2 Minutes With … Taryn Scher, Creative Director at Bald
Taryn Scher is creative director at Bald in Cape Town, South Africa. Previously, she served at agencies including Ogilvy, TBWA and Saatchi, shaping work for global and local brands like Volkswagen, Coca-Cola and Mondelez.
We spent two minutes with Taryn to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.
Taryn, tell us …
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Cape Town, moved to Johannesburg for awhile, and I'm now back in Cape Town. Most people I grew up with or worked with have gone overseas. I love living here, it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And now, it's become a great place to work internationally and live locally.
How you first realized you were creative.
I went for testing a lot as a kid. In one of the tests I had to come up with ideas of what to do with a toy elephant. I was judged by how many ideas I could come up with and not the quality of those ideas. I was persistent and filled in the whole sheet of paper with ideas. They told my mom I was creative. But I may also have just been persistent. That label stuck from there.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
My art teacher, Mr. Radowsky. He was the most eccentric person I knew in a pretty conformist environment. He'd wear colorful clothes and was utterly passionate about art and self-expression.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
In high school I went on a trip to Israel for four months. I always had trouble fitting in with my family. This was the first time I felt what it was like to find people I belonged with.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
I love The Let Down [streaming on Netflix]. It's amazing to see motherhood through the lens of humor versus the sentimental ways it's usually depicted. I am also listening to Gabor Maté, Scattered Minds. I love his calm, kind way of seeing the world.
Your favorite fictional character.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
Anna Delvey. She fascinates me. And I'm waiting for her comeback.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
POWA. We set up a social experiment to see what would get a community to take action. The sounds of night-time drumming or the sounds of domestic violence. Predictably, people were silent about domestic violence.
A recent project you're proud of.
I had an opportunity to write a script for a music video where that piece of work took center stage and the music was in the background. We wrote what we wanted to write without the ambition for awards or commercial gain. It was great to take that kind of risk and then see how some people actually loved it. It got us voted the second-best small agency in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region (EMEA).
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
There are so many. But the one that always sticks is "The Great Schlepp," which Droga5 created with Sarah Silverman to encourage Jewish bubbies to vote for Barack Obama. It's a niche campaign, targeting a niche audience, which possibly had a big impact. It used humor to convey a serious message. It started a movement. What more could you ask for?
Someone else's work you admired lately.
I love the work that AMV BBDO has been doing for Body Form U.K. over the years. #Wombstories and "Viva La Vulva" celebrates women's bodies, which have always been such a source of shame. They do it beautifully and provocatively.
Your main strength as a creative person.
I am honest about how things make me feel.
Your biggest weakness.
I am often in my head. I never stop thinking. An idea is never finished. There's always another perspective to think about. And of course, this comes with disorganization and chaos. This year I am working on setting better boundaries.
One thing that always makes you happy.
Being in nature.
One thing that always makes you sad.
Reading stories about moms who are separated from their babies.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
If advertising wasn't an option, I would have done law and written opinion pieces about politics. Or I would have been working on a social enterprise to help connect disadvantaged kids to people in the workplace. I'd have also started a hummus shop and made a documentary series about food and the impact of mass production.