02.11.09 by Jeff

Ben Tour / Interview

This is the first of six mini interviews, featuring the artists in our Tangents art show. First up is Ben Tour!

 

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BEN TOUR INTERVIEW

 

ben tour tangents art show vancouver booooooom

Can you describe your process? And are the little letters that appear in some of the works from those rub/transfer sheets?

My process changes from piece to piece. With painting, I start with a sketch which is quite tight and then project it on my chosen surface with an overhead projector. I’ve played around with different techniques but find this one the easiest. For smaller scale work, I just sit down and get to work usually building the final from smaller roughs. Tradititional illustrator style. The little letters and numbers are rub-on. It’s a product that was popular for designers before computers.

My Dad actually introduced me to it as he would lay out magazines cut and paste style and have sheets of Letraset Rub-On next to the drafting table. I also remember as a kid their was similar stuff in boxes of Fruit Loops – you would get a little rub-on sheet with Toucan Sam and you could use a pencil and rub him onto paper. I’d forgotten all about the stuff and then by chance years later found a box of it, which I still have.

I totally remember those rub-on sheets in the cereal boxes! When you were a kid did you ever read those books that came with a battery-powered “pen” that had some sort of laser in it and when you put it on different colors in the book it would make different noises and light up? (This sounds totally made up, but I swear this was actually a thing!)

I don’t remember those? Sounds awesome. My parents only got the good kid cereal maybe once a month, I ate alot of Shredded Wheat and Weetabix. I like both of those cereals but they never had cool toys.

ben tour tangents art show vancouver booooooom

I notice on your site you describe yourself as a painter and an illustrator, do you think there are negative connotations that come from being labeled an illustrator?

No. But I understand what you mean. Illustration by definition is visual matter used to clarify or decorate text. It’s a structured job, and I think because of that it doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. Fine artists have always borrowed from illustrators and vice versa. My favourite artists have always been illustrators and comic book artists. What I try to do now is bend and borrow illustration techniques and conceptual process to showcase it as fine art.

Who was your favourite comic book artist growing up? And what about now?

I had a lot of faves growing up and as I got older my taste changed and developed. My first comic book love affair was Uncanny X-Men, I started around 211, which I got as a Halloween present while Trick or Treating. After that it was over. Mark Silvestri, Jim Lee. I tried to beg, borrow and steal as many Marvel comics as I could. Frank Miller, Ron Lim, Arthur Adams, Todd McFarlane, Sam Kieth. Mike Mignola, Walter Simonson. Then Havoc/Wolverine ‘Meltdown’ came out – it was a mini series of graphic novels painted by John J. Muth and Kent Williams. It was different than anything I had  seen before and made me interested in painting as the art was so raw and ‘Drippy(?)’.

After that I discovered ‘The Beguiling’ which is an amazing comic book store in Toronto, I got heavy into into ‘alternative’ comics and stuff like ‘Love & Rockets’ and ‘Ed the Happy Clown’. I was big into Moebius, Bill Sienkiewicz and Heavy Metal. Nowadays I’m more into guys like James Jean and Ashley Wood. I’ve skimming the surface on this topic. I’m a fucking dork.

Yeah I was really into Silvestri and Jim Lee, X-men, WildC.A.T.S., Cyberforce. And Sienkiewicz is one of my favourites, Elektra Assassin and his Jimi Hendrix book are amazing. Are the figures in your work based on people you know?

I use alot of photography in my art and sometimes I get friends to pose for portraits. Many of the references I use are found images.

What do you like to do for fun?

Fun? I’m pretty busy these days to be honest. I hang out with my family, I go to the beach or on hikes. I’m a dad so i usually do fun stuff with my son. He keeps me out of trouble. I think its commonly referred to as getting old.

ben tour tangents art show vancouver booooooom

This website is the closest thing I have to a child (insert sad music). Are there any good kids shows on tv? And what about the computer, is he on there a lot? I think it’s weird that kids are all learning how to type on a keyboard when I was just drawing or playing with lego at that age.

My kid is still really young, but I don’t underestimate how much he absorbs through TV and the computer. He’s not really into TV at the moment and that’s a good thing. I did check this out with him.

I was gonna say that Yo Gabba Gabba looked like the only show I’d have my kid watching! Do you want to end the interview with a quote?

“Thanks Jeff”.

 

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If you are in Vancouver on November 13th, come out to Tangents and meet Ben in person!

Join the Facebook Event, and tell everyone you know!

See more of Ben’s work, here.













Jeff
Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.



  • http://www.corygibbons.com cory gibbons

    nice interview. look forward to the rest.

  • Yoshi

    I used to have one of those books that came with a battery powered pen… I think I had a whole series of them… but I don’t think it operated on colours, I think there were barcodes in the pages, or something. They were awesome though.

    • http://www.jeffhamada.com/ jeffhamada

      yea my memory is a little hazy on them but i think we’re talkin about the same thing – i really want to find one now!!!

  • http://re-definedope.blogspot.com rye

    what a swell guy! he seems super chill and nice from that interview. the thing i love about ben tour is he has such a distinct style. i mean from a stand point of someone who doesn’t really delve deeply into art and look at paintings a lot i can always recognize his work. perhaps to some thats not such a compliment but i really appreciate that about his artwork. nice interview jeef

    btw. that ^ comment reminds me of those battery powered pens that vibrated so when you wrote it looked like you were rolling down a hill in a zorb, or had Parkinson’s. what the point of a pen you only write squiggly with with…. i do not know.

  • http://www.jeffhamada.com/ jeffhamada

    he has a very distinct style and i think that is totally a compliment – if you imagine how many people are drawing faces all over planet earth, to put your stamp on the style of an eyeball or the proportions of a face and have people recognize it and attribute it to you, is quite something

  • Pingback: Tangents Interviews | Say Mayday()





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Ultimate List of all the Best Art + Photo Tumblrs to Follow

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*Update April 28th 2016 – We are continuing to update this list, removing Tumblrs that are no longer updated very frequently, and adding more as they are submitted. Please read the text below before submitting your Tumblr for consideration! Thank you all for the help, this has become an amazing resource – let’s keep it going!

 

I am compiling an extensive list of all the art and photography Tumblrs worth following. I would love your help to make this the ultimate list! Please leave a comment below with your suggestions and I will update this list with the best suggestions.

This list will focus as much as possible on Tumblrs that survey new work by different people and credit the creators of the images. Please do not submit Tumblrs that only focus on one person’s work (ie. your own personal portfolio) or mood boards that do not make any effort to link back to the source of the work.

Please share this with friends, the more input we have the better this resource will be!

 

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adambellefeuil.tumblr.com

antronaut.net

artesostenible.tumblr.com

artistportfoliosites.tumblr.com

artruby.com

badbananas.tumblr.com

blackcontemporaryart.tumblr.com

booooooom.tumblr.com

bradypus.tumblr.com

bremser.tumblr.com

bryanschutmaat.tumblr.com

burnsidepacific.tumblr.com

contemporary-art-blog.com

cosascool.tumblr.com

covetarts.tumblr.com

darksilenceinsuburbia.tumblr.com

drawingdiary.tumblr.com

eiginleiki.net

exhibition-ism.com

eyescapemagazine.tumblr.com

fecalface.tumblr.com

folknouveau.tumblr.com

foundinspirationmovingforward.tumblr.com

frntrs.tumblr.com

gallery44.tumblr.com

gh0stgums.com

gills.tumblr.com

gradientchild.tumblr.com

grossgaians.tumblr.com

heathwest.tumblr.com

heliocentrism.tumblr.com

hifructosemag.tumblr.com

hldky.tumblr.com

holyurl.tumblr.com

human-empathy.tumblr.com

hydeordie.com

hyperallergic.tumblr.com

i-love-art.tumblr.com

iamjapanese.tumblr.com

iceblack.tumblr.com

if-you-leave.tumblr.com

iheartmyart.com

inspiredbyme.tumblr.com

jennilee.tumblr.com

jesuisperdu.tumblr.com

jillsies.tumblr.com

julianminima.tumblr.com

juxtapozmag.tumblr.com

killthecollector.tumblr.com

kinetics.tumblr.com

krypten.tumblr.com

la-beaute–de-pandore.tumblr.com

lacma.tumblr.com

laravissante.tumblr.com

lepoeteborgne.tumblr.com

lesthetiquedelinventaire.tumblr.com

like-ivy.tumblr.com

limboyouth.com

m75.tumblr.com

maciekjasik.tumblr.com

malaising.tumblr.com

mayanhandballcourt.com

mdme-x.tumblr.com

mpdrolet.tumblr.com

murmansea.tumblr.com

museumoflatinamericanart.tumblr.com

museumuesum.tumblr.com

myampgoesto11.tumblr.com

mydarkenedeyes.tumblr.com

mydeadpony.tumblr.com

nattonelli.tumblr.com

nearlya.tumblr.com

neural-network.tumblr.com

ninebagatelles.tumblr.com

nopefun.com

nyctaeus.tumblr.com

oldhorse.tumblr.com

oneforeverywish.tumblr.com

oxane.tumblr.com

paper-journal.tumblr.com

photographersdirectory.tumblr.com

photographsonthebrain.com

planetaryfolklore.tumblr.com

plotsummary.tumblr.com

postpatternism.tumblr.com

razorshapes.tumblr.com

robotscrytoo.com

ronulicny.tumblr.com

roomdark.tumblr.com

rustybreak.tumblr.com

ryandonato.com

sculptores.tumblr.com

sculpture-center.tumblr.com

selektormagazine.tumblr.com

semihlakerta.tumblr.com

sensitive.tumblr.com

sfmoma.tumblr.com

shanellpapp.tumblr.com

shootinggallery.tumblr.com

showslow.tumblr.com

somewhatreal.tumblr.com

sonicteeth.tumblr.com

spatula.tumblr.com

spraybeast.tumblr.com

staged-photography.tumblr.com

supersonicelectronic.com

technolowgy.tumblr.com

the-coven.tumblr.com

the-drawing-center.tumblr.com

the-social-collective.tumblr.com

thecreatorsproject.tumblr.com

thefunctionfordrift.tumblr.com

thegetty.tumblr.com

theheavycollective.com

thewowpicture.tumblr.com

thisisnthappiness.com

timelightbox.tumblr.com

toutpetitlaplanete.tumblr.com

turbofolk.tumblr.com

unknowneditors.tumblr.com

untrustyou.tumblr.com

visual-poetry.tumblr.com

visualhunt.tumblr.com

voodoovoodoo.tumblr.com

wandering-bears.tumblr.com

whereiseefashion.tumblr.com

whitneymuseum.tumblr.com

wowgreat.tumblr.com

young-shot.com

 

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