Accessible Art Fair, Brussels, September 2012

At a very young age you have experimented various avenues of visual art forms. What is the pleasures of working with different genres of art and having an intuition of starting something that has never been attempted before?

When I started my "Pencil Vs Camera" series in which I mix photography and drawing, I didn't know of course it would generate so much interest. I really started this randomly and I didn't know exactly what impact it would have. I had in mind to do only one image with this concept, but the interest was so big from the beginning that I quickly realized it was important to keep working on it. So I spent 2 years of my life developing this idea and building a portfolio of artworks with many variations.

Through photography you portray both human emotions and nature’s beauty. What is your approach in capturing the many hues of life and planet earth?

I like to portray people and animals, capturing their emotion and giving them a new dimension. I like to show in a simple way the beautiful landscapes earth offers. I often do outdoor shootings and work with natural lights, it's beautiful enough.

Describe your feelings when you are completely one with your work, your artistic creations.

Most of my recent artworks are a complete reflection of what I am. There are different levels of interpretation for each of my pictures. There is the visible message I try to convey and there is what the image means for me and the context in which I made it. This is less obvious for the viewer and only people who know me well can clearly see the connection.

You have successfully managed to blend your passions for both photography and drawing. You incorporate a piece of imagery through your sketches of something that is only happening in your imagination. Did you ever feel it was not so much of pencil “vs” camera but how pencil tied-the-knot with camera that was depicted through the project?

Yes, you're right, at the beginning, I thought it was the opposition between the two disciplines that was the original part of the concept, but I realize more and more that maybe it's more the harmony between the different mediums that makes it interesting and special. Drawing and photography work well together because photography shows the reality as it is and drawing show it as I would like it to be. The strong point of the concept is that there is no limit, everything can be represented on the piece of paper.

As an artist, how difficult is playing the balancing act of satisfying the client’s interests for commercial projects along with his own urge of creative contentment?  Do you have any suggestion for the beginners in this field who may be struggling to balance the two?

When doing a project for a client, it’s indeed often difficult for both parties to be totally happy with the final work, so it’s important to establish the terms of collaboration from the beginning and to anticipate any potential conflict. Usually, I bring my personal interests, creative process, passion and sources of inspiration even when I'm working for a client, but it may be useful for creators to put their personal emotions away when they work on professional collaborations so that they meets the client's wishes.

You are also a multi-linguist. Can you share a couple of phrases that are very close to your heart from all the languages you have learned so far besides the language of art?

Lovely. Here are a few sentences I like to say when I speak one of these languages: French: oh là là, il est temps de faire dodo! English: I love you because you're special! Dutch: Twee vliegen in één klap, het is altijd beter! Spanish: Más vale solo que mal acompañado! Polish: Kto rano wstaje, temu Pan Bóg daje! Russian: Мне бы хотелось побывать в вашей стране!

How to ensure that exposure to different cultures, experiences and even knowledge of artistic movements at different era do not become a limiting factor but work as an impetus for being adventurous and seeking out new territories in the infinite world of art?

I think art is a never ending cycle, but it's still a cycle, it means that for each era of time and in each human culture, there are some general aspects reappearing. It is important to know that. So as a creator, I try to be a reflection of the society I'm living in, let's say in a specific time and space. And I always try to be innovative, that's the most difficult part.

If Ben is requested to illustrate “Looking at Myself” featuring himself what would his artistic journey thus far reveal?

I don't really know who I am and where I'm going. I only know what I'm doing and in which context I'm evolving. So if I were to depict myself, I'd show me asking questions.

(*) Lucky Compiler aims to share inspiring stories of ingenuous and original efforts capable of enriching life and adorning society...