Cold brew connoisseur, architect, designer, music producer, and multimedia artist Max Schramp is from Hamilton, Ontario. He is one-third of anti-corporate design firm Parent Company with umru and Emma Segal-Grossman and a part of Open Pit, the leading team behind several blockbuster URL Minecraft festivals that have attracted headliners such as Flatbush Zombies and 100 gecs, all the while raising over $50,000 for charity. He tweets out seemingly-realistic photographs that turn out to be really good renders (much to everyone’s surprise, every single time), which does enough justice to the meticulous quality of his work.
As baffling as Schramp’s realistic renders can be, he still takes his work as serious as any other artist and designer. Through Parent Company, he has worked with the likes of PC Music, Dorian Electra, and more, delivering cutting-edge work that asserts his position as a visual artist in the scene. Holding more tricks up his sleeve, Schramp also produces music under the alias Sleepycatt, DJing at events and collaborating with artists such as KaTT of six impala. After spending six years studying architecture, he is ready to take his craft to the next level.
KHALED: I’d like to first congratulate you for graduating architecture school. With all the highs and lows that came with getting your degree during those six years, what was the one thing you’ve learned that you believe you’ll carry with you for the rest of your career?
MAX: While I wish it was something more inspirational, the main thing that has stuck with me is that every failure is followed by success. I failed a semester back in 2017 and if that hadn’t happened I’m not sure I would have co-started my design firm Parent Company, or even would be as involved in rendering as I am today.
KHALED: On top of being a freshly-graduated architect, you also delve into other creative avenues such as design, photography, and music. Talk to me about how you found yourself participating in these outlets.
MAX: I started making music with a cracked version of FL Studio back when I was like 13, and still do these days with (a legal version of) Ableton. I think I watched a Basshunter music video and was like woah- I need to figure out how to do this. I just looked it up and it was “All I Ever Wanted.” I was super involved in making like trancey stuff and posting it on Newgrounds, I then moved on to using Soundcloud and Twitter, and met most of my closest friends from group chats on there.
Design has always been a big part of what I do, both in architecture and music. I started designing album covers for people back in 2017 and since then have just been learning new software and methods while making music videos, show visuals, merch, everything. I got into photography as a way of documenting things and have just pushed it from there, I love taking pictures of people and shows so I just keep doing it.
KHALED: Speaking of design, you are also one-third of Parent Company, a design firm ran by you, Umru Rothenberg, and Emma Segal-Grossman. You’ve had clients ranging all the way from ericdoa to Elton John and Rina Sawayama. Did you ever expect Parent Company to head into the direction where it’s going now?
MAX: No! Parent Company started as a joke honestly, umru and Emma and I had been designing together over the past year and wanted to start something we could channel our funny ideas into and decided to create a faux-corporate-core design firm. I think we owe a lot to Dorian Electra who was our first client and opened a lot of doors for us.
KHALED: Top three best cold brews, off the top of your head.
MAX: Station Cold Brew Vanilla, Mulberry Coffeehouse Cold Brew, Tim Hortons Vanilla Cream Cold Brew (if ur nasty)
KHALED: To close this off, what can everyone expect from Max Schramp during this next chapter of your life?
MAX: Hopefully many more renders, bigger projects. I’d love to create some worlds and experiences using Unreal Engine. I have a shirt collab with a cool artist friend that will come out this fall!
You can find Max Schramp on Twitter and Instagram at @maxschramp and view examples of his work on his other Instagram at @maxschrampcreative. His design firm with umru and Emma, Parent Company, can be found on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @parentcompanyc.