Follow Rene on IG – https://www.instagram.com/renemarban/
Check out the rest of Rene’s work on his website – https://renes.work/
While many people know you from working with Modern Notoriety or shooting for a ton of artists, recently it seems as if you’ve stepped back from working with others and just started creating for yourself
I think I’ve spent a lot of time creating things and contributing for other artists and brands- whether that’s shooting shows, press-kits or designing things (which I still do, but not as often). In 2017 I decided to focus on me and sharpen my skills as a designer to figure out what medium I’m truly passionate about. I probably worked on 100’s of pieces of merchandise last year which helped me realize that design or anything visual is really what I’m into. I’m obsessed with detail and want to create things to inspire people to feel, whether that’s mentally or physically. Modern Notoriety really allowed me to bring a lot of ideas I’ve had to life- within the last year, I’ve built installations and helped curate events with a couple of my favorite brands that have allowed me to see how people react to these things. It’s wild. Photography is still dope and I love all of it but I’ve always loved creating things from scratch and expressing my brain with experience.
You once tweeted: “2018-2020 life goal: I need to design a sneaker for Adidas.”
I really admire Adidas. They’ve really looked out for me within the last couple of years and I really love the constant growth of the brand. They’re really innovative and free. I don’t mean to talk badly about any other brands, but through my experience, Adidas is very open to listening to creatives when it comes to contribution. Some brands still have the mentality of “We’ve been marketing this product the same way for 20 years, we’re older so we know what’s good and what works with the youth” not realizing that times change at a fast rate and so does the culture. It’s a constant race. The youth don’t really care about repetitive marketing schemes and I don’t either.
As a brand, I feel like you constantly have to evolve and set the new standard. Adidas does a great job with that and is consistently pushing the envelope and allowing the culture to take the wheel. Observe, learn, strategize and create.
I’ve made it a goal of mine to become a creative at Adidas, whether that’s through apparel or sneaker design and/or strategizing in the marketing team.
You also recently tweeted: “I recently worked on my 2nd marketing campaign with Kanye West.” When you work on a project for Kanye, or something that big, do you ever feel the pressure?
Yes and no. I feel like I’ve been dreamed about a lot of those opportunities since I was a kid and feel like I’ve worked/practiced my whole life to prepare me for ‘that’ day. So once those opportunities surface, I feel like I’ve experienced it before because my mind was set on doing it someday. It’s surreal and I’m in every way grateful and put my heart into it anytime I get reached out to work on these things. It’s my duty to give it my all because it’s all so special to me.
Obsessions with clothes:
Ever since I was in like 2nd grade, I’ve been passionate about clothes and gear. My sister, who is 4 years older than me, used to help me put my fits together before school. She always had a bunch of Jordans and stuff that I used to borrow because we were the same size at the time. I remember her telling me “Hey, that doesn’t match. Change it. You can’t wear that.” and stuff like that when my fits wouldn’t match, haha. It really helped me find my style.
Around the same time, I started wearing Air Force 1s, Chucks and Timbs. I even had a pair of G-Units when they first came out around 2003. I was an avid 50 Cent fan.
There’s something about clothing that’s always been great to me. I like dressing how I feel. Colors, simplicity, used and distressed goods are my favorite. That’s just who I am, I don’t like things to look too clean or “perfect”. I also feel like you can read someone’s personality or life mood through what they’re wearing- no matter what brand or what the cost is. Just be yourself. Dress how you like and how you feel- everyone’s fresh in their own way. Love yourself.
Growing up, my Mother was a tailor for many years. She has taught me how to sew and put pieces together- I’ve bought a lot of clothes just to destroy them or add to them to make them perfect for me. I also like the control that we have with pieces: you can overwear a new leather jacket to add that really dope distress or rub sandpaper on it and it will look really good!
Constantly working and creating. Do you ever feel like you get burned out? And if so, how do you deal with it:
I do get burned out at times but I feel like I’ve accustomed myself to being sleepless and overworking myself over the years. I’ve recently been trying to sleep better and take better control of my health. Being restless was fun, though! I feel like I can now withstand those extra miles when it comes to working. I can work for a few days straight and then stop everything and go grab food or go kick it with my girlfriend for a day or two. Balance is key with me. If I approach a project these days, I tend to already know how long it’s going to take me to complete everything. With that being said, I like to plan ahead and try to complete everything in one take once I sit down and begin.
What still inspires you to keep creating?
Movies! I watch a lot of movies. I feel like I also see life in movie form, haha. Wherever I’m at, I just get inspired by colors, situations, streets, the city and people watching. I like to create storyboards in my head and look around with composition like my eyes are a camera lens. Its weird probably but I like it. Experiment with your imagination.
I try to not really get inspired by other artists in the same field. I do, but it will most likely be by artists in different mediums. When I’m designing, I’ll get inspired by photographers, or when I’m taking photos, I’ll get inspired by musicians- stuff like that. I never try to get inspiration from the same medium; I appreciate artists doing the same thing but I find it hard to get impressed when I can create the same thing myself.
Favorite project you worked on over the years:
On a larger scale, I’d say all of the Adidas stuff I’ve been a part of has been my favorite and all of the projects that I’ve had fun working on and built friendships off of have been life amazing.
Favorite artist you’ve worked with:
Chance, KYLE, Nico Segal and a few other artists. All these guys have taught me a lot about life and inspire me to simply be myself and a good person.
Favorite thing about being an artist:
Using our minds. I think the mind and imagination is such a beautiful thing. The mind is so powerful. The ability to create something from scratch and to have a voice to make a difference is really tight.
Favorite lesson you’ve learned over the years
Time management and being patient. Time is really important in most, if not all aspects of life. I grew up being very impatient, but now I’ve just learned to just wait it out sometimes. I don’t trip when I get a NO for an answer anymore- I’m almost grateful for it because I later realize why things do or don’t work out. 9 times out of 10, it’s for the better. Be patient, whatever is meant to happen, WILL HAPPEN.
Favorite photo you’ve ever taken:
I have favorite portraits, skyline photos, concert shots, etc. It’s hard to choose one. All of my photos are my favorite because I put so much of my heart into ‘em.