We’ve had a quick chat with multidisciplinary artist Benjamin Ewing about his creative process and the importance of a physical outlet for that creativity.
Photography by Benjamin Ewing & Parker Woods
Hi Benjamin. Thanks for taking the time, working in fine arts, photography, film, and design, you must have a packed schedule… are there any disciplines you are interested in exploring further but don’t have the time to pursue?
Thanks for having me. Absolutely. Ultimately, my aim is to scale my work outside of its current digital and two-dimensional context. I plan to become more involved with sculptural and architectural endeavors. Time is my most important resource as an artist. If only days were 48 hours long.
I hear you. I’ve been thinking the same myself, but on the other hand, isn’t t our limited time our biggest driving force? Would anything get done, if it wasn’t for the fact that we won’t be here forever? Maybe we somehow should celebrate the momentum our short time facilitates?
It depends on each person’s view of time and their own trajectory of success but yes, I think you’re right. I think every artist needs to consciously and carefully evaluate where they’re sourcing their drive from, and let that dictate the rest. I think our most honest, or relevant, artists out there today are people that have found a balance of stress, rest and properly rooted motivation to shape their work. When it comes down to it, time truly is currency and artists need to be careful how and when they spend it. Whether that be time spent researching, socializing, working, resting etc. etc., these things have a huge influence on your output.
Sounds pretty well thought out. Have you given any thought to why you’re working in the creative field? Why it started and if that is the reason you’re still doing it?
As much thought as one can. I got started at a very young age and I think it’s pretty deeply embedded in me. The creative field has its own language and lifestyle that I resonate with more than other fields, and it feels like the best way to be me. I’m simply trying to give myself to my work.
As a multidisciplinary artist, do you use different methods for different mediums or do you approach the tasks in the same way? Could you talk a bit about your process?
For the most part, it’s the same approach. Both undergo a process of gathering information, conceptualizing ideas, execution, editing, (more editing) and then publishing. That process stays the same throughout all mediums. However, design and photo work are much more of a calculated process, with many more people involved… communication plays a big role in that process and the end result ultimately needs to be a solution to a problem. My fine-art process is a bit more peeled back and personal. More of an honest expression than a calculated pooling of resources and visuals.
Speaking of fine art, could you tell me a bit about your series of ink on paint on canvas? What is the origin and inspiration behind it?
That series of work came about in a very gradual way. I had my hands in several projects at the time and various ideas sort of just built on one another until I was able to walk away with the concept I’m exploring now. I had built and painted a backdrop for an editorial I was working on back in 2015 and got hooked. I found myself needing a more physical creative outlet. At the time I was spending a majority of my time designing at my desk and was quickly getting burnt out on digital work. I needed to find something that kept me fresh creatively and painting was the solution to striking that balance. The ink work is simply the result of meditation and seeking balance in my own life.
I get that, I was in the same situation a few years back and found a creative outlet for working with plants. The need for working without a screen shouldn’t be underestimated. From where do you draw inspiration for your paintings?
It’s definitely something that’s not talked about enough within the industry. It’s important to be able to acknowledge what you let influence your work, I do my best to let my inspiration stem from actual feelings than direct examples of work. I’m interested in acknowledging how and when an emotion is triggered and then replicating that experience for others. My current body of work is influenced primarily by letter-forms and glyphs. Many of the line-work pieces are deconstructed compositions of images, tracing paths of vision to achieve balance, similar to how I compose my photographs.
What’s in the pipeline for Benjamin Ewing? Are we going to see any sculptural and architectural endeavors?
Beyond my current design workload, I have four collections in the works that will be released Spring of 2018 in Mexico, Los Angeles & London. Including several sculptural pieces. As far as architectural work goes, I’m currently modeling a few different structures as I continue to refine my woodworking & drafting skills, with aims to build in the next few years.