Shooting of a Pencil Vs Camera image (more pics below)

Votre Art: How long have you been an artist?

Ben Heine: When I was 11 year old or so, there was a shift in my personality and habits. I started spending all my free time on my projects. I was somehow learning on my own and trying different graphic experimentations. This new passion somehow damaged my social life at that time but I don’t regret anything, I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t decided to do this.

Is being an artist a full-time career for you?

Yes, it is. I’m working on my artistic projects from very early in the morning till late in the evening. It is a full time investment. Since 2 years, I’m finally able to make a living out of my artistic work. It is nice to be able to do what I like but it’s hard everyday and it involves many sacrifices, which is may be the downside.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?

I’m currently working on some new “Pencil Vs Camera” works with colored drawings instead of black and white sketches. It’s a richer and more complex approach. I’m collaborating since a few weeks only with an advertising agency in Bucharest, Romania. I’m also working on some electronic musical compositions, but that’s more as a hobby.

What was your inspiration?

Many teachers have inspired me in a great way when I was a student. Nowadays, I find inspiration in my daily life, in every new person I meet, in nature, in cities I travel to, in music I listen to, in movies I watch... All this gives me good insight and stimulates my imagination.

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?

I think Art should surprise and inspire people. It should be the reflection of the society we live in or a reflection of how society will be in the future.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Everybody can be part of History.

Tell me about your workspace and your creative process.

Wow, my workspace... There are 2 workspaces actually; my desk and computers place where I do my digital stuff (and from where I’m writing right now) and my studio in the countryside where I do all my traditional works. Both are quite messy and completely crazy to look at. I’d never show them in detail I guess.

My creative process... I need to experience intense, emotional and powerful events in my life first to find inspiration and creative stimulations. When I have some nice ideas in mind, I need to know how exactly I’m going to express them, which medium I’m going to use etc. When this is chosen, I spend days or weeks developing them. And then there is the final part, may be the most important one: share and spread the final projects with the public and the press to receive criticisms and reviews.

What has been the biggest challenge in the work you create?

Every new project is a big challenge, but I would say Pencil Vs Camera is becoming more and more complex graphically speaking, so this is more challenging and time consuming for me. I noticed that the more time spent on a project the best it becomes. It’s easy to understand why.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world?

DeviantArt and Flickr mainly. There are thousands of good people there already.

Do you have any exhibits to promote?

There might be a new solo exhibition with my limited edition prints at “The Avenue” in London via The Art Movement, early May. It’s not confirmed yet.

(*) Votre Art is social platform for artists, art lovers, collectors & galleries interested in Painting, Graphic Design, Illustration, Digital Art, Photography, Sculpture and Drawing. I was interviewed by Fiman Prayudi Utama and this interview was published on Votre Art blog in March 2012.