designboom (DB) talked to scot bendall (SB), co-founder and creative director of la boca about the studio’s prolific output and his personal influences.



DB: please could you tell us briefly about how you came to develop your style?SB: we’ve never consciously set out to develop or emulate a particular style. over the years it’s just developed organically from our personal interests and the type of work we enjoy doing. I like to think of us as walking with one foot in the past and one foot in future!



DB: what has been your most challenging brief to date?SB: one of the most challenging from a practical perspective was the album cover for ‘attack decay sustain release’ by simian mobile disco. the band came to us with this random idea that they wanted the album title to be constructed out of sliver spoons, but not digitally – for real. it was such a silly concept we of course jumped at the idea, and before we knew it we were in a field, with a scaffold rig, photographer jason evans, and 2500 shiny silver spoons! clearly it’s not a project you get to undertake often, especially with the ever-decreasing budgets for album art these days. inevitably, the process of making the image was probably more epic than the final result portrays.




scot bendall (la boca) interviewsimian mobile disco album cover



scot bendall (la boca) interviewthe orichalc phase, 12″ record cover



DB: how do you see your work evolving and what has been the evolution so far?SB: I’m just happy that our work has been able to evolve at all. we were always very conscious that we didn’t want to get stuck working on projects we didn’t enjoy, or that didn’t present new challenges. when I look at our body of work as a whole, I can see how the studio has matured over the years, and luckily we’ve been able to refine what we do to some extent. but, I’m never happy with a completed project, it can always be done better with hindsight!



DB: have you ever animated your work?SB: we’re extremely keen to develop our work into animation, but up to now we just haven’t come across the right project or animation studio to partner with (we’re actively looking if anyone out there fancies it!).




scot bendall (la boca) interviewthe emperor machine album cover



scot bendall (la boca) interviewfaltydl 12″ album cover (wrap around cover)



scot bendall (la boca) interviewthe teleportation accident, book cover




DB: what are the main differences between art and illustration for you?SB: our illustration work is always created with an audience in mind. it’s designed to connect with someone and express something to them. in most of the projects we undertake, la boca doesn’t matter at all, we’re not important. I see art as being a much more personal endeavor. the work is more self-expressive, and the artist themselves are key to the work.



DB: who or what has influenced your work the most?SB: music has always been extremely important to me. I probably wanted to become a designer primarily because of record sleeves, and I’ve known since i was around 15 that this is what I wanted to do. today, 100s of sleeves later, it’s still an area of design I get excited about, especially when there’s a strong connection with the music itself.




scot bendall (la boca) interviewtrawl book cover proposal




scot bendall (la boca) interviewthe third man, film poster




scot bendall (la boca) interviewblack swan official teaser posters




scot bendall (la boca) interviewblack swan official teaser poster




scot bendall (la boca) interviewheart of darkness, artwork – in collaboration with artist fiona banner




DB: how do you think the popularity of online resources has influenced the illustration being produced today?SB: it’s certainly made the world smaller. it’s fantastic to be able see the work of designers based in far off locations, which before was quite difficult, I date back to pre-internet days so it’s the little things that amaze me. however, I’m not totally convinced it’s improved the quality of work being produced, as sometimes I feel it encourages designers to become part of the zeitgeist. I wonder if it stifles some people into creating work they think they should be doing to fit in, instead of developing their own voice?




scot bendall (la boca) interviewit was on earth that I knew joy poster




scot bendall (la boca) interviewla boca 10 year exhibition poster, nantes




scot bendall (la boca) interviewback for the future, NIKE mag launch poster




scot bendall (la boca) interviewfor festival 2013 poster




scot bendall (la boca) interviewvivid live 2011 festival poster




DB: besides your professional work – what do you have a passion for?SB: I wish I could tell you something really deep and enlightening, but my wife, and readers of our old blog will already know, I have a slightly unhealthy, and very shallow, passion for sneakers. as with most things concerning passion the reasons why are often insignificant.




scot bendall (la boca) interviewshout out out out out, album cover




DB: what is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?SB: work on projects you believe in and not those that may reap higher rewards.



DB: what is the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?SB: after meeting with our accountant this week… ‘work on projects you believe in and not those that may reap higher rewards.’