Welcome to the August installment of Exploring Art and Artist!
“Exploring Art & Artist” is a new feature here at OOAK Artisan Showcase. Written by Ellen Schimmel Pearson, it’s a non-artist’s exploration of the creative world.
Exploring Art and Artist :: Ben John Lincod Albino
by Ellen Schimmel Pearson
This month I have an artist that is a personal joy for me to introduce to you, his name is Ben John Lincod Albino. I got to know Ben John through the artwork he has created for me!
Ben lives with his parents in the Philippines, in the province of Pangasinan. He grew up in this area, near the beach in Lingayen.
Ben’s been drawing since the age of 4, but he says that once he started joining art exhibits in 2013, his career in art began to take form.
He works in a wide variety of mediums and the his style runs from creating contemporary art, to surreal, to portrait work.
I first became interested in Ben John after seeing one of his unique ink pen drawings of a young man which was posted on OOAK Artisan Showcase’s Facebook page. I thought it was raw, edgy, creative, and something I had never seen before.
When I messaged him and asked if he could do two drawings of the Mackinac Island Bridge, he replied that he had never done anything like that but he would be willing to try. The results were amazing; they were unique and quite detailed. I had commissioned them as gifts and the recipients were thrilled! (They went to two brothers whose father was an engineer on the bridge.)
I knew right then, having asked him to draw something he had never done before, and to have such beautiful results, he was a very special young man.
He also has painted and drawn several portraits of my daughter, one of which I would like to share with you.
I loved what he did with my daughter’s pictures! After purchasing the ink drawings I then commissioned Ben to do some acrylic paintings for me. I have been so pleased with Ben John’s work that I have become a monthly patron, supporting his desire to forward his career.
We'll share more information later on how you too can support him, because if you are reading this, you know and appreciate the importance of supporting our young artists in developing their talents.
I asked some questions of Ben John that I thought would interest our readers:
How do you define creativity?
“Creativity is when you render your ideas. It’s how you compose a story about a certain subject and how you present it. Your subject could be about anything.”
What is your favorite medium and style of art and why?
“Pens and acrylics. I love drawing portraits. I’m fascinated with how some simple lines and shapes can create something we can recognize, like the human face. And it’s not just a face. There’s always a story behind every portrait.”
In my articles, I want to have a common thread running through them, that being the way art makes connections. It connects people to people, people to feelings, to healing, to experiences, to places.
Just in the simplest form, a geographic connection. This young man in Pangasinan, the Philippines - a place I never even knew existed - has been connected with myself, my ex-husband, and these two brothers. That's four households in Holland, MI, USA, as well as my group of friends here who chose to make an investment towards Ben’s career dreams. And I have been connected to beautiful artwork in my world and have made a new friend!
What does your art connect you to? Do you observe any other connections that happen as a result of your art?
“Looking at a face reference or a place that I am drawing for a couple of hours makes me more familiar with them. It’s like taking a photo, but I see all of the details and I draw each line and shape. It makes me appreciate their design even more. And with the final drawing, I, and my viewers, feel more connected to the that face or the place.”
Can you describe a time in your life when you realized that creating art was embedded in your soul?
“I started drawing when I was young, and I have really loved creating art ever since. When I graduated and I started focusing on art, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I love the process of creating. It’s like organizing my cluttered thoughts and ideas. It’s very relaxing.”
How do you prepare to begin a project?
“For my acrylic paintings, I usually do my research and I create some studies and thumbnail sketches before I start painting.
Who or what inspires you?
“The old masters. I like Rembrandt’s portraits. And Heironymous Bosch’s surreal paintings.
Is there a project or media that you would like to explore but haven’t been able to yet?
“I want to try sculpting with polymer clay someday soon.”
My sincere thanks to Ben John for taking the time to interview with me and to share some of his world with us. Ben John is a prime example of something I have learned about art – an artist doesn’t just do one thing, one medium, one style. He is fluid, he moves with the current, he adapts, he creates, he explores, he attempts, he is in the game even when the game changes. So, in speaking to and connecting with, other artists that have dreams like Ben John, I had one last question:
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to develop their artistic side?
“Keep creating everyday!!!”
Ben sent this painting to Shelley and it was shown at the Gallery at the Tech Garden (Syracuse, NY) September 2016 show, "We Can Be Heroes: Visualizing the Life and Music of David Bowie". It was his first showing in the U.S.
Here's what Ben had to say about this piece -
“Blackstar Nebula" is about a new beginning after an ending. There is rebirth in every ending, a feeling of renewal. It is the cycle of life. My concept was to create a piece based on different songs of David Bowie. Some of the elements we're based directly from his lyrics and music videos.
This piece is hanging at OOAK Artisan Showcase and is available for viewing and purchase.
A word or two from Shelley ~
Ben is currently working on more pieces featuring some of his favorite music artists, He has given me permission to show you a preview, this one from his series on the BEATLES!
He has been experimenting with new techniques - here he's used ballpoint pen with watercolors. If you sign up to be one of his monthly art patrons, you will be able to see videos of his entire process, which is totally cool!
Ben is represented by OOAKArtisan Showcase. If you are interested in any of his current work, or in commissioning a special piece contact Shelley Graham Turner at email@example.com
If you would like to sponsor Ben’s art as a monthly patron, read about that process HERE.