Scott Campbell is known to most as a tattoo artist. “I got into tattooing as a way to avoid as many grown up responsibilities as possible. Just listen to loud music and draw little pictures all day,” said Campbell when we spoke with him recently. “Now I find myself with an accidental career.”
Campbell has, however, been broadening his professional scope, adding product design and winemaking to his roster of talents. We caught sight of his artistry for the Master and Dynamic MH40 over-ear headphones, and recently in New York, we attended the release of his new Saved Wines label. There, we got a taste of his new rosé and red wines, which are both packed with Campbell’s signature design-friendly details.
Whitewall spoke with Campbell about designing for labels and wearable art, and how visual art influences him.
WHITEWALL: Tell us a bit about your new wines—the Magic Maker rosé and red.
SCOTT CAMPBELL: I love robust, fruit-forward red wines, so I knew that I wanted a wine with a lot of personality, that could be enjoyed on its own or over a meal. In SAVED Red Blend the lead grape is Malbec, and then we experimented with the best fruit from our growers in Monterey and Santa Barbara counties before settling on a Grenache, Syrah, and Zinfandel blend. The result is full-bodied, ripe, and defined by dark fruit. In rosés, I like a crisp, bone-dry wine with fresh fruit and bright acidity. So, for SAVED “Magic Maker” Rosé, Grenache sets a crisp, complex style that ultimately gives a cool tropical profile with notes of pineapple and guava.
WW: What intrigues you about wine?
SC: I like the challenge of taking something as abstract and intangible as the experience of wine and giving it a name and a personality and a story. As far as mediums go, wine gives an incredible amount of freedom as to how it is interpreted.
WW: Your bottle designs are informed by your tattoo work. What is the starting process for designing a bottle, or for other objects not on the body, opposed to a tattoo?
SC: Same as a tattoo. You decide on a starting place, an inspiration. Then just start drawing and see where it goes. I don’t plan things too much. I think spontaneity is important. Just find a starting place that is sincere, and let it evolve however it wants to.
WW: What is the power of design?
SC: I judge things harshly based on design. Style is a matter of preference, I don’t criticize style. But if something is designed lazily, I assume the interior quality is just as poor. If a product is very carefully and thoughtfully designed and presented, then I can believe that it’s because whomever made the product is proud of it. They took pride in making what’s inside, and they want to put it out into the world in a way that honors all the care that went into making it.
WW: Tell us a bit about how visual art influences you.
SC: I get inspired by music more than visual art. I’ll start a drawing listening to one album, and then switch halfway through, and I can see distinctly in the drawing where the music shifted directions and pulled things in a new direction.