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Getting Personal with Talents | Artist - Ben Heine

Posted by Lois Chan on

Interview with Ben Heine

Watch the interview with the creator of  Pencil Vs Camera  Ben Heine to find out how he developed to be a multi-talented professional artist and some of his impressive works of art in the world.

Craft-Ease supports independent artists by offering their Unique Designs in paint by numbers so people can enjoy world-class amazing artworks from their home. Many fans want to learn more about our talented artists; so we launched a series of interviews with them.

We had the pleasure to interview Ben Heine, the professional multidisciplinary artist, also the new art inventor of  Pencil Vs Camera:  

1. Would you present yourself? How did you become an artist?

I’m a Belgian artist and entrepreneur from Belgium. I create videos, photos, illustrations and music, my work has been exhibited and published worldwide, I’ve also worked in the marketing and communication industry for more than a decade.

I was born in 1983 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. I have a master in Journalism, I also studied History of Art, Painting and Sculpture. I am a self-taught person in drawing and photography. I currently live and work in Belgium. I have been drawing and taking photography since many years. I have invented a series of artworks titled Pencil Vs Camera in which I mix photo and drawing. I also developed other creative concepts such as Digital Circlism and Flesh and Acrylic. I have worked with and represented famous brands like Samsung and Mazda.

My works have been published in famous newspapers and magazines and they were exhibited in a large number of fairs, museums and art galleries around the world. It was very hard at the beginning to make a living with my work but I never gave up. I also started creating music and composing piano melodies since 2011.

2. What inspires your art? Where and how do you find inspiration?

My artistic work is mainly the result of new experiences I live. I’m like a sponge, everything around me inspires me. Life is always full of surprises and stimulations. My ideas often come by accident, while I am doing something totally random, like taking a shower or having a walk outside. I’m inspired by the people around me, by music and nature. I’m also inspired by the daily world news and social injustices. I really like Journalism. I think artists are some kind of creative journalists but without political association. It is important for artists to be creative mirrors of the society they live in.

Furthermore, most of my artworks are a complete reflection of what I am. When I search for new ideas I try to select the ones that are universal and timeless, the ones that relate to certain people and to all the people at the same time.

There are different levels of interpretation for each of my pictures. There is the clearly visible form and there is the symbolic content with several different interpretations, there is finally what the image means to me and the context in which I made it. This is less obvious for the viewer. There is a story behind each one of my photos. Some stories are more significant than other ones. When there is a very special and unusual anecdote behind a picture, I always mention it because it’s not always obvious to the viewer. I think a photo becomes really successful when it talks by itself and when no comment or legend is needed at all.  

3. What does your art mean to you?

I have always wished to become an artist and to be able to make a living with my passion. I decided to use art as a way to express myself when I was a kid. Then I used art to express other things when companies hired me. Art helps me to find answers and peace to specific problems and troubles at a given moment of my life. Art helps me to exist and to bring something to this world.

I try to make other people benefit from these creative escapes. We need more love, consistent information and energy.

I have always had a very generous conception of art, I think everybody should have the chance to see and enjoy the culture. My artworks are like my children, I want to make them grow and be understood by as many people as possible.

I think and perceive the world differently, therefore I express things differently as well. It’s important for me to constantly follow new directions and not be afraid of criticisms.

4. How do you define creativity? Are you a creative person? 

Creativity is the ability to achieve an original production adapted to the context of the environment in which it is expressed. By definition, every living thing on this planet is the successful result of a long creative process which is called evolution. 
So creativity is the solution to a given problem. In human art, creativity has no limit. It is that little extra thing that makes the difference. It's the chaos in the structure. The structure in the chaos. For me creativity means innovation, diversification and intelligence, depending on how we use it. Creativity can be found in all aspects of life, not only in arts. It’s a precious quality in any business or activity.

5. What is the most valuable piece of art to you?

A masterpiece in art is not always expensive, a masterpiece has great value when it unites people, it should be understood by everyone and have different levels of interpretation and complexity. It should be creative, decorative, complicated and easy at the same time, it should be mathematical and lyrical, it should empower people with good energy and positive vibrations, it should help people to find answers to existential questions they have. It should give them hope and faith for the future.

A successful artwork should interact with the viewer. I think it needs to have taken time and energy to be achieved. A valuable piece of art always generates an intense emotion to its viewer, may it be love, laugh, or disgust. 

6. How do you overcome creative blocks?

It almost never happens to me, I’m lucky enough. Because there is always an alternative thing to do. There is always something more simple or that requires less creativity that can be done if I'm blocked with a project. when it happens, I just do something else, for instance, administrative work, sport or relaxation.

I’m an innovative person generally speaking; I always like to do things that have not been tried before. I had to train the way I’m using my imagination over the years to use it at its full potential and not be blocked during the creative process behind every image I make. Most of all, it’s a lot of work and trials and errors. I think it has nothing to do with divine energy or magic. When I’m searching for creative ideas, I usually start with very small things and it becomes more and more complex when I develop them according to what I want to express.   

7. Would you describe the experience or feelings you have when creating your art?

Creating art is a state of mind. For me, it’s some kind of meditation. Finding ideas require a lot of energy, the first steps of an artwork creation are the most difficult ones and they demand a lot of work and concentration. It can be hard to find interesting ideas, the secret is to dig in your imagination as deep as possible and to always surprise people in a positive way. I hate to be redundant. When a good idea is there, it’s just a matter of making it grow and not giving up, you have to follow rules to enter in a certain routine, then it’s more of an automatic process.

Check out our Exclusive collection of unique designs by independent artists or The Classics - the most famous paintings in the world that you can now paint from your home!  

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