My name is Owen Philipson and this is my personal website.
I live in Stirling, Scotland.
- 1977: born in Edinburgh
- 1982: went to school at Comiston Primary, Edinburgh
- 1988: lived 6 months in Victoria, BC (Candada) while my Dad was on a work exchange
- 1989: went to secondary school at George Watson’s College, Edinburgh
- 1995: went to University of Glasgow to study English
- 1999: year out travelling, spent on Nantucket, MA and Vancouver, BC
- 2000: moved to Stirling and joined The Endat Group (subsequently ESI Ltd) as Editorial Assistant
- 2003: joined Stirling & District Camera Club
- 2005: married to Marie in Iffendic, France
- 2007: became a father
- 2008: discovered road cycling and joined Stirling Bike Club
- 2009: started The Drum-Up cycling blog
- 2011: became a father for the second time
- 2015: decided to start a freelance writing business, subsequently aborted
- 2015: joined the Content Marketing Academy
- 2016: joined Robertson Group as Assistant Copywriter
- 2017: separated
My personality is on the introvert end of the scale.
Blue/green personality type: analytical
Detail-oriented, can see nuance and subtlety where others can’t
Not much of a risk taker
Value deep work, deep relationships
I studied English at the University of Glasgow – a combination of English and Scottish Language and Literature, plus a bit of American literature.
I was never a strong creative writer so decided that publishing was the industry for me. A career as an editor suited me and for 15 years I worked on product directories for architects and other specifiers in the construction industry.
By around 2010, the rise of the internet was putting significant pressure on traditional industries, and my job became more focused on digital marketing than publishing. Around this time I started to become more of a marketer than an editor or publisher.
Copywriting and editing is still core to my skills in the workplace and in my personal interests.
I think I became a minimalist before I knew it was a label. I hate waste.
I don’t consider myself a tidy freak as such, but mess and clutter causes me stress and is an obstacle to clear thinking. Clearing up can be therapeutic.
Although organising is well-planned hoarding, I prefer to keep my stuff in order, as I hate wasting time looking for things. I think this trait started in my mid-teens, when I had a spate of absent mindedness, where I frequently lost my wallet, money, keys, etc.
I got my first compact camera in the late 80s and have taken thousands of photos since then. I would carry a compact camera with me when I was out and about, and to nights out and parties.
My favourite style of photography is reportage or photojournalism.
At Stirling & District Camera Club (2003-2007), I developed my skills in camera, with Photoshop and with printing. I won one internal club competition but my entry in the Scottish Print Championships scored 6/20.
I wouldn’t call myself a photographer now, but it has been a big part of my life for years.
Some of my previous ‘proper photographs’, as well as mobile phone snaps, are on flickr.
I really enjoy listening to music and have done since about the age of 10.
- 1987-88: pop era – Kylie Minogue, Stock Aitken & Waterman music, and Smash Hits! magazine
- 1989-89: rock/metal era – U2, Bon Jovi, Poison, Iron Maiden…
- 1990-1995: hip hop era – De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu Tang Clan, etc…
- 1996-00: indie/britpop era – Blur, Oasis, Stone Roses, Radiohead, etc…
- 1996-00: classic rock era – Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Neil Young etc…
- 2000-present: electronic era: Kruder + Dorfmeister, Massive Attack, Royksopp
- 2001–present: reggae era – Bob Marley, Horace Andy, 60s rocksteady, 70s roots, 80s dancehall, modern roots reggae
‘Curating’ can be a pretentious word, but I really enjoy organising and cataloguing my music and exploring the genres and influences that have inspired artists I listen to.
The first single I bought was a ‘Spies Like Us’ 7″ at a jumble sale. I saw that it had Paul McCartney on it, and I had a vague understanding that he was cool. I don’t still have it.
The first album I bought was Kylie Minogue’s debut album, Kylie, on cassette.
A breakthrough purchase for me was De La Soul’s Three Feet High and Rising, which led me on a journey of discovery through various strands of hip hop, which I still enjoy. For around five years, I hardly listened to guitar music, except perhaps The La’s eponymous album, and Nirvana’s Nevermind.
Cassettes were a great format in the 1980s and 90s, and I had a dual tape deck ‘ghetto blaster’ that I used to copy music and make compilations for myself and friends. I carried on doing this until cassettes went out of fashion, and when CDs stopped being used. You can still make a Spotify playlist, but it doesn’t have the same feel.
My first gig was Shed Seven at The Garage on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Road in 1995.
My best gigs of all time are: The Wailers, The Chicken Box, Nantucket MA; The Rolling Stones, Murrayfield, Edinburgh; Neil Young and Crazy Horse, SECC, Glasgow; David Bowie, SECC, Glasgow; LCD Soundsystem, Barrowlands, Glasgow.
Since about 2003, thanks to DJs like Soulwax, Optimo and Gilles Peterson, I’ve been discovering an even more varied range of music, regardless of genre.
I’ve always needed excercise, although I have never struggled with weight issues, if I am idle, it affects my mental health and can create a downward spiral of lethargy. In roughly chronological order, I’ve been into the following things:
- Mountain biking
- Road cycling
- Gymnastic strength training