04 Aug Feiyue SHAPES – Interview with Ben Rausch
Last week we got to know Gerhard van Wyk, here, who created THIS beautiful piece of art for the Feiyue SHAPES window display campaign. This week it’s animator and illustrator Ben Rausch’s turn to create a Feiyue SHAPES inspired window display at the Mooks store in Rosebank. Here’s a Q&A with Ben –
Between 10and5: Hi Ben! First question, when did you first know you wanted to be an illustrator?
10and5: Did you study Art or Design to develop your skills?
10and5: Would you say you’re the kind of illustrator who is drawing all the time or do you wait for inspiration to strike?
Ben: It’s quite weird, but these days I seem to draw a lot less frequently than I used to. I used to draw constantly, but with getting so busy with animation, throwing parties, DJing and VJing I don’t find myself with much free time. Whenever possible I’ll incorporate illustration into these endeavors, but I surely don’t get to spend as much time drawing as I did as a kid.
10and5: What’s your favourite subject matter to tackle?
Ben: Kittens, robots and monsters. The kind of things that come out of me through my hands are much the same as the stuff that I put into me through my ears. I really love music that’s really poppy and cutesy and sweet but at the same time really distorted and heavy and screamy which to me is like an audio form of my giant kitten monsters attacking cities.
10and5: And your preferred medium?
10and5: What are the advantages to being an illustrator in South Africa?
Ben: I imagine it’s much the same as what makes the South African music scene so exciting to me. We inherently just come out with stuff that’s truly original and sincere and in this day and age finding that is a very rare occurrence. We have this idea of what’s going on in the rest of the world, but for the most part we’re very secluded from things. It’s kinda sad but kinda beautiful at the same time.
My experience of traveling through bits of The States and Europe is that they’re just bombarded by stuff, it totally loses its significance and people that want to make their own stuff become super aware of what’s in and what’s not. Whether it’s writing a song or drawing a picture they come out with something that’s totally self-concious and forced. This obviously isn’t the case with everyone everywhere (there’s still heaps of good stuff coming out of the first world and loads of derivative lame stuff coming out of here) but at its best, our position in the world right now can lead to South African artists making some of the most original, sincere work around.
10and5: Fellow artist/designer/illustrators who you admire?
10and5: The theme for the Feiyue + Mooks window displays is ‘Shapes’, what does this bring to mind?
10and5: If you were a shapeshifter, what would you turn yourself into?
10and5: Without giving too much away, how are you planning on interpreting the theme?
Ben: Rock and Roll!
10and5: What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
Ben: Whether I’m animating or illustrating, my favourite moment in the process is when I first get that glimmer of life from something I’m making. Seeing what was a blank page, transformed into the home to some little creature looking back at me; it’s the best feeling.
See more of Ben’s work here and here and get down to the Mooks store in Rosebank, Joburg tomorrow from 1pm – 5pm to see him in illustrator mode as he turns the Mooks window into a Feiyue x Ben Rausch original.