SHAOLIN JAZZ – T-shirts / Graphic Designer Interviews: Jean Mosambi
My name is Jean Mosambi and I’m from France.
Who or what got you interested in design?
A friend of mine, who is a gifted graphic painter: Rock.
(check his work here: www.rocky-rock.com). Thanks to him, I do what I do now.
How has your upbringing and or environment inspired you or shaped your design process?
I have always been interested in images – as a child, I used to read lots of comics. Then I started skating. Though I was better at shooting skaters than skating myself. So I went deeply into photography. At that time skating and hip-hop were connected, I’ve discovered the graffiti scene and so on. Actually many things are linked and as I’m curious I always try to go deeper. Click here to order Jean’s SHAOLIN JAZZ graphic tee. To read more click>>>
I have no particular preference. I like the idea of “having a project.” Whatever is the field, it’s always very enthusiastic for me to part of a project.
Who or what are some of your design inspirations?
I’m old-fashioned. Most of the things I love have been created before the 60’s – fashion, design, cinema, music – Moreover I had the chance to live in different places in the world and for sure it has an influence on me and my work.
Talk about your creative process.
Everyday I spend several hours looking for images, old ads, posters, album covers from different countries and decades. I select some of them and try to reproduce or to re-adapt them. For me it’s a dedication of all the great work that has already been done.
Does music play a role in your design process?
Sure, I’m a music lover. I bought lots of LPs and sometimes just because of the album’s cover. I’m very concerned by all the graphic aspect around an album. This is how music influences my design process.
What are some of your favorite album covers?
Quite hard to select some in particular. I like Blue Note covers designed by Reid Miles, Bollywood album covers from the 60’s and 70’s, the work of Alex Steinweiss for Columbia Records and also illustrations drawn by Robert Crumb for Yazoo records.
How did you go about designing your submission for the SHAOLIN JAZZ – Album Cover Design Contest?
As the Shaolin Jazz project is a blend of jazz music and Wu-Tang, first I had in a mind to work on an album cover in a Blue Note style – pictures + typography. But finally I preferred to work on simple geometric forms – that remind jazz instruments and typography.
Did the music from the project influence your design? If so, how?
Yes, it did. I listened to the samples and I went through the original album covers to get an inspiration.
What are you some of your upcoming projects and where can people see your work?
The next project is to do the graphic work of mixtapes for a friend – The Thirdman (thethirdmen.blogspot.com). I do hope that more will come so I just encourage people to check my work (www.flickr.com/photos/jeanmosambi or http://cargocollective.com/jeanmosambi) and to feel free to contact me for new collaborations. I’m glad to have worked with you, Gerald and thanks for all.
Click here to purchase Jean’s SHAOLIN JAZZ inspired graphic T-shirt.
*SHAOLIN JAZZ – PHILA Listening Party – Fri. Sept. 30th. Click here for details.