Robert Olsen is a freelance art director, illustrator & photographer based in Cheltenham.
His formal art training was at both Hull and Bolton art colleges from where he was tempted to move down to London to work with many leading design groups and advertising agencies. He eventually moved out to quieter quarters, setting up a design consultancy called Vista in partnership with well respected designer John Drummond. Vista ran successfully for nine years before merging with a marketing group to form the agency Red Tag, for whom he was Creative Director for a following six years.
On leaving Red Tag he returned to working on a freelance basis and he has his own studio from which he does his design and illustration commissions. It is from here that he also runs an online gallery of his limited edition fishing prints under the name of The fine art of fishing.
His illustrations have appeared in Trout & Salmon magazine, several books for New Holland Publishing, Collins Willow Publishing along with the BBC’S Tales from the River Bank (which he also designed) & John Bailey’s award winning Trout at Ten Thousand Feet. He has also produced design work for Pickering Fishing Association, Andrew Field Floats and a host of other fishing related clients whilst continuing to work with local client and advertising agencies.
Last year saw the publication of his first book – an illustrated collections of fishing stories, called ‘Tom’s Book’. The book was initially intended as a gift for his son Tom but he was persuaded to publish it by the lucky few who got to see the manuscript. Robert wrote and illustrated it before designing the page layouts, producing the completed artwork, choosing boards and leathers and overseeing the print process. The book was released by Wye Valley Publications as a limited run in both cloth and leather bound and received wide praise.
Whenever he is not working (which is not often enough) Rob grabs the fishing rod and the camera and indulges in his greatest passion of wandering along rivers and secluded lakes.
He has travelled this country with fishing rod, sketchbook and cameras and is often found on his beloved river Wye. His overseas travels have taken him fishing in Ireland, Holland, Spain, Canada, India & Mongolia.
The Crabtree project is very close to his heart as he communicated and met Bernard Venables on several occasions. He remembers, with affection, that the brief conversations were always about art, design and typefaces rather than fishing.