We really admire the folks over at Modern Dog and are excited to help Designspeaks host them Wednesday night for their first lecture in more than three years, at the Gibson Show Room just around the corner from Ace Hotel Seattle. Co-founder Robynne Raye spoke with us about her work (see above), her love of cake and her unapologetic plagiarism of her studio mates’ ideas. Come by and get a glimpse into their mystical land of fun, and enjoy complimentary small batch Pacific Northwestern wine and beer, hors d’oevres and treats from Portland’s Alma Chocolate.
So, Modern Dog has done work for some major companies like Coca-Cola, Target and Disney. Do you ever do tiny projects for free, like birthday cards for friends and signs about which sponge to use in the kitchen?
Yes, for some reason other designers keep asking us to do their wedding invites, so enough already. And if you’ve ever designed a wedding invite you know what I am talking about.
Visual art as a means to communicate information is a pretty powerful marketing tool with a complicated lineage in political propaganda ranging from the revolutionary to the downright evil. What drew you to this kind of work, and how does it feel to create images seen by so many?
I’m probably just a typical liberal Seattlite who happens to have access to paper and ink. So it’s kind of easy to mouth off about stuff I don’t like, although I am already dreading the next election as I anticipate lots of mudslinging on both sides. In the past, I’ve created political messages that benefit a cause I believe in, so that part always feels good.
Where do you gather inspiration for your work, and how do you keep all your ideas organized?
I look at my studio mates’ sketchbooks when they are not looking and steal their ideas (wink wink).
Inspiration comes from the most unlikely places. We are likely to bounce ideas off each other so I could never imagine working by myself. And you would never ask if I was organized if you saw the Modern Dog studio (but strangely my home is very clean and organized, I’m just like this at work).
There’s a rumor going around that you are into gardens and cakes — in fact, you have been dubbed the “Cake Queen.” Tell me more.
Even when cake is bad it’s still pretty good. I have 26 Japanese maples in my garden. I love peonies. Enough said.