portrait of Scott Onstott in 2012

Photo by Richard Trueman

I was educated as an architect at the University of California at Berkeley and worked in a number of prominent architecture and engineering offices in San Francisco in the first chapter of my career. Computer aided design was young during the early 1990s and I discovered that I had a natural talent for it.

After a short while I missed the collegiate atmosphere so I started tutoring private students in AutoCAD, 3ds max, and Photoshop. Then I got some part time gigs teaching courses at several universities in the SF bay area and ended up leaving the architecture firm where I was working to take a teaching job at the Academy of Art University where I taught 38 semester courses over 6 years.

Around the turn of the millennium I started editing books and ended up tech-editing two dozen books. At this time I enjoyed being paid to learn! This experience expanded my knowledge not only of software but of the publishing industry and exactly how technical books are written. The next step I took was to write my own books of which I have authored or co-authored 9 books to date.

Along the way I have written numerous tips and tricks articles at AECbytes, and continue to write a column called Beyond Photoshop in Photoshop User Magazine (I’ve written 55 articles at last count). I’ve given talks at various conventions and done consulting for many companies on AutoCAD, Photoshop, 3ds max, and SketchUp.

I now live on a rather remote island called Cortes in British Columbia with my family. Although it’s only 100 miles (160 km) from Vancouver, it takes 3 car ferries and all day to get to our temperate-rainforest paradise which has the physical size of San Francisco but is home to all of 1000 people.

After studying crop circles, I started making digital art whose themes include these mysterious glyphs, number in itself (math and numerology), number in space (sacred geometry and architecture), number in time (musical principles), and number in space and time (astronomy and astrology).

After moving to Cortes I did a lot of reading and growing as a person. I had a series of epiphanies which resulted in me taking a new direction in 2009. It took me more than a year of full time work to create an epic documentary film called Secrets in Plain Sight, a densely-packed series about esoteric patterns found in art, architecture, and urban design. Volume 1 runs 3hrs43min and is free to watch online. This was very well received and has brought me a lot of joy and online friendship. Consequently I’ve done many interviews about the film.

Secrets in Plain Sight Volume 2 is my latest feature documentary film, a continuing mind-expanding exploration. Please join me!

Personal note: I was born without both of my legs below the knee and without my right hand due to fibrous amniotic bands that entrapped my limbs in utero. I’ve walked on artificial legs all my life but you probably wouldn’t know it if you met me! This situation has given me a different perspective on life for which I am grateful. My defective vehicle helped me to see at an early age that the body is just that, a vehicle for the soul’s journey. Read more on my perspective in this post.