Interview: Emily Brooks. Video: Emily Verdouw.
Cam Scott wants you to think about click bait. Really think about it.
If the term makes you want to roll your eyes and blame another headline-grabbing website, he wants you to look a little further, in another direction. Maybe towards yourself.
"I have this feeling that click bait has actually turned into more of a mentality than an online annoyance," the Sydney-based street artist told The Huffington Post Australia while painting his latest mural on Bondi's doorstep.
"If you imagine all of the social media posts we put out there, if people have the ability to publish in the palm of their hands at all times, instead of us biting click bait online, we're now baiting as well, endlessly fishing in this online ocean for clicks.
"There's nothing wrong with casting a line and trying to get a bit of approval or appreciation for whatever you're doing, but hopefully this mural will encourage people to ask why."
The 26-year-old believes digital popularity has become more important than the quality of content, and these values are trickling into social media and the hands at the other end.
"Now that everyone has the ability to put stuff out in the world and publish it everyday, I wish people would use that opportunity to do things of value."
Not Not Cam Scott is not your average guy. He's a guy in love with creating. It doesn't matter what, really. His artwork is not constricted to the walls of Bondi's main drag, or his gallery. It's on finless surfboards and skateboards, in homes and even on his head. Yes, the sunglasses he wore in our interview, he created, too.
"I'm a bit all over the place in general," Scott said, laughing.
Born in Bronte, the street artist first fell in love with street art at the tender age of 12. At first, it was the thrill that lured him in but now it's a compulsion. Everytime he sees an unloved space, he wants to decorate it. Studying art and media at university, Scott found silk screening. A technique he initially hated as it was "all about perfectionism" has now given him a point of difference, as stencils have always been a street artist's companion.
"One day I picked up a silk screen, put it against a wall and used it as a stencil. That worked great so I've been using it ever since," Scott said.
Now mixing hand cut images and digitally altered images placed on silk screens, Scott's work is a "blend digital aesthetics with analog production."
The work, while diverse, is always confined by two things. What he's interested in at the time, and whether its value is worthy of his time. Whether it means something to him, and to you.
"Although it was once just completely all over the place, now it's starting to divide into certain passions," Scott said.
"As I've progressed I've worked out the need to find concurrent strains, so a lot of the street work now is focusing on the intersection between digital life and the real world."
His most prolific work was a 'digital realities' mural in Bondi last year which depicted skeletons praying for likes, comments and follows. Scott initially wanted to use the space to reflect the influence the digital world has had on the art world, but the idea evolved into an embodiment of everyone.
"The reality is that social media taps into such core desires, like really inherent feelings within us all; that need for acceptance, and appreciation and approval," Scott said.
"People put something up and go, 'I hope someone likes that, I hope someone gives me a reward for putting something into the online ether.' I think a lot of people are really hesitant to admit that feeling."
It was the most well-received piece he's created, so "it turns out a lot of people have that feeling."
Creating work that resonates with thousands, well, it doesn't get much more meaningful than that. And ironically, the digital world has only made the once transient world of street art more permanent.
So the message has stuck.