Studio Update: June 2009

Posted by Scott

A reader wrote in today asking why I haven’t posted on process or the day-to-day stuff much recently and after reading his email I realized he was right, I haven’t really been on top of that over the past couple months. This is partly due to the fact that most of the stuff I’ve been working on won’t be made public for a while and partly due to things being a bit overwhelming lately. As much as I enjoy it, running this blog has been a challenge for me at times, trying to balance getting work done and also talking about it. But even when I’m in the thick of it, it’s always nice to pop my head up and write an update and perhaps provide a little insight into the daily grind over here at the studio. So from now on I’ll make a better effort to post more often on the stuff that’s going on around here. So here’s the first installment, the studio update for June 2009.

The picture above is of Alex (the one and only ISO50 intern) in the upstairs work area which we use for printing, photography, and any other random tasks that don’t fit into the dungeon below which houses the music studio and main design systems. Alex has been prepping things for the new Epson 9900 which is finally all put together (pictured to the left). It’s scheduled to be commissioned today when the team from Meridian comes out to get it online. Once that’s up and running we’ll be able to do large format stuff so be on the lookout for some very big prints soon. Alex is also working on a very detailed article on color calibration which we’ve been sorting out for a while now and which just seems to keep growing in scope. But it will be worth the wait when it’s done, I promise!

As for new work, I’ve been locked downstairs working on the new Tycho album along with a few new posters which you will start to see coming out over the next couple months. It’s sort of been a rough few months transitioning into getting-shit-done mode. Putting together the Coastal Brake 12″ (due out in August) sort of wiped me out and then a long stretch of poorly timed traveling really put me in a bad spot as far as motivation is concerned. But after some time off I was able to get back into it over the past few weeks and the new work has been flowing pretty well. It’s nice to step away from things for a bit (even if not by choice), when I get back to it I always find myself seeing things from a different perspective and appreciating the process a little more.

30 Comments Leave A Comment


texas says:

June 10, 2009 at 3:09 am

good stuff. cant wait for the new stuff.. i keep feeling 09 is gonna be a good year for music/design like 07+08 were. at least i hope so.

on a side note i think ill be at that VHCLE thing in sac on 25/07.. any thoughts or expectations on that whole event? dont think ive seen a blog post on it yet.


Harley Turan says:

June 10, 2009 at 3:49 am

Can’t wait to see some more shots of your workspaces! The monthly update is a great idea, it’s nice to read some personal updates alongside posts of other designers’ work. Also glad to hear that you’re releasing a 12″ of Coastal Brake, can’t wait to get my hands on that. Keep up the good work.


Bas says:

June 10, 2009 at 4:03 am

I can understand that it’s hard to keep the motivation up. Especially when your fully independent: it gives you freedom, but music isn’t something you can force; only for a small part. Same goes with design, of course.
You’ve done a good job at taking some time off.
Good luck in the near future.


Lee says:

June 10, 2009 at 6:56 am

Can’t wait to see what comes out of that large format printer. Thanks for sharing this, I’m always fascinated by artists’ studios.


Nathaniel says:

June 10, 2009 at 6:58 am

Thank you for this!

This is just what I meant in my email (even if it wasn’t mine you were writing about!) truly insightful…

Looking forward to all your new work/music, and an idea of what the ‘dungeon’ looks like!


RA_OUL says:

June 10, 2009 at 8:35 am

Thanks for the update. It’s nice to see where you guys are and see the behind the scenes stuff. The studio looks awesome. I’m really anxious to see the large posters from the Epson and I can’t wait for the new music.


Rent says:

June 10, 2009 at 9:25 am

yes I’m very excited for larger posters and new music. thanks for keeping us updated and the workspace looks amazing!


Christopher Meeks says:

June 10, 2009 at 9:50 am

Hey Scott,

As a visual person, and a web-reader, do you ever develop visual personas for things and people that have no basis in fact?

I think I just starting realizing how much I depend on my imagination to fill in the gaps. Your studio (and Alex, for that matter) don’t look quite like I expected. I’d love to see some more photos.

For example, you get natural light in your space? I just assumed it was always nighttime due to the site design. Get my drift?

Anyway, I just think it is funny when you have a perception, and your perception is a little off because you entirely made it up.

Like how Cameron Moll is a really good looking guy, not an old grandfather that makes his own decorative frilly bits.



Jakub says:

June 10, 2009 at 10:01 am

That printer looks like a monster with crazy teeth, be careful Alex

Nice update Scott, that space shapes up real nice


Scott says:

June 10, 2009 at 11:22 am

Thanks everyone, I’ll post on the music studio soon.

that’s just the upstairs where Alex works a few days a week, I do all my work downstairs which is a half basement with very little natural light. I actually don’t like it much, I used to have a big airy warehouse space with skylights in Sacramento and I felt like it was much more inspiring and conducive to work.


_hnd says:

June 10, 2009 at 11:44 am

huge prints! sounds so great, can’t wait to look at that.

and maybe you can upload some info about color calibration and some things like this, it will be so interesting n_n.

mx city.


Don G. says:

June 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

Even though you may struggle with the updating at times, even mundane glimps of your daily grind is interesting. The setup you have running with design and music is SO inspiring, and I’m sure I’m not the only one reading these lines, who would like to have a similar situation working for them. So I guess my input is this: Even though you may think what you’re doing at times is dull or not worthy of sharing, I’m betting most readers would disagree and love the updates!


Felipe says:

June 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I like Chris’ comments about mentally picturing your workspace. it’s very common to imagine something completly different in your mind, that when you actually see what it looks like in real life, it’s like something’s wrong.

I love workspace pictures, I like to see how everyone molds their environments to meet their needs and build up a comfortable nest. my own workspace is based on pure mess. I feel comfortable working after about an hour into it because that’s when I’m already surrounded by open magazines, books, drawings, all kinds of pencils and pens.

Scott, you’ve been working exclusively on Tycho stuff? either way I would love to see how your workspace looks like.

thanks for another great post!


Haig Larsen says:

June 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Cool space! What exactly do you do for a living? On a day-to-day basis. I know you’re a designer, but your portfolio doesn’t have any recent work in it and it’s hard to tell.


Scott says:

June 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I make my living from music and the ISO50 shop. I don’t do freelance design anymore except in rare cases where I really feel strongly about the project or it just seems like it would be a lot of fun. I would love to be able to take on more projects, but I just don’t have the time anymore.

But I do create new work, just not for clients, mostly for my own album covers and things like that. The reason I haven’t updated the portfolio is because I choose to treat it like an album, I don’t want to incrementally update it with new work as I finish it, I want to update it all at once later down the road.


MMC says:

June 10, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Nice post, Scott. It’s a nice change-up from the usual, not that the usual design/music-related posts aren’t interesting :)

Can’t wait to see what you produce with that printer. We had an older model similar to it back in art school. It was a “gift” from the photography dept. as they got a newer, updated model. It was a ton of fun and could produce some unreal prints, once we got the profiles down.



Christopher Meeks says:

June 11, 2009 at 8:40 am

I didn’t know you weren’t an active freelance designer, Scott. That’s awesome that a personal web-store and your music keeps you healthily afloat.

I’m a painter in Omaha, not a musician. It’s not working out so well ;) Maybe the Faint can give me some advice.


p.s. An interesting experiment for any blogger with a decent following (which would exclude me) could be to have a short post asking their audience what they thought about them, visually.


“What do you think my house looks like? Or do I even live in a house?”
“How big is my family? Do I have a fashion sense?”
“Which college football team do I love so much I actually have become dumber as a result?” (Notre Dame)


StigC says:

June 11, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Hi Scott.

Nice update. I think it’s very impressive that you can actually make a living from your music and the ISO shop. And it’s inspiring for people – designers or musicians – when we get these personal updates, and get an insight into the world of a guy who has actually managed to “go pro” in two different artistic forms.

So please keep them coming.

And I can’t wait to be able to buy larger prints!


Jeff says:

June 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Hi Scott. Ever think about doing a post cataloging your equipment you use for Tycho? I’ve picked up tidbits here and there, but have always been curious – as I love your music.