Pablo Rochat's Instagram Hacks
Are Works of Postmodern Art
MIKE O'DONNELL / EDITOR
This year saw the irreverence of April Fool's Day landing on Easter Sunday, the Christian Church's most important and oldest celebration. So it seems a fitting time to celebrate the trick-playing maestro who has found success subverting a beloved pillar of social media: Instagram. The maestro is WNW Member Pablo Rochat and unless you take your Instagram feed really seriously, go follow him.
Pablo's viral and interactive Instagram hacks, pranks, and disruptions are easily digestible in this age of ADHD, and easily releasable, something the creator himself notes in our interview below. Pablo also discusses the craft of using Instagram's guardrails to his advantage, whether he feels pressure to entertain his 46K+ followers, and what it's like to get paid by major brands to cause some 24-hour mayhem.
Tell us a bit about your creative background. Who is Pablo Rochat and how did he get here?
I grew up in Atlanta, GA. After high school I went to RISD to study painting, but ended up majoring in Graphic Design. After college, I began to make silly websites and internet videos for fun while I was a designer and Art Director at Goodby Silverstein and Partners. This past year I started to post regularly to my Instagram. Now brands pay me to make things for them ( mostly social content ).
How would you describe your creative style?
When did you first start to uncover the potential of using Instagram as a medium with tools that you can use to cause mayhem?
Last summer ( 2017 ) I was revisiting some of my old Vine posts. The Vine content I used to make was simple ‘Tap and hold” games. I realized that my Vine games could work on Instagram Stories, so I posted them to my Instagram. People liked them, so I kept doing it.
Can you walk us through the general process of building your stories?
It usually goes like this:
Wake up early in the morning and think about what I should post while I’m in the shower.
Go to my office and start sketching the idea with pen and paper, or go through some older sketches I haven’t used yet.
Look for images I need on Google Image Search.
Open Photoshop and After Effects to start designing and animating the IG story.
Post the story to my Instagram
This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
Which of your IG stories/posts are you proudest of and why?
1. Giraffe profile hack - It’s the first time that I connected my profile picture to my post in a fun way. And I think it’s my most liked post.
2. Albert Einstein face puzzle IG Story game - because the results are funny, and different each time.
3. The 1,000,000,000 IG Story game - because it’s really hard to win. Someone told me they spent 45 minutes playing it one time.
Most of us probably complain about the limits of Instagram. Like “damn, the story cut off after 15 seconds.” Do you revel in bouncing off the guardrails that their platform has set in place?
The guardrails definitely help me be creative. I tend to get my best ideas when there are limitations. I’m also very ADD, so the speed of Instagram content suits me well.
Do you ever worry that Instagram will change the way thing function before you can capitalize on all of your ideas for how to hack and disrupt its current functions?
Not really. I’m mostly looking forward for Instagram to launch new functions for me to hack.
Have you found your process and approach affected by your enormous social following? Is there any pressure to keep your followers happy?
Yes I do feel pressure to keep making fun content for my audience. But I love it. I’m so lucky to have people paying attention to the things I make.
What would be your dream project or job, or is it already on your resume?
I want to make a rap music video.
We’re big fans of your remote control prank at SF’s Blue Angels air show. If not that, what’s your proudest pranking moment?
#1 proudest moment: Doing a parody of Apple’s “Shot on iPhone 6” campaign with my friend Fabio Benedetto.
#2 proudest moment: Drawing a huge penis at the Apple store with Fabio
What’s your favorite thing on the internet this week?
Tekashi 69’s interview on The Breakfast Club. He’s so fascinating.
What do you do when Not Working?
At the moment, I really enjoy bowling, going to the beach, and watching YouTube videos.
Who are some other WNW Members whose work you admire and why?
Fabio Benedetto because we’ve collaborated on so many projects ( including the Apple Store penis and Blue Angels videos ) and we share a similar sense of humor. He’s also an insanely talented illustrator.