Rich Braham is the force behind The Whale Submarine, a one man ball of creative energy; inspired by a rouge leviathan of the high seas. For lovers of fine prints, limited edition T’s, illustrations and independent spirits, search him out at his Wesley Yard HQ.
What’s your connection to the sea? What drew you to the sea and why surfing?
The sea for me is like a medicine for the mind, body and soul. It is where you can sit, watch and forget about all your problems, stresses and worries and find a clear frame of mind and think positively. Looking across the blue sea on the horizon just gives me that sense of endless possibility. There is no place I would rather be. What initially drew me to the sea were stories, historic events and myths as a youngster, I was infatuated about the Titanic from a very early age and I remember seeing the haunting pictures of the ship at the bottom of the ocean, this great big beautiful unsinkable liner that was torn apart and overwhelmed by the freezing seas of the Atlantic and how the sea life had now made it part of their world. You can sometimes find a strange beauty in such tragedy. I was also mesmorised by stories of giant squid and octopus the size of buses attacking ships and battles between other sea creatures. The story of Moby Dick was always a close one to my heart, a great novel based on the real notorious white whale of the Pacific named Mocha Dick, who in the 1800’s defied and demolished the whaling ships for more than 30 years until he finally succombed to his attackers after coming to the aid of a female whale whose calf had just been slained by the whalers. This story, together with my love for the ocean and surf, is what inspired me to do this project.
The surf aspect is simple. I tried it and I loved it, I love it. I will always love it. I love watching surfers who have style, who do it with ease, grace, make smooth flowing transitions and clean lines.
When and why did you get into design?
I enjoyed design ever since I was young, I liked to make things, draw and I was always good with colour. I knew exactly what colours to mix together and could make any colour I wanted from a very early age.
Later on I studied graphic design at college and at uni, but never really put it to use until after I travelled and surfed a lot. I realised I wanted to spend the rest of my time living by the sea, I did not want to end up in a city, behind a desk designing advertising work for big corporations, so I mainly did any other work I could to enable me to travel and be by the coast. I hadn’t done much design work for a while so decided to get back into it and have a go at screen printing so bought some equipment and started to experiment. So now here I am and I have a little work shop in Wesley yard, Newquay. Looking forward to a summer of design, print and working with some cool folks along the way. Fingers crossed for good weather!.
What piece of your work are you most proud?
This little project I am doing for my self at the moment at The Whale Submarine, I love that it is totally my project and I can do whatever I want, when I want.
Every part of this project is me, from the designs, to building, the website, screen printing, making all the shop fittings and fitting the workshop out itself etc… I am proud of it so far and intend to build on it throughout the year so watch out, ha ha.
Who do you most admire?
People that go against the grain, do their own thing, in their own way and who look at things in a different light. I admire people who make a difference no matter how small that may be, its a great thing to leave a mark in your surroundings and influence the people around you.
What would be your dream session?
That is pretty easy, I would start the day with a cup of tea & poached eggs. 25 degrees plus would be nice (in and out of the water) & enjoyed with good friends. A fun wally shoulder high left hand point break on a single fin followed by some cold beer, spicy food and good music would be perfect