by MakeMyCreative (*)
Caricature of Ben by Rohan Voigt
Hello Ben, welcome to the MakeMyCreative platform! Please, introduce yourself, tell us more about your life and how you started in the creative field.

Hello and thank you for introducing my work to MakeMyCreative’s audience. I’m a Belgian visual artist. I was born in Ivory Coast in 1983 and I now live and work in Brussels. I studied graphic arts and sculpture and I also have a degree in journalism.

I have always wished to become a “creator” and to be able to make a living with my passion. I seriously started to regularly produce traditional drawings and paintings at 14 years old. I opened my first blog and website when I was 19 years old. At the time of my studies in Journalism, I was a young autonomous, unknown, inexperienced and sometimes “wild” political cartoonist. I have done a couple of controversial political stuff, I’m not willing to go further in that direction.

I have always believed the Internet was a unique tool to get known worldwide, so I have constantly be sharing new and original artworks on my sites and I built a big network of contacts (friends and artists) on the web and this has helped me getting daily requests and commissions today… after several years of let’s say “free services”.

Every week is different and my style is evolving all the time. I’m now spending more energy in photography and digital painting. I don’t know what I’ll be doing next. But I’m sure I’ll be doing something and I’ll invest all my power and competences to achieve it.

I have also had the chance to meet and see several master painters at work such as Sebastian Kruger, Marcin Bondarowicz, Jean Paul De Moor and many others. They gave me priceless tips.

I’m now co-founding with my associate and agent a new art gallery called “The Artistery”. I’ve also recently been sponsored by Samsung Digital Imaging.

How would you describe your work, style – your approach to design and illustration?

I’m open to many graphic styles and try to not exclude any interesting and new visual effects in my creative work. I admit that Belgian Surrealism, American Pop Art, German Expressionism and Social Realism are the main artistic movements that inspired me so far.

I’m not really interested in repeating what others have already done in the past so I’m constantly searching for unseen and unexpected forms of visual expression.

Could you tell us about your career? your favourite project? your current or upcoming projects.

I started as a traditional drawer and painter (portraits and illustrations), then I became a digital artist and photographer and I’m now mixing everything together to realize my new projects. I enjoyed working on my portraits series of Michael Jackson and Barack Obama. I’m now focusing on 2 new and ongoing series called “Pencil Vs Camera” and “Digital circlism”.

The first one has had a massive and unexpected impact on the web. I’ll be posting more PvsC creations in the coming weeks. The second one has also generated some interest but I must develop it a bit more. I intend to work on new original series in the near future. I have a rough idea of it already, but it’s not super clear yet and I don’t want to give too many details…

Tell us about the programs you work in. some tips you want to share with us.

Now that I’m more into digital painting and photography, I’m mainly working with Photoshop CS4 and CS5 but I’m sometimes using other great and powerful softwares such as Alchemy, Painter or ZBrush. The only tip I will give is “don’t think the program you’re working with will make your creations become masterpieces”.

What are your favourite websites that you visit before starting a new project? What makes them unique?

I don’t have one or a few websites that I visit all the time, I guess I produce more than I consume… But in general, I keep an eye on specialized art websites that are often updated with lots of exclusive and attractive visual content such as Brazil based “Abduzeedo”, among many others…

Your works are unique. Can you tell us what inspires you? Can you give a particular example of how the idea of making an artwork was created?

Thank you. Everything around me inspires me. When I say everything, it’s everything. My best ideas always came by accident, while I was doing something totally random, like taking a shower, brushing my teeth, having a refreshing walk outside. Usually, any new idea from me is the continuity of what I’ve done just before. Please, visit my portfolio to see for yourself.

Time is the topic of many of your works, what inspires you to create these projects?

Time is a great source of inspiration for me and for so many other artists. We’re all under the influence of time. The end of life is always near and there is something scary about it. Making artworks about this topic is somehow a way to canalize our fears.

What is the most important thing you have learned after you started doing design?

Hard work, talent, originality and sincerity are the best ingredients to reach your goals in the creative world...

It was a pleasure talking to you. A few final thoughts. What would you wish the designers reading this interview?

I wish them all the best, lots of success, luck and happiness. I think the best gift for designers and creators is to get their works seen by others. So go for it.


(*) MakeMyCreative blog: