February 13, 2013

Teamwork is a beautiful thing. Here are two Portland couples from our series on partnerships that prove love and business can be a great mix.

Jocelyn and Robert Rahm - Beam & Anchor


Beam & Anchor is a beautifully arranged shop in industrial N. Portland, run by Jocelyn and Robert Rahm. We love their focus on high quality local goods and precise eye for design and styling. Jocelyn shared their story:

"Robert and I met ten years ago in the Bay Area. We were both studying at the same graduate school at the time. I was walking down the hall and our eyes met. Robert asked if I needed help finding where I was going. I said yes and the rest is history. We are different in almost every way and anyone we know well can vouch for the fact that we disagree often and with great enthusiasm. That said, we are almost 100% aligned when it comes to aesthetics and design. We knew that if we were going to start a business together the common denominator would have to be connected to our love of design. The convenient thing about being such opposites is that we have very different strengths, thus making the division of labor both obvious and natural. In addition, we see things from very different perspectives so were constantly providing one another with a different vantage point. The most gratifying thing about working together is that our successes are a direct by product of our collective vision and our ability to work together well. We are constantly being called to communicate better, work more efficiently, appreciate one another more, etc. Running a business together has actually made us better life partners because we’ve had to work hard at shoring up our weaknesses. We are motivated to do so because our success depends on it. One of our shared weaknesses is that we both take ourselves too seriously. Fortunately, we learned early on that laughing at ourselves and each other on a regular basis makes working together a hell of a lot more fun."

Willie and Rebekah Yli-Luoma - Heart Roasters


Photo by Neil DaCosta

Heart Roasters makes great beans, serves delicious coffee, and brings people together to set awhile. Nestled on E. Burnside, Heart is powered by Willie and Rebekah Yli-Luoma. 

"We met at a mutual friend's house in Seattle on Thanksgiving in 2007. Somehow we had never met before even though we have some of the same friends. We lived in different cities (Seattle and Portland) and started slowly visiting one another when time permitted. We have been working together for over two years now. Working with one another has its’ challenges, but overall is quite rewarding. We can count on one another to get things done. We share the same vision and that is what makes it successful.

"What’s the secret for successful pairing in work and love? Oh my. This is a real boring answer...BUT being able to communicate effectively with everything is the secret. This means understanding when to stop talking about work outside of work, when you need to be focused on work, how to be compassionate when one of us is having a hard time with work and remember that it is work, but our life is greater than just our work."

February 12, 2013

At Hand-Eye Supply we are aware that the experience of working creatively with a romantic partner can be a different experience than with a strictly platonic collaborator complete with both caveats and advantages. In February we'd like to celebrate those creative couples who make it work, working together.

This is the first post in our Valentine's Day series featuring collaborators in both love and labor. Our first feature is dedicated to historic coupled creatives, and we'll be releasing following posts about some of our favorite duos in Portland, OR over the next week! You can check them out on the Hand-Eye Supply Blog.

For Suggestions/Additions to this list just drop us a line!


Rem Koolhaas and Madelon Vriesendorp
Architect Rem Koolhaas and Artist Madelon Vriesendorp are an art and Design power couple, and the Co-founders of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).


Ricardo Scofidio and Elizabeth Diller
Diller Scofidio + Renfro is a New York City-based interdisciplinary design studio that integrates architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts. Originally founded by Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio in 1979, the firm is particularly well known for its interdisciplinary approach to architecture.


Pierre and Marie Curie 
Pierre and Marie Curie met at the Sorbonne in Paris, and they achieved fame in the science world for their studies of radioactivity, which later earned them a Nobel Prize. When Pierre was killed in 1906, Marie was appointed to his position at the Sorbonne, where he had been a professor of physics.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born four thousand miles apart on the same day. The environmental art duo met in Paris in 1958, and despite Christo's refugee status and Jeanne-Claude's engagement (and subsequent marriage) to someone else, they quickly began planning public artwork. Notable examples include wrapping landmarks in fabric - from the Pont-Neuf in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin, whole island coastlines in Florida. Installations like The Gates - a series of 7,000 fabric gates temporarily displayed in New York's Central Park.


Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg 
The two contemporary artists worked in painting and collage, often venturing into "neo-dadaist" territory. "Their intense emotional and intellectual rapport, in concert with the homophobic context of Cold War culture, created the conditions for a shared private language in their art. Jasper Johns met Robert Rauschenberg in the winter of 1953-54. They would be lovers over the next eight years and their break-up would be so bitter that both left New York for their native South and neither saw nor spoke to one another for over a decade."

Paraphrased from Jonathan D. Katz's article "JASPER JOHNS' ALLEY OOP: ON COMIC STRIPS AND CAMOUFLAGE"


Bernd and Hilla Becher
Bernhard "Bernd" Becher and Hilla Becher were German artists working as a collaborative duo. They are best known for their extensive series of photographic images, or typologies, of industrial buildings and structures. Meeting as painting students at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1957, Bernd and Hilla Becher first collaborated on photographing and documenting the disappearing German industrial architecture in 1959.


John Cage and Merce Cunningham
John Cage and Merce Cunningham might be the definition of a creative power couple. Widely recognized as standalone geniuses in their respective fields, their contributions to avant garde art were strengthened by decades of collaboration. Cunningham's career as a ground-breaking modern dancer and choreographer started when he was asked to join Martha Graham's company straight out of art school. Cage acted as music director at Cunningham's company, and his infamous experimental compositions and instruments often featured in its productions. They remained life partners and frequent collaborators until Cage's death in 1992.


Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko
Zuzana Licko and husband Rudy VanderLans founded Emigre, also known as Emigre Graphics. The magazine, Emigre, was then created in 1984. This magazine designed and distributed original fonts under the direction of its editor, who was VanderLans. Licko was responsible for many successful Emigre fonts.

"We keep each other honest. We know each other's work and abilities so well, it's easy for each of us to recognize when the other is not working up to their potential. You can't pull a fast one on your spouse" -Rudy VanderLans

Read more at PrintMag.com: Design Couples: Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko.


Charles and Ray Eames
Charles Ormond Eames, Jr and Bernice Alexandra "Ray" Eames were extremely infuential American designers, no strangers to fans of this blog. They worked in and made major contributions to modern architecture and furniture. They also worked in the fields of industrial and graphic design, fine art and film.

Ray met Charles in 1941 and they married in Chicago a month later. They set off for a long honeymoon drive to their new home in Los Angeles. On the journey, they picked up a tumbleweed from the road which still hangs from the ceiling of the Eames House today. They worked together until Charles' death in 1978.

See more Creative Couples over at the Hand-Eye Supply Blog.