, my inventions, my sculptures, my photographs … everything! It was horribly devastating. The greatest advice I got from that situation, which was very rough, was when someone told me that the same thing happened to the great artist Norman Rockwell. He said, “This is a blessing because you’re going to change your art, your life, and your work. This is
a cleansing.” So that got me through.
What did you achieve, gain, and learn from the 50 States Tour?
To fight political correctness and to try to make things right according to what I think is right. I did three flag-painting tours in 2006, 2011, 2015, and I will do it for the rest of my life.
When you see a flag on the pole everywhere you become numb to it, but if you drive by this old, little, gray VFW building and you’re a kid, you don’t look at that building or the flag in the same way. When you see a three-dimensional piece of art with nine different colors of reds and blues popping out at you, it makes you say, “That’s beautiful – what is that big flag?”
Through my travels, I have I learned that people are really awesome and that I don’t need to leave the US to experience all the organic cultures of the world because they’re all right here. That’s why the flag is so impactful, because it’s the only symbol that represents the melting pot of the US like no other place in the world.
Who or what inspires you?
Many things inspire me, including my family and the men and women of the armed forces who have stepped up to the plate to defend our freedom.
How do you want to be remembered?
That’s a good question because I am an artist, but I’m also a true patriot. I guess a patriot artist.
Photography: Casey Smith