Scott Jacobs was the first gallery artist to be officially licensed worldwide by Harley-Davidson in 1993. He sells limited edition prints through art galleries and Harley dealerships in 82 countries and aboard 88 cruise ships (ScottJacobsStudio.com). Jacobs was recently at the Harley-Davidson of Salt Lake dealership where he discussed his unique artistic niche.n
It’s hard to picture the easy-ridin’, bad-ass Harley-Davidson of yesteryear having its own gallery artist. What is the 21st century image?
nMovies like Wild Hogs with John Travolta—that kinda said who everybody is, the new group of bikers. It’s everybody. There’s still that bad element, the 1 percenters out there. Harley-Davidson’s really expanded into worldwide acceptance, I think.
Do you actually live the good life depicted in your art?
nI do live the good life, yes. I drink fine wines, I drive expensive cars. I’ve been very fortunate with my career.
How does an artist who celebrates expensive tastes in his paintings survive a faltering economy?
nA lot of successful people are successful because they know how to deal with the downturns. You cut back on the crazy stuff, cut back on vacations, don’t go out to dinner as much—you just tighten it up. A lot of people haven’t put their priorities in order and that’s where they’ve gotten in trouble. I try not to buy on credit. If I don’t have the money for it, then I can’t afford it.
Does hanging your art bring good luck?
nI used to hang stuff growing up, and some of the stuff I hung, I realized that I actually went on to have myself. I started painting Harleys before I had a Harley. A year after I started painting them, I got my first Harley. I did a painting called “No. 9 Dream.” It was the ninth piece [I did for Harley] and it was my dream bike, which I ended up getting.