OH YEAH Studio oh yeah! Christina Magnussen and Hans Oren formed Oh Yeah studios four years ago. They’ve been going strong ever since. Check out the interview:
Oh Yeah Studio consists of Christina Magnussen and Hans Oren. You two said that you met in school and started working together as a hobby. Do you remember your first projects together?
Our first project was a self-initiated exhibition we called “3 weeks” in 2008.
The purpose of the project was to explore surrealism and abstract shapes. We made it into an exhibition that lasted for three weeks, hence the name. The images are divided into two series, one based on surrealism and figurative drawings , the other is based on abstract shapes.
How has the working relationship changed since beginning in 2009? What is the dynamic between you like? Who specializes in what? How do you work past creative differences? What are some the biggest differences between working alone versus collaborating?
After working together for several years we have developed a workable dynamic, we often work close fro beginning to end. When we collaborate we know our strength and weaknesses and can divide the project between us quickly. Sometimes it’s nice to work alone, other times it’s good to have a partner who can help the creative process and such.
What is the guiding philosophy behind your design?
When we studied communication and graphic design we were both more interested in illustration and art so this mix is only a natural development of our education and personal interest. We wanted to express our own emotions and create visuals giving you more than just the communicative part. We want the viewer to walk away with some emotions touched.
Surrealism and abstract shapes are usually present in our work. We often create with the idea in mind of how surrealism and dreams can communicate with the viewer and their unconsciousness. We also use a palette of few colors and elements to get a certain expression. We are very much in love with the ideology of Gunnar S. Gundersen how the use of few elements and few colors can emphasize the elements you actually are using. And also, we’re big fans of the wonderful Dali, El Lissitzky and David Lynch.
Much of your work is a combination of analog and digital drawing. What are some of the limitations of each that the other compensates for?
Christina is doing most of the drawing and Hans usually does most of the type and illustration on the computer.
You’re interested in the unconscious. Do you have any favorite thinkers on the subject? What is the importance of acknowledging this hidden side of human nature?
I became very interested in dreams when I studied design. I wanted to explore and visualize dreams so I could bring it into my design and image making. I started reading Darwins theory of emotions and Freudian psychoanalysis. I was searching for answers, or a formula, so I could create images with only shapes and colors to stimulate the subconscious emotions. I wanted the viewer to feel one or more of the inherent emotions all humans have, like sadness, disgust, hate, happiness and so on. In a dream there is always something you can recognize (the figurative) and something that are kind of abstract and unreadable in a way.
You’re a fan of David Lynch movies. What is it about his work that appeals to your sensibilities?
The surreal, but also straight forward approach, is just stunning. Your always left with a brutal rawness from the visuals accompanied with great music.
Best Tarantino flick? Who is your favorite character from his movies?
We couldn’t agree on this so Christina says Reservoir Dogs when Mr. Blond dances to Stuck in the middle with you by Stealers Wheel. Hans thinks Pulp Fiction when John Travolta and Samuel Jackson are talking about burgers.
Is there anything that comes close to the high of seeing your completed work in print?
It’s a good feeling seeing work completed because it’s a closure, you’re done with the project.
Are there any upcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
Right now we’re finishing an identity/rebranding project of the norwegian “Good Morning show”, along with other web and illustration projects. We’re also hoping to get a chance to have a solo show this winter, so look out for updates in 2012!