This Is Not A Ticket | Alternative Aesthetics


Alternative Aesthetics is a English illustrator based in one of our favourite cities, good ol’ Cardiff. His real name is Colin Kersley and take it from us, Colin has a great sense of humour and a raucous imagination. His work, which he also describes more fittingly as play, is often character-based, stemming from odd thoughts or reactions and featuring hand-lettering in glorious black and white. Influenced by conversations, films and music, Colin’s creations tend to veer towards the macabre or bizarre, putting a playful twist on unique experiences and subcultures. Naturally, his most recent venture is self-initiated gig poster project called This Is Not A Ticket, based around fictional band names that were born from weird conversations with friends.

We’ve all done it; ended up sitting in somebody’s kitchen while the conversation meanders into strange territory until finally, all that’s left is a series of nonsensical buzzwords that crack you up. Colin’s own experience of this, however, because something a little more fruitful. He tells us that after envisioning so many strange pairings of words as great band or album names, he started making a list of them and drawing a series of black and white gig posters. Curious to see what people would make of the fictional bands, the decision to turn the project into an exhibition then followed pretty rapidly.The show was held at the Abacus Rooms in Cardiff; a fantastic independent gallery space in the city centre. Colin tells us that  There’s always a great, supportive atmosphere at this Welsh venue as the people that attend the events, workshops and exhibitions held in the space are usually independent artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians and printmakers themselves. In addition to this, there are always plenty of intrigued passers-by that will wander in to see what’s going on. He says,’I had two local bands play at the exhibition, Tradish and Thorun, who were a strong fit for the gig posters on show. Cardiff’s great for creativity on the whole but its independent music scene is something I really love about the city. There’s a strong energy to a lot of the music that comes out of Cardiff and I really feed off the gutsy stuff that’s made with real passion. It helps having friends in local bands, such as Samoans, Desalvo, and Kutosis, feeding my ears with good noise to work to.’

We were obviously intrigued, not just by the posters themselves, but by the conversations that led to their production. We asked Colin to tell us about some of the weird chats that led to the conception of Rage Cake and Mystical Crotch.

‘So, the name Hungry For Cats came from a discussion about the internet’s insatiable appetite for photos, videos and gifs of cats. Weaponised Guilt is a good one; It’s a phrase that we came up with to describe how people hold onto something that someone else did or said, waiting to use it against them at the opportune moment. I think my favourite has to be Ghost Boner though. This band name stemmed from a conversation about those tacky ‘sexy’ halloween costumes and it was suggested that a true sexy costume would just be the old fashioned sheet ghost with a full-on ghost boner.’

We’re not ashamed to say that Ghost Boner is probably our favourite pick of the bunch too. Ever intrigued by an illustrator’s processes, we discovered that Colin’s posters began their lives as rough pen-on-paper sketches. Then redrawn using a Wacom tablet in Photoshop, each awesome poster arrived in its final A3 limited edition form after being digitally printed by the folks at Ripe Digital, Colin’s favourite print studio. Hop over to the Alternative Aesthetics store and discover the likes of Horse Tornado and Stranger’s Armpit for yourselves and follow the This Is Not A Ticket project on Twitter and Instagram.

Find more here


Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth

%d bloggers like this: