Author: Mathias

Going round & round: YamanoteYamanote

Travelling around Japan earlier this year has got me seriously falling in love with the country’s beautiful places, people, food and culture. Give me a little nudge, a gentle reminder of Nippon life and I’m easily thrown into a nostalgia-induced state of wanderlust and itching to jump on the next flight eastward. Thus, I was more than fair game for Tokyo-based Swiss graphic designers Julien Mercier and Julien Wulff, who yanked me from my daily routine with excellent poster project YamanoteYamanote. Following the eponymous circular train line that whirls around the bustling metropolis and serves downtown hotspots Shibuya, Shinjuku or Akihabara, the duo creates two corresponding designs for each of the 29 Yamanote stations and their characteristic surroundings. Every new design, combining minimalism, hushed colours, a clever mix of Japanese kanji and Latin letters, is then presented at a one-time exhibition at a venue near each station. 素晴らしい! Keep up to date with the Yamanote Yamanote project here: yamanoteyamanote.com @instagram @facebook Advertisements

Devoted

At 15, considerably late in the game, I first picked up a skateboard and decided that this was the way I want to spend my time with, the way of exploring and making sense of the physical world around me. When I’m at my parents, my old room still has that skate rat feel to it. Broken boards here and there, some cut-out photos and ads of my favourite pros, some worn-out shoes crammed in the back of the wardrobe and of course, the huge pile of magazines collected along the way. A big chunk of my early skateboarding education, I owe to the videos I borrowed from friends on VHS or DVD and studied over and over and over again, yet my weapon of choice for inspiration were the print magazines released every month. Now, in times of the digital word, countless blogs, social media, digesting the news about literally anything – not just the subculture of skateboarding – has changed radically, not just compared to the early 2000’s, but the pre-internet times. And …

Lost in the moody hues: Maya Beano

I always have a knack for brilliant analog photography, but the level of atmosphere in Maya Beano’s moody images is off the charts. If there is ever a perfect moment, the perfect weather conditions, the perfect interplay of light and shadows, she’s right there and well knows how to use and command the elements. Whether it is playing around with haunting double exposures, long exposures, different filters of beautiful monochrome, purple, violet or turquoise colour hues or shooting on simple 35mm film format, there’s always something awe-inspiring to discover in her compositions. Of course, Maya’s skill didn’t go unnoticed over the years: Her stunning work has raised eyebrows at The Independent Photographer, has been featured in #PHOTOGRAPHY magazine, selected for a fantastic Oh Comely cover or listed as part of the If You Leave Showcases 2015 and 2016. And deservedly so. Check out more of her work here on her website and social media feed: mayabeano.com @instagram @tumblr

Ønwards

When I left London for Edinburgh a few years prior, everyone kept saying: “Look, you’re moving somewhere affordable, a place with charm, character and soul.” Of course, then I did not believe I was in for such a wonderful treat. In the last couple of months the reaction has been quite a similar one. An “Oh Berlin. I envy you” here, an “Berlin? Now, I’m jealous” there. Today, sitting in my new, rather empty apartment, between boxes piling up to the heavens, patiently waiting to be unpacked, it all feels a little strange to be here. A good kind of strange, I have to say. Pretty much six years ago to this day, I first set foot on an island that was foreign, yet took me in with open arms. A place brimming with life, a place I gladly called home shortly after, made the best friends, built relationships and with every passing day I wasn’t sure what to think about going back to the familiar home shores. Now after a heartfelt jump into the …

Opening Doors

‘Opening Doors’ is a new feature for Counterpoint Magazine, a beautifully risograph-printed magazine bringing together independent journalism and illustration. For issue #12 ‘Spaces’ I talked to the organisers of Hidden Door, a DIY arts festival colonising Edinburgh’s abandoned spaces. Read the full piece on my portfolio here.

Adventure Everywhere: In Conversation with Trakke founder Alec Farmer

Here’s an interview with Trakke-founder Alec Farmer I’ve done for Wildland Magazine’s Lifestyle issue back in 2014. Photography by Niall Walker. There’s various ways to embrace a certain lifestyle, to perceive the world and its surroundings in an utterly different light: Some people are simply living it, while others are further nourishing it with their creative output. Glaswegian outdoor lifestyle brand Trakke seems to be in the thick of it – producing for and together with a community of adventurers. Time for a wee chat with founder Alec Farmer about his humble beginnings, cyclist culture and the perfect bag. Hello Alec, how did it all start out with Trakke? I studied graphic design at the school of arts and I had a friend, who studied product design. On the weekends we just got out into the city and found lots of recycled, unused materials on the streets. We used to find abandoned sofas and take the leather off it or old suitcases and take the zips off. We made our first bags in our living room with a little crappy domestic sewing machine that caught …

Spot On: Marco De Masi

Have a browse on my blog and you’ll quickly figure out that I’m in love with clever, conceptual designs and illustrations that explore an idea with simple but beautiful ingredients. Marco De Masi is an Italian freelance graphic designer and illustrator from Lecce, whose thought-provoking and eye-catching works are right on the money. His crisp and minimalist style, his selection of rich colours and the way he plays with the viewer’s perspective is just oddly satisfying. @facebook @instagram