Monday, 26 February 2007

Interview with Ben Tolman

q) Introduce yourself first please?

a)Ben Tolman

q) Where do you live and work?

a)I live and work in Washington, DC. Right in the heart of the great imperial beast, where I grew up.

q) How did you started? How have you realized you wanted to become an artist?

a)My favorite thing to do from before I can remember was always drawing, first copying the comics from the newspaper, later mostly monsters and naked girls. I never took it seriously until my first year in college. From my experience growing up in America imagination seems to be looked down on, an being an "artist" is not thought of as an acceptable or even possible thing to do with your life.

q) What materials do you use and why?

a)Most of my work up until now has been ink drawing. It’s the media I'm most comfortable with and I enjoy using the most. I also really like using a medium that has so much history behind it. For years I used Rapidograph's (technical drawing pens) but they became too much of a pain in the ass. Now I use Pigma Microns. I also oil paint and plan do do more painting than drawing in the near future.

q) Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related

a)This is a difficult question, because there are so many its difficult to try and rank them. Artist's: Bosch, Van Eyck, all the great masters, the surrealists, Dali, Tanguy, Lenora Carrington, Remidios Varo, 60's underground comics like Crumb, so many other painters Irving Norman, Otto Dix, George Grozs, Ivan Albright... I just really love art and and am influenced by everything I see. Outside of the arts I have been most infuenced by various philosophers and counter culture icons. Aldous Huxley, Terrence Mckenna, Robert Anton Wilson, Ken Wilber.

q) How do you dream up with your wacky ideas? What is your creation process?

a)My process is strangely much the same as it was when I was a kid. I start drawing in one corner with no idea in mind and then grow the concept of the drawing naturally as the drawing grows. I find that with to much preplanning the work becomes stiff and unimaginative.

q) What haven’t you done yet that you definitely want to try someday?

a)I would like to try my hand at film, but doubt I will ever get the chance.

q) Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)There are so many, hundreds...although very few that have solid respect in the "official" art world.

q) How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a)From 3 months to a year. I really enjoy large very involved work. My latest drawing took 6 months the one before that was a collaboration that took 9 months.

q) What music, if any, do you like to have on while you're working?

a)Whatever the music is it just fades into the background as I focus in on the work. But anything from industrial, classical, rock.

q) Do you do many art shows?

a)Not really. I've had a few bad experiences with galleries, which have made me realize I only want to show my work on my terms. I hate dealing with my work as if it is a commercial product for the market. It just feels dirty, I don't know maybe I'll just have to get over this at some point.

q) Tell us about a recent dream you had.

a)I don't remember my dreams.

q) What are you doing when you are not creating?

a)Working at my 9-5 job, or sleeping.

q) Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your work when it is sold?

a)Yes! I still own most of my major works. I haven't allowed myself to sell much.

q) What new projects or exhibits are in your future?

a)I think my next body of work will be oil paintings, which is new to me.

q) What is your favourite art related web site?

a)I like site that work towards creating an art community and help aspiring artists find inspiration and an audience like
I like the many artist links on:

q) What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?

a)Anything after eating 5 dried grams of psilocybe mushrooms will could go here.

q) What is the strangest thing you have ever done?

a)Same as the above answer. Like that one day I thought I was a penguin and then went to my girlfriends work to "save" her from starvation (as in the movie March of the Penguins).
That didn't turn out well.

q) Any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?

a)If you have a true passion for what you do. And do because of that passion (not for money, respect, etc) you will be successful. Just learn everything you can and don't do anything half-ass.

q)your contacts….e-mail…links



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well sai Ben. Pen&ink is a gruelling and lonely obsession.

14 July 2010 at 07:08:00 GMT-7  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home