PSFK Conference – Inspiration from commercial art

Interview: Inspiration From Commercial Art – Wendy Dembo
How do artists use their inspiration to develop commercial art for brands and their agencies. Wendy Dembo interview leading artists Scott Campbell and Laurie Rosenwald.

Although listed as an interview, both artists actually gave a presentation about how they worked before being asked a few questions. Both artists work with brands and publications to produce work, with a handmade feel. Take a long look at their sites to see beautiful examples 😉 Most of the presentations were about the work and the process behind the development, so not too much to blog. However, this was definitely one of the most entertaining sessions of the day, Laurie in particular.


  • starts off with a blob, that is the spark. Trying to be creative is as good as trying to be charming. She collects lots of things, make stuff out of the collectibles, use them as inspiration. She does lots of lovely stuff and then keeps seeing it killed by client.
  • She does not think of herself as ‘street’, despite being called that. She’s very refined. There’s a trend for people who are educated to pretend they are not. She’s stopped teacing as students don;t know anything. Education is being given a bad vibe.


  • A tattoo artist, who got into advertising by accident. He’s most well known for his campaign for Camel.
  • he was asked to work on the Victoria Secret redesign. There were 6 artists in the room; the other 5 pulled out computers, he pulled out a notebook. Everything he does is by hand
  • He learnt tattooing from a sign writer, whose craft was/is dying as machine designed signs took over. He’s now moved into watercolours; there’s a commitment there, it’s like tattooing paper. There’s nothing computerised in what he does, everything is unique, from his personality.
  • Working on tattoos, doing 8-10 a day means he works with 8-10 art directors. He’s good at reacting, at figuring out what’s expected and what will look good. He has the ability to present his ideas as their ideas, to get the right level

It’s difficult to capture the energy in a post – you have to go see the art.

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