We're very happy to be featuring our very first Australian based artist, the lovely Mr. Ben Marriott!
Based in Sydney, Ben's work is a clear reflection of his own personality; whimsical, quirky, clever and oozing a resounding sense of dedication and care - just take a look at his illustration process and you'll see what we mean.
Versed in the multidisciplinary skills of illustration, graphic design & animation, Ben is one artist you'll be wanting to keep an eye on!
"I particularly loved designing the tattoos I imagined an optometrist of that calibre would have."
When did you first get into illustration?
Whilst studying design at university. I’d been drawing my whole life and I found adding illustrations to design assignments was a really fun way to add more personality to the work. I found the illustration process much more gratifying, personal and eventually more import.
What are some of your main influences?
A bunch of really odd things influence me, sometimes is a song lyric or unusual phrase that catches my attention and I’ll just want to express it visually in an interesting way. The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy is one of things that’s influenced me the most. It’s Absurdist humor at it’s finest. I’ll never forget how that made me feel and I try to put that feeling in my work as much as I can. I like to trick people into accepting absurd scenarios. So I’m always impressed when any media does the same to me.
The artists that have influenced me most would be; Mike Mignola, Sam Bosma and Sam Weber. They’re the people that keep me up at night, glowing green with envy wondering how on earth anyone could be so talented.
Top 5 artists to watch right now:
- Robert M Ball. He’s got an amazing eye for composition and recently produced absolutely stunning series of work for HBO’s Game of Thrones called ‘Beautiful Death.’
- Chris Nixon. Just Incredible illustrations with increasing amounts much character and charm.
- Chris Yee. Really bold, striking, detailed work in black and white with an amazing asian aesthetic.
- Tea Wei. Every piece of work is full of creative ideas and fun twists on familiar concepts.
- Sachin Teng. Stunning work that keeps getting better and better. So good it’s rage inducing.
Who would you most love to collaborate with?
Kanye West. He’d easily provide the best catering and gift-bags. But also he’s one of the most interesting cultural figures and has the necessary combination of bold ideas and enough of the confidence/arrogance to follow through with them.
What’s the art scene like right now in Sydney?
I’m by no means an authority, but I’ve noticed more collaborations between smaller businesses and creative industries recently. It seems like the public is having more interaction with the art now. It’s also really encouraging to see so many people making more of an attempt to differentiate themselves within the art world than jumping on board with the trending styles.
In 5 years time I’ll be…
Ideally a little younger than I am now thanks to powerful advances in anti-aging moisturising cream. I’d like to work projects that have a longer lifespan. Making products with a surface pattern design and animation are areas that I’m really interested in exploring at the moment and I think they’ll be a bigger part of my work in the future.
My favourite film is…
The Dark Knight. I just get a constant thrill from the whole thing. And consistently, It’s always just as much fun as I remember it. For a more satisfyingly artsy response I’d say Spirited Away.
Right now I’m listening to…
A beautiful combination of my neighbours loud phone conversations and Fiona Apple. Apple makes the most beautifully phrased and personal songwriting that I know. No-one sculpts metaphors like she does. That’s what’s been on high rotation for me lately.
At the end of a long day, I like to unwind by
Putting on the kettle, a TV show and drawing stuff that doesn’t require me to think at all. Repetitive rendering of things I’ve already sketched tightly or simple animation transitions. Also catching up the the daily internet that I like to pretend it important.