Today is a big day for us. For better or worse. We've just announced that we've sponsored Kelvin Hassell #13. From now on, we shall only refer to him as Kelvin. First name terms and all that.
"Why is it a big day" you may ask? Good question. "It's only Kelvin Hassell" you might be thinking. Fair point. Lies! It's not a fair point. Announcing that he's on board with us is a big deal. This makes him our second Sponsored Kunst, a man representing not only Kunstvoller but the KunstSquad too. We hand selected him, it wasn't like some sort of random tombola, we sought him out and we've (perhaps misplaced) admiration for the bloke. He wouldn't be here if we didn't. Not as in he'd be dead, that's next level stuff, we just wouldn't have got involved with him. Fact.
What would be fair to say, is that up until a few months ago his name had never darkened Kunstvoller's door. Kunstvoller itself didn't exist outside of heads, computers and stacks of paper until not long before that anyway. As soon as he was known, we knew one thing. He was proper KunstSquad material.
After a nosey through his social media (you know, as you do) we went and did some more digging on his garage's website. Our conclusion? He had sponsorship potential. We could see him repping us and the KunstSquad . . . a view that was only massively influenced by him announcing he'd be racing the BriSCA F1's next year. Bit selfish on our behalf, but we know what we want and there's nowt wrong with that.
We needed to see what he made of Kunstvoller. If he didn't like us he wasn't one of us anyway. We followed him and waited until he showed the common sense to follow us back. It doesn't take the clever ones long and we don't want dimwits. He came good just in time. We started having some banter, offered him stickers, he bought a t-shirt, the rest is mere history. Now look where we are. Soon to be on a mother-fucking F1 stock car Kunsts! One of our ultimate quests ticked off in under 5 months. So yeah, if you're bothering to read this, cheers for that Hassell!
Whilst doing our research, it wasn't just his words that we liked, it was his racing. Pretty damn important to us after all. He'd be nothing to us without it. Jokes; kind of. The videos, all the race related content, we liked his approach. He's not only got a smart mouth, he's smart behind the wheel too, with the skills and experience to back it up.
Kelvin's been racing since he was a nipper. See the 1990's photos below to prove it. He graduated from the Jim Russell Racing Driver School and has gone on to race a lot of cars over the years, different series and formulas, across Europe (and in California) even helping create the European Late Model Series with its Founder, Tony Roots. Aye, he knows his stuff this lad.
Mind, he could've known everything and been the best racing driver in the world, but if we didn't think he'd fit in, or we thought he was boring as shit, we'd have moved on. Thing is, he isn't. He's got character – like Kunstvoller. Bit of a gobshite you could say (pot / kettle) but he's sound as a pound with it. He works on and builds cars for a living, primarily race cars, he writes, he draws, he makes videos, sings like a trooper . . . he's built his life around work he loves so he can spend more time living his dream . . . driving cars fast. We don't think we're wrong in saying that would involve ideally turning left. Stock cars and oval racing is where he's the happiest bunny.
So far it's been more of a pleasure than a chore getting to know Kelvin. He still does our heads in most days. It may have taken him five hours to choose a hat, but the patience we have with him goes both ways. He understands we're starting out and is helping us with stuff we need to learn. In return, we've taught him what a Bush Baby is, that most people know (or at least have an idea) what height they are, and that just because we're in the North East we don't speak a foreign language. OK, we're still working on that last one.
He's already put a lot of time into Kunstvoller, both in talking with us and in making stuff. He's even said we can give him a list of things to do and he'll do them. Dangerous. What we're saying is that even before this was official he was making an effort. He backed up what he said with action, as he does in his own business. 'Cause he's professional like that. That goes a long way with us and it's why we've ended up here.
Over on social media we've a bit of a 'let's take the piss out of each other' thing going on . . . only fuelled by our review of his book (oh yeah, add author, Illustrator even, on top of writer and drawer *ahem* you can read about his book here) It's all a bit of fun. Tough love and personalities bouncing off each other at most. Honestly? We like each other really. Ignore him if he says different. Behind the scenes we even do serious. Like scheming hyenas. Our social media will get a bit more focused now we're officially in cahoots. Once racing season starts we'll be supporting him all the way. We've a fair bit work to come, some he doesn't know about yet. It's at least semi-planned our end though . . . and it'll never be dull.
Kelvin's as much up for doing stuff, giving things a go and getting creative as we are. With a shared sense of humour – that is, 'appropriately-inappropriate' in public – the only risk with us working together is we get into a bit of bother. Yeah we egg each other on like we're back at school, but who doesn't love a bit of a bad influence? What's life without risks . . . and who the hell wants to grow up? Anyway, chances are we won't do or say anything that bad. We're not as daft as we look. Plus, as we're in charge round here we don't need to worry too much about it. Ahhh, it's great being your own boss.
So, for all the digs we have, and for the few times we've wished we'd never clapped eyes on him, the truth is we're pretty bloody glad we did. He's part of Kunstvoller now and he's going to be instrumental in helping get our name out there and no doubt developing it further. Obviously, that was thanks to us, so we'll pat our own back for this one.
That's that really. A bit on how the sponsorship came about, our views on Kelvin and a tad of an insight into how we work with people. It's a fitting finish to admit that straight after scribbling signatures on the sponsorship agreement our words to Kelvin were:
"Can't believe we've signed up to 12 months of this shit".
It already feels like this has been going on foooor-eveeeeer. It's going to be a long year.
Bring. It. On. We like a challenge.
Everyone who's part of the KunstSquad is friendly AF. Feel free to reach out, leave comments, ask questions and get involved with Kelvin (and the rest of us) over on social media: