Over the weekend I helped a few high school kids learn to use aerosol paint on a mural outside of the DA center in downtown Pomona. It’s always great to help out, and instructing helps to communicate why to do things instead of just doing them. The mural will be finished up by local high school students and visit a few of the local schools.
A huge thank you to Andy Q and the DA staff for including me in something positive for the community that I grew up in.
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Got to display some new works at Becore’s Art party. Was fun to try some new experiments.
I’ve always been into Warhol’s take on screen printed art, it was fun to do my own version of it with the Mano de Hamburgesa and Mano de Pizza editions. I’ve always noticed a weird connection between the buddah hand image, salon nail window art and photos of people holding fast food, I couldnt think of a better way of linking them all together.
Also displayed some older prints and L.A Con Todo, a nod to my more commercial graphic design work. It felt a bit odd to execute this in acrylic on canvas instead of infront of a computer, as I tend to like painting a little looser.
All in all was a ton of fun and helped open up the door to more art.
I have some of these up at the shop, if you feel so inclined to own any of these
There’s a weird part of my brain that always wants to go against whatever works best. It’s like i’m in permanent underdog mode or something.
This would have taken about 15 minutes to mock up on illustrator, bang out film, and send off to print. Something in my head kept whispering “tooo eaaaasy”, and I ended up drawing this all by hand directly onto film (and used some old letraset for the type on the bottom). It took a bit, and its pretty rough on certain spots, but I couldn’t be happier with the results. I know it’s odd to complain about digital things on a blog, but after being involved in graphic design for so long, I really treasure the moments when things have a hand feel. Theres something romantic to be about seeing the “error” of human hand in a career dominated by vectors and PSD files.
As an experiment with that mindset (and an unhealthy dose of depeche more), i’m happy to present this serigraph, entitled Everything Counts. Inspired by the DM single of the same name, it’s a 1 color print on 100# bright white paper, 18×24″, signed and numbered. Hand printed in East L.A at Buenas Vibras Design Club. If you’re interested in purchasing one, its available on my web shop.
Here are some obligatory BTS photos…
Do you really want to be good at something? there’s one key component that talent/fame/looks/personality can’t get you passed.
You can’t get away from it.
Even the best talent in the world is useless without some real-world practice under their belt.
You will get burned. You will get angry. You will want to scream at the top of your lungs. You will be sorely under appreciated… but you will get REALLY good.
I honed a lot my skills making black and white flyers for friends and acquaintances. Quick, cheap, print out a copy on letter paper, get some photocopies made at a local shop, chop ‘em up and head off to promote. A DIY alternative to the glossy full color stuff. With all other trim and color variations stripped, you really had to focus on the design and information. It wasn’t always stuff I liked, not always art I was proud of (let’s be honest here, having taste doesn’t always mean being able to implement it easily and quickly), but it sped up my ability to go from a jumbled note of information to something visually pleasing in about 20 minutes, which is something I pride myself on to this day.
While old hard drive spelunking for files I found a few old files from 2004 and on that I had completely forgotten about. For as many of these as I had to bang out not many survived physically so it was nice to go through memory lane (or design hell, depending on how I want to remember it) and revisit these.
Ideas just don’t jump out of your mind without some inspiration. I have a ton of reference and inspiration images on my hard drive, but nothing can top going out and exploring.
This saturday we hit Blum and Poe (https://www.blumandpoe.com/) to check out Yoshimoto Nara’s work, it was great to see how much his work has progressed without losing sight of what originally made him so interesting. Lots of clever expansions of ideas and styles.
Also got to hit LACMA (http://www.lacma.org/) and see Diane von Furstenburgs’ Journey Of A Dress, which really pushed the visual importance of something most people would not put pay much attention to. LACMA is always a great inspiration spot, but this special exhibition is really recommended.
Also I am attempting to shoot with a Lumix gf2 camera, so apologies if the photography isnt up to my usual. I’m still getting used to it.
update: hey guys thank you all so much for the interest. It’s amazing how many people were interested, and I appreciate everyone who responded. I’ve found a few people to help me out, but will always be looking back at past emails as situations arise. thank you all again so much!
Here’s some testimonials from past assistants/interns/co-conspirators:
“Working with Benjie taught me that I can do more than gardening.” -Carl Yet
“Working with Benjie was a great experience I learned new techniques in illustration and graphic production. He definitely helped me sharpen my skills and helped me find new ones. He’s a weirdo through and through but he’s got great taste in food so lunch is great. rad.” -Riley
“Working with Benjie is like a bar mitzvah; he taught me the skills I needed then to become the man I am today.” -Señor Nathan Nice
Thank all of you so much for entering, I really appreciate it!
Winners were chosen randomly through a weirdo internet algorithm, so blame sky net!
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