• Caitlin Kennedy

James Roberton & Ben Baum

Tell us about your cover.

James: I decided to do a tape drawing, which is a pretty unusual drawing style but in the car design industry, everything is done in tape. It’s a really practical way to put down nice lines and you can change it easily by peeling it off and re-doing it. I wanted to take a bit of the drawing style from work in my other life and apply it to this. And Ben, my friend from Porsche is out at the moment, so he is helping out.

Ben: It’s actually quite an old fashioned technique, because these days so much can be done on the computer.

How did you guys end up working at Porsche?

James: I actually wasn’t intending to work there at all. I was planning on moving back to Berlin to work for Volkswagen, but as a freelancer, work is very temperamental and the job that was lined up for me ceased to exist any more. My agent asked if I’d be interested for working for Porsche instead and I figured that could be interesting. I was always into Porsches as a kid, so it was pretty exciting.

Were you into cars when you were little?

James: I think I was more so than Ben.

Ben: Yeah me not so much. The attraction to me was more the drawing side of it.

And if you could be any car, what would you be and why?

James: Maybe something off-road with adventure capabilities so I could climb lots of mountains still. Like a Landrover Defender

Ben: Tricky question, there are so many. Probably a Mini Cooper.

Classy! I like that. How did your love of monoskiing begin and what are you going to do to take the crown this year?

I actually bought a monoski when I was like 16 because I was really into all things retro and 80s. I was at a flea market back home in Melbourne and I didn’t know what monoskiing was but I’d just started getting really into skiing and I saw this thing at the market which was 1m90 and just had to have it. I’ve still never ridden it but I had a retro skis themed 21st birthday and I got all my friends to sign the base so now I have that as a souvenir. It was actually years before I discovered monoskiing for real when I came out here and found out about the Monoski World Championships. That was when I discovered my true calling. Dressing up in fluoro and acting like an idiot all day is my kind of thing. Last year was awesome, I don’t know how to top it this year. I’ve got a few different costume options. I’m turning 30 the day before this year so I’m going to be pretty sendy for it.

Is there much culture where you work in Stuttgart?

James: No, we’re both actually planning to move to Berlin soon. I’ve lived there before and it’s a big drive for me to move back there.

Ben: I’ve never lived there. I always wanted to but there’s no place to work for me. Because my profession of car designing is very niche, I’ve always had to live where the work is. Which is not in the capital. However, I’m changing direction now.

Do you guys do any art outside of your work?

James: Not art so much in the pure sense, but I love making and building things. I like working on cars and bikes and I sculpted a motorbike.

Ben: Yeah I do quite a bit of life drawing but mostly I like designing stuff that has a purpose.

James: We have a really creative household in Germany. Ben’s wife is an illustrator and another housemate makes porcelain for fun. So there’s always something being made at home which is awesome.

And tell us about Tiny Bar.

James: Tiny Bar is a concept that started when Ben was having a mini weekend festival. At ours there’s this ancient brick pizza oven just big enough to stand in which looks like a tiny house in the garden. We turned it into a tiny bar that only serves dark and stormys, inspired by the legendary Blue Note. You can find it on Google Maps. Someone actually rocked up for a drink once but we had to turn them away. We have very limited opening hours.

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