SpearTalks: Scott Rench

Scott Rench (aka: Yosoh) has the kind of story we like to read about. An accidental designer and an unconventional artist, Scott fell into his current jobs in advertising and ceramics by chance, when a friend introduced him to a little program called Photoshop. Now, over 15 years later, Scott splits his time between developing effective ad campaigns for clients like Sony, creating shirts (and sinks!) for companies like Threadless (whom you no doubt remember from a recent SpearTalks), and accompanying his art to places like Art Basel in Miami Beach.

Lord knows it’s hard enough to do one thing well, so the fact that Scott has experienced so much success within all of his occupations — particularly after adding fate into the equation — is no small feat. Here, Mr. Rench discusses his past, his present, and how it was that the one led so favorably to the other.

JoshSpear.com: Before you met Larry Geiger, where was your life headed?

Scott Rench: That’s really hard to say, but my guess is a very different path. In graduate school I really struggled with whether to focus my creative efforts on painting or ceramics. I found painting to be easier but thought if I needed to pay rent it would be a whole lot easier to sell coffee cups then $800 paintings. Sometimes the easier road is not necessarily the better one. I suspect I probably would have gone back to my painting roots. I have always been an image maker and the idea of making brown pots has never really appealed to me.

JS: Walk us through the time-line of your life, post-Larry Geiger and up to today…

SR: Well, as I mention on my site, I met Larry in 1992, and he opened my eyes to the computer as a creative tool. I was blown away by what Photoshop could do. I could never get on the computers at school cause the Mac lab was rather small and design students were always waiting for a computer. When I did manage to get a computer I could feel the eyes burning a hole through the back of my head. It was not until one Christmas break that I had uninterrupted access to the Mac. The chair of the department gave me and my friend the key to the building. So we spent about 15 hours a day there, sometimes in coats and gloves with no heat. (more…)

Parabol Magazine

My sources say it’s happening in Berlin, where the affordable, open-minded and -armed German city is serving hype by the bucketful to its loyal creative class fanbase. However, it is my opinion that the city, though nice enough, deserves less back-patting then the creatives calling Berlin home themselves — because it’s their blood giving the old city its new pulse. Case in point: Parabol Magazine, a newspaper format art zine, opens like a newspaper. I know that sentence doesn’t come across as a particularly brilliant pairing of words, but imagine it from a visual perspective and you’ll see what it means: People hiding behind huge pages of art in public places; an hour-long installation on a park bench or in front of a coffeshop; a better-looking decoupage project (uh, for the kids, I mean). Parabol has more to offer than it’s noteworthy size (like famous “issue curators”) so hop on over for the full rundown…then hit me back so we can plan our relocation.

Talk Shop Fridays: Your Workspace

I — for the most part — adore working at home. I am lucky to have a big space, by New York city standards anyhow, all to myself, but I still lack a dedicated office space. My dining room does double duty as my office around eighty percent of the time, but I’m okay with that; I get a decent amount of light, I rarely feel stifled and everything I need is within reach. A life of freelancing took some getting used to, and while I found distractions (like television, noisy kids off school during the summer, the desire to bake instead of work) a bit rough at first to zone out, once I dedicated a space to work in, things were a million times easier for me, and my productivity and ability to multitask grew exponentially. I’ve included a full list of my workplace staples after the jump, but tell me this: what kind of environment do you need to work in to be the most productive you can be?

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Eames Hacks @ DWR Philly

My first thought upon seeing the Eames hacks created by ID students from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia today was “OMG, sacrilege!” but then, after mulling it over, I was pretty amused. I mean, that high chair is totally hot (and would fit in with one’s set of Eames chairs purchased pre-breeding), and the toilet seat (although it may inspire lingering toilet-stays) is clean and dare I say, sophisticated. The project is “about breaking the status surrounding high design objects. Through physically invasive alterations, these once iconic, elite, forms are liberated from their old, restrained image. The project is not a critique of the Eames, but rather a fulfillment of their original ideals.” If you want to check them out for yourself, they’re at the Philadelphia Design Within Reach studio right now.

Ask Joshua Davis

We generally keep our SpearTalks participants under wraps until the day the interview is actually published, but we’re so stoked to have Joshua Davis (ie: PrayStation creator, Apple Pro alum, Dreamless.org founder, Flash and Web-design deity) on board that we’ve decided to add a special section for questions submitted by you guys. If you have any burning questions, you can submit them here, as a comment (they won’t be approved; we’ll just compile them and send them along), use the spankin’ new tip submission widget at the top right of this page, or you can email them to us. Get them in by Sunday, then stay tuned for what’s sure to be one of the most inspiring and insightful SpearTalks to date.

Cortes Mirror

Juxtaposing classic and contemporary styles seems to be all the rage these days; everyone wants their chance to do a modern take on a classic piece or pattern. UK Furniture manufacturer Viable has an interesting twist on this new theme with designer Charles Trevelyan’s Cortes Mirror — but you’ll have to look it up on Viable’s all-flash (ie: no-link-love) site.

Trevelyan’s design hides an ornate gilt frame inside a lacquered MDF box. The result is a mirror that looks like a simple, contemporary black box from a distance, but then reveals the bright golden contrast of the renaissance style frame hiding within as the viewer gets closer. The MDF box is also lit from within to give a soft glow proving, in this case, that beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder…it’s also where the beholder stands.

Tithi Kutchamuch: my sweets

While it’s true that enjoying the new Britney Spears single and eating an entire chocolate bar are both examples of guilty pleasures, at least doing the former doesn’t have an effect on that gut of yours. Thanks to Tithi Kutchamuch the act of inhaling an entire cocoa confection just got a little more guilt-free. The London-based designer’s my sweets collection maintains all the the deliciousness of the candy bar you’re used to, but with decreased amounts of fat, sugar, and cholesterol, amongst other things. How does she pull this off without losing at least some of the taste? Simple…she loses some of the bar. Each sweet snack has a particular design or shape cut out of the bar which manages to cut the amount of chocolate consumption anywhere from 20 to 30 percent per bar. Now that you don’t have to worry about your waist, maybe you should focus on improving that musical taste of yours.

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