Interview with Ben Javens

The heart of England – this is where Ben Javens studied Fine Art at University and where he still lives and works as an illustrator. His drawings are clean and simple yet never boring to look at.

Why he started making art and how he usually spends his day he told us in an interview which you can read after the click!

Why and when did you start making art?
I always loved art as a kid but I guess the first time that I realised i wanted to make it full time was when I decide to study Fine Art at University. That was back in 1994. I did have several years after graduation where I stopped making art on a regular basis but it was inevitable that it would find a way back into my life full time.

What kind of art do you make?
Labels are a difficult thing. I’d like to think that I’m just an artist making “art” but i guess the correct label for what I do is illustration and thats OK. I’m firmly of the belief that art can be anything we want it to be and the same applies to its name.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Music plays a big role in my work/life, both consciously and subconsciously. I listen to music all day long and so it’s the one thing that I can attribute to the mood set in most of what I do.

What does your usual workday look like?
My brain functions much better in the morning so I get up reasonably early to make the most of the morning. Each day is different but I always start by checking emails with a cup of tea. After that and depending what my work load is like, I’ll either make a mental plan for the day or write myself a list of things that need to be done that day, starting with the ones that need my full concentration (before the little grey cells start to get sleepy). The rest of the day is spent working through the plan/list with a short break here and there for sustenance (sandwich and the odd cup of tea or two). I usually finish “working” late afternoon but I can’t help sitting with my laptop on my knee in the evening and trawling around some of my favourite artists sites, blogs etc. seeing how other people having been filling their time.

How do you spend a perfect sunday?
There was a time that I would have said waking up late, lazing around for the rest of the day, snacking and most definitely seeking out an old film or epsiode of Columbo to watch on the TV. Now though age and the responsibilities of being a father mean those days are long gone. I don’t mind though because spending time with my daughter is far more rewarding and deep down I know that one day she’ll share my love for Columbo….maybe.

What is your favourite taste of chocolate?
Hmm. I’m not one for the finer things in life so I much prefer milk chocolate than the good (so I’m told) dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. Give me a Curly Wurly any day.

Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist)
Favourites are a tricky thing and I certainley don’t have one of my own work but an example of something I really love would be this poster by Daphne Padden

Whom should we interview next?
My friend Simon Peplow

If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose?
At this moment in time and purely because I’m thinking about her, Daphne Padden.

What is your philosophy of life?
Be Happy…which is saying a lot coming from me.

Thanks, Ben!