From Sharon Butler’s interview with Scott Daniel Ellison for Two Coats of Paint:
TCOP: Was there a period of experimentation in the early days? What kinds of imagery were you initially drawn to?
SDE: I was drawn to outsider artists and self-taught artists as I felt some sort of affinity with them. At the same time I felt outside of that circle as well-having been to college for literature and having some aspirations to be an artist that wanted people to see my work in a gallery. I never really went though any period of experimentation other than I wanted to limit myself and refine, refine, refine until I developed my own style that I was happy with. Intuitively I did a lot of trial and error.
Since childhood I’ve been drawn to horror imagery, heavy metal imagery, wildlife imagery and other images from my working-class upbringing in upstate New York. I think, when speaking of art, it was a small group of photographers that really influenced me-Arbus, Meatyard and Roger Ballen. I like awkward, uncomfortable images. I also seemed to emulate the compositions of these photographers.