Hello Benjamin! I have had the pleasure of meeting you through your beloved wife, Sophie. Tell us a little about yourself for those who don’t know you.
I'm Benny, and I am a 28-year-old multi a-disciplinary creative who generally focusses on branding, art direction, photography, and visual design. Originally from Christchurch in NZ, I have lived in Australia since 2016 after falling in love with my beautiful (now) wife, and we currently live in Sydney. My passions are (in no particular order) travel - it inspires me and energizes me, music - it is my greatest love, food - my biggest expense and happiest place and art - all genres, a deep love of mine.
I love the diversity of your work, it doesn’t just fit into one little niche and yet you have such a succinct style, what has been the process you have gone through of creating your own style?
Thank you, that is very kind! In honesty, this is still very much a work in progress for me, and a constant refining process. With my drawings/art, I focused on what my actual writing and drawing style was and tried to allow it to be an authentic representation of how I naturally lean in those areas, instead of molding my style to be perhaps more mainstream. With my design and art direction, when working on my own projects, I will let the idea lead the art. Everything starts with a concept for me, a lightbulb moment from somewhere in the archives (or recent). That being said, the more I work, the more of ‘myself’ goes into each piece, and the more I refine what my individual lenience or stamp is on my work. I am all for not fitting in a niche, and as I and the world evolves, I hope to always expand beyond what I have done before and push myself creatively.
What is one of your greatest motivations to why you create?
To me, it is a luxury to have the opportunity to create. Throughout different periods of my life I have had varying levels of time dedicated to creating, but always it is a priority. To me, it is imperative as to my progression as a person, and expression as an artist, irrelevant to whether I ever post or display my work. I have learnt that I am at my best when I am pushing myself to start, even if I do not feel motivated to finish, I will be happy I started. I once read that big goals are achieved by the culmination of hitting lots of small goals. I tell myself this daily. Start small. You’ll get there.
Whom in the industry would be a desire of yours to be commissioned by or company?
Before I die, I’ll do some work for Gucci. They may never see it, they may never pay for it, but I’ll do it. (There’s some motivation for me right there!)
I appreciated how professional you were when we were liaising about creating the brand identity for Lola, you really honoured the vision I had and took it to a whole other level. What is your process in creating for other brands whilst still adding your own style? And what are your favourite types of brands to work with?
Thank you for saying so! Ultimately, every brand, individual, and brief is different. People have varying levels of vision, and varying levels of flexibility they wish to give to the designer/art director. I always try to seek out how the client wants to work, as there will likely be a splash of me somewhere in it, even if they don’t know it! I have worked with some of the most amazing people over the course of the past few years, and each is unique in many ways. From a process perspective, I learnt a lot from my studio experience. Seek to understand, ask the right questions, get clarity on the vision, and work relentlessly until it is where it needs to be. Rinse and repeat :)
If you could only choose one medium to create with, what would it be and why?
Ooh, great question. Perhaps photography. Not because I’d say its my main medium, or my strongest at this point. However, in a photo you can capture a brand, a feeling, a moment, a dream. You get to bundle many mediums into one snapshot, so perhaps I’d choose it cause its the most versatile.
Where do you see yourself and your art in the future?
At this point, 2020 has allowed me through its chaos to open my mind to where anything can go. I wouldn’t have ever thought I’d be shipping my art to grace the walls of hallways in New York, or collaborating on emerging fashion brands, and working with some of Sydney’s best photographers on multiple of their projects. To me - I see myself doing a stint overseas to learn from some more of the industries best in branding to continue to shadow and upskill, and then launching out on my own. From an art perspective, my shop will launch sometime this year - that’s as far into the future as I can go!
How would you define beauty?
The magic of something being truly seen.
What has been one difficult challenge you have faced as an artist? And how have you overcome that challenge?
Just as every project comes with its own individual stamp, it also comes with its own individual parameters. At times, the constraints others put on where they want the end product to be, can be a challenge to me as an artist who takes pride and joy in pushing boundaries. However, learning to convey vision and backing ideas enough to see each project to a good place is helping me to overcome this, and I learn more every client I work with.
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