20 Years of Creating Stuff On The Computer.
Introduction by E.C.D., Ryder Ripps
Hey there! Thanks for viewing the OKFocus portfolio on your mobile device. My name is Ryder Ripps, I'm the founder and Creative director of OKFocus. We strive to create compelling work through clear and fun function.
Forbes Magazine, 30 Under 30
Advertising Age, Creativity 50
New York Times
Speaker At –
RISD, AIGA, Rhizome 7on7, Semi-Permanent, SXSW, Sotheby’s, Goethe Institute, Smithsonian, OTIS College
M.I.A., Anapurna Pictures, Smirnoff, MOCA, Marc Jacobs, Kanye West, Mike Will Made-It, Nike, Instagram, Bruno Mars, Atlantic Records, Universal Records, Liberty Science Center, Diplo, Stone Island, Diesel, Red Bull, Kenzo, FOX, HBO, A24, VFILES, Been Trill, Tumblr, Paddles8, Google
Form without function is bad. Being a successful artist probably has more to do with who you hangout with these days. Or maybe it was always that way. Both my parents had their portraits painted by Warhol, got em in a trade. I grew up around art. I knew the importance of the “scene,” but popularity is measured differently now. People no longer look up from screens. Social capital comes by way of likes, follows, retweets. I was born in 1986. I grew up on the internet. I played Doom through a dial-up modem in 1995. I made earnest 3d graphics of dolphins jumping through hoops in Adobe Photoshop 3.0. I made a site in 2010 that allowed people to communicate in real-time with images, Dump.fm. It hosts over 2 million images and is still running, (Seems as though Facebook probably got the idea of real-time fav notifications from us) (You’re welcome Mr. Zuckerberg).. In 2009 I created an online museum for early internet graphics, and after that I worked for M.I.A. pontificating online with her many nights until well after 2am. That was before I bought a 1987 BMW convertible but after I rewrote Ginsberg’s Howl for the internet generation. Since I’ve been online tweets killed books. Images killed tweets. Clickbait killed images.I am the only member of a boy band who is proficient in CSS3 and has shot a campaign for Marc Jacobs. I’m an artist. I create physical work to freeze a moment of internet time.
I once tried to create luxury email in 2008 while working at an advertising agency, my first job out of college. We were asked to brainstorm how Burberry might become “cooler” on the internet and figure out why luxury goods and the internet are essentially at odds. I told a creative director there that a luxury good is something those with enough money can stroll into a store and buy, while status online isn’t the same. Online clout comes from having a lot of followers or a Wikipedia entry, things that have little connection to what an individual can or can not afford. I explained this and introduced a concept that I felt was genius. I told him that we needed to merge these two disparate worlds, and create luxury email. The idea was that for $30,000 consumers could purchase a Burberry email address in order to flaunt their wealth and status within the virtual world. The creative director looked me right in the eye with inexcusable disgust and said, “that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard” The following day I quit working at that agency and have been my own boss since – still on a mission to make luxury email a thing and innovate culture through multiple disciplines online. I’d say first experience in corporate advertising ended very well.
OKFocus began in 2011 after I oversaw creative direction for VFiles and helped launch the brand. My team and I decided to start our own agency after that. Someone once told me that you cannot call yourself a creative director unless you are able to take the place of any one person under your command. I believe it. I write CSS because it’s efficient. We create our own backends because templates don’t understand us as individuals. We strive to be understood as humans and also as media. We believe good work exists outside of trends. Trends are just over simplifications of pithy new things.
I am the only person you will ever meet who has spoken at RISD, knows how to pickle peppers and can write CSS with their eyes closed. Who has worked with Kanye West, The Wolfsonian Museum, Mike Will Made-It and spoken at The Smithsonian. I am not a rapper, but I do have a rap song dedicated to Tory Burch. My name has been published in 6 books, three of which are not in english. I had asthma, then I quit smoking. On my desk I have a large piece of driftwood. My mom makes the best chicken soup in the world. I made a documentary about it when I was 15 and it aired on public television. I think microscopes and telescopes are equally as cool. I wonder how the universe started while at the same time wondering if it would even be gratifying to really know. I am looking for new experiences, to become a better person, to help others, to have fun, to be honest, to contribute something new, to be myself, to love and be loved and I am glad you are reading this. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions.