Instagram: @benbueno Tumblr: buenoben.tumblr.com Behance: www.behance.net/benbueno
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I'm from Israel. I was born in Jerusalem and lived all of my life in Tel-Aviv, but for the past three years I lived mostly in Jerusalem because that's where my school is.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.It's really either cute and cartoony or serious and subdued. Honestly I like the serious stuff more, but I think that most people connect with the cute stuff. I guess I need to find a way to merge these two approaches together?
3. What is your favourite medium and why?Working 100% digitally is a lot easier for me and gets me better results, and yet for some reason I insist on making my line work traditionally and use the computer just for the color. When I'm in a time constraint I will work 100% digitally though.
4. What is your artistic process like?It's either I do everything with Photoshop and a tablet, or I start out with a pencil on paper, ink that with tracing paper, scan it and then color in Photoshop. That's what I've been doing for 4 years now. I wish I knew how to work with more traditional material like gouache and watercolors though.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I wish I could be one of those people who get their inspiration from stuff like their surroundings or music or birds and trees, but the truth is I'm mostly inspired by other artists, either comics artists, manga artists, internet artists and artist artists. To name a few - Chris Ware, Matthew Houston, Tove Jansson, Jonathan Djob-Nkondo, Olivier Schrauwen, Suehiro Maruo. I actually enjoy looking at art a lot more than making it.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?It's the only thing that matters to me. I spend pretty much all of my time either looking at art, reading about it or making it. I wish I could be passionate about other things but everything else blows!
7. Where did you study?I just finished my third year at the Bezalel academy of art and design in Jerusalem. I study Visual Communication but I'm not really into graphic design at all, I mostly stick to illustration and in the past semester I had a video game design class. That was really cool and maybe there's a future in that. We'll see...
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?In the best case scenario I'll have my own air-conditioned apartment in Tel-Aviv paid by my successful freelance illustration business. In the worst and, let's be honest, more likely I'll work some pointless design job and only focus on my art in my free time.
9. What about in ten?I just want that damn air conditioner.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I want to blow people's mind the same way books like Charles Burns' 'Black Hole' blew my mind.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Let me help reinforce the Israeli stereotype - my favorite food is Hummus.
12. Favourite book?I don't really read ever, but I do listen to tons of audiobooks, mostly of the trash persuasion. I really love Stephen King. His best book is "It", so I guess I'll go with that. If we're talking comic books it has to be either the aforementioned Black Hole, or something by Chris Ware. I also have to mention the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman, It's the best.
13. Favourite genre of music?Probably Rock but I find myself warming up to electronic music more and more. I'm recently into Warp artists like Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin and Oneohtrix Point Never.
14. What are your hobbies?I'm a gamer that doesn't play games much anymore, but I love reading about them and watch other people talk about them. I'm also a huge comics nerd and I used to be a music nerd too but I'm not happy with the current state of the music world. It's hard to be a rock fan in a hip-hop dominated world.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?A janitor.