About Rowan Ottesen

Hello I'm Rowan, a Graphic Designer In London. A strong body of my work is type based, having even designed a typeface or two. Combining vector graphics, with illustration, image and shape, I diversely design anything from intricate patterns, to visuals and logos. I've also created two installation pieces, as well as being a lover of classic literature, writing short stories, as well as songs - having previously played shows with a band in London. I think the Gola Student Ambassador project is fantastic. It's a great opportunity to work with a well-known, respected brand, by displaying the rich artistic community nurtured in Britain. It's a chance to not only be creative, but to also collaborate with others in a positive and meaningful way.

Kassassin Street

Kassassin Street are a band hailing from Portsmouth. With a new take on traditional style, these original, self-produced young men are whipping up a storm. I caught up with Rowan Bastable, the lead singer from the band, and asked him about the history, music and the artwork of the band.

“Kassassin Street started officially 2 years ago, though we’d been jamming together in various forms for a while before that. I met Nath at school and started playing guitar around the same time he was learning drums, it was an ideal excuse to bunk out of P.E. If I’m honest I think that’s where the two of us really discovered music – during P.E.”

Rowan described to me how, through the process of experimentation and endless hours of recording, the band managed to form ‘epic’ new sounds that would later become fully grown-songs.

Influences

“I’d say we listen to a lot of psychedelia, 60’s and 70’s pop/alternative bands and electronic music when together. I’m really into the experimental bands of the 70’s. We share a joint passion for Krautrock, with the likes of Can, Kraftwerk and Neu! Giving birth to music that rid itself of all convention. Sonically and emotively I believe Krautrock rules, it’s like the soundtrack to life, a constant journey, a flowing of time with a repetitive beat paralleling the monotony of everyday routine. It’s escapism art in it’s purest form.”

Society

“I think we are living in a very unique Britain right now, a country amidst constant change. I feel very much a part of the forgotten generation, our dreams swept away amongst the greed of the political generation before. We now live in ‘unavoidable times’ with ‘unavoidable cuts’ and the young are paying the price in education fees, redundancies and interest rates.”

Centre Straight Atom (featured video)

As an admirer of this band for sometime, I had to showcase them. I remember the shiver sent down my spine the first time I heard ‘Centre Straight Atom.’ An absolute belter of a song, and despite being over 4 minutes, it doesn’t lose attention, in fact it demands it. I was curious as to it’s meaning and origins.

“It isn’t actually about nuclear warfare at all. It was really a response to a BNP rally in Portsmouth, (the bands hometown). They chose to swoop on Portsmouth for a demonstration because of it’s links with The Navy. They were not made to feel welcome at all, and I wanted to document that.”

Artwork

“The artwork was designed by Ryan. Moloko Vellocet is the psychoactive milk that Alex and his Droogs drink in A Clockwork Orange. I really like the Nadsat language they speak in the book.There wasn’t a lot of deep thought to it though. It just sounded great! I’ve just phoned him and he said that he knew we wanted something psychedelic when he started designing it, so that was at the forefront of his ideas. He wanted to use lots of flowing lines and colour to make the cover eye-catching and different from the artwork of our first EP. I like the fact that no matter how long you stare at it, your eyes continually pick out new shapes amongst the lines.”

Touring now, with new material in the works, there is more to be expected from this refreshing gift to the rock band genre. For more, visit here.

 

 

Celeste Morton

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was a standout weekend for everyone involved. Freelance photographer and Graphic Designer Celeste Morton captured the day strikingly with photographs that each depicted a character with a story to tell.

“I headed to Westminster bridge on the monumental day, overlooking the jubilee boat parade, I’m not a die hard royalist but I was fascinated to see the special amount of effort people had gone to to witness the Queen. The weather was grey but spirits were high, and everyone seemed excited. I snapped the boy on his father’s shoulders just as a helicopter passed above and he turned to look, with the flag almost unfurling from his head like a speech bubble.”

“Regarding the girl; there was a fenced off pen for the armed forces, and it struck me how young some of the cadets were. I was watching them more than the big screens with Her Majesty on it, they were extremely intriguing people. This girl was particularly good to photograph, as she kept on craning her neck to watch the screens and she looked very important in her little navy hat, like innocence and youth dressed as a grown up. Lovely embroidered lettering as well. Even I can’t deny the uniforms are sensational.”

Celeste combines her love of photography with her discipline of graphic design. Living in London, she is constantly observing ongoing events. More of her work can be seen here.

Sabrina Collares

Sabrina Collares is a contemporary illustrator originally from Brazil, based in London. Despite being a self-taught illustrator, there is no denying the talent and artistic vigour of Sabrina. Having participated previously at a workshop Central Saint Martins, as well as other illustration activities, she is very pro-active, and engaged in her subject area.

The work is proof of this. Despite using a limited number of tools (mainly pencil, pens and markers) Sabrina manages to create incredibly striking pieces of art.  In ‘O Gigante Novatel’ (Main Image), Sabrina uses incredible attention to detail to visualise her imaginations. A fantastic floral smorgasbord grows from a natural figure, perhaps symbolising desires for a more greener world. Despite stylistic undertones of 1960s psychedelia, a cutting black & white beam adds that contemporary edge, somehow bringing it into 2013.

I was lucky enough to ask Collares a few questions regarding her inspiration. She will be the first to admit her methodology is unorthodox, having been self taught as mentioned earlier. Sabrina informed me that a lot of her work stems from her dream world, allowing her creations to be ‘instinctive’ pieces of work that don’t develop from sketches, they just simply materialize.

“When I sit down to draw I am not even sure what is going to come up, after finished I look up the symbolism behind the colors, thematic, geometric shapes, whatever is on it. My drawing is done very meticulously and it can be quite a stressful and slow process”.

Having been exhibited by Saatchi and Emerge Gallery, Sabrina is boldly venturing up the creative ladder. For more of Sabrina’s work, visit here.