We are delighted to present our interview with an amazing artist George Benn (website) George is a very cheerful, bright and fun person as well as a dedicated professional. We had an inspirational conversation during our brunch at Bill’s Restaurant in Covent Garden. Check out the highlights of our interview, where George talks about his newest collection, perfect work atmosphere and the key idea behind his art.
nooneARTist: Have you done any art related courses?
George: Like many creative designers I am completely self-taught. In terms of art, I have always sketched and drawn and I would call myself an inquisitive graphic artist / designer. I design a lot of things in addition to ShakenArt™ such as websites & booklets. The ShakenArt™’ Limited Edition Prints that I produce, however, is a “marriage” between graphic design and investigative journalism which is what my clients find fascinating about ShakenArt™. The philosopher, political commentator and social justice activist Noam Chomsky has inspired me a lot through my journey of design and global context. If youwould like to know the truth about the world, I would suggest taking a look at his work. ShakenArt™ is about encouraging and engaging everyone to look at the world in a different way, to start thinking about what the truth is and where it can be found.
nooneARTist: Is “EARTH” your first collection?
George: Yes, the ShakenArt™ ‘EARTH’ Collection is my first collection and the response has been extremely positive and warmly received. It showcases the unhealthy connection between Money & Global Existence through Financial ‘Bull Markets’, Great White Sharks and so on, which can be found at my website. It feels right for 2015, as it has an extremely strong visual element & a defined narrative. I plan on releasing a New ShakenArt™ Collection every year to challenge conventional thinking about the world in which we live.
nooneARTist: Where do you get your Inspiration?
George: Good Question; There is no exact formula for Inspiration. I would say that you must have passion for what you do and appreciate that it takes time. All designers or anyone creative understands that sometimes you can do things over and over again for a few weeks and it doesn’t gel or click… and then suddenly you find the look and feel of a new design like a musician who suddenly finds the right chord or key. That makes me excited. My inspiration lies, however, in uncovering the truth about the world around us. There is as they say a lot of “Light and the Shade” in the world which means there is so much we can learn about the what lies out of sight and in the shade. I find that discovery very inspirational.
nooneARTist: Do you have an inspirational place?
George: Not Exactly; I can be inspired anywhere but when I am trying to formulate my message it needs to be totally quiet. Maybe that is why I spend a lot of time at either the Chiswick Library or the British Library in central London. The British library has a lot of soft light with some great ambient sound in the background, which makes me really focused. I also love to create my art late at night in the waking hours as they say, when the world is completely quiet. So Inspiration doesn’t come from an exact place but more how I am feeling.
nooneARTist: If you wouldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
George: I would probably be an environmentalist. ShakenArt™ donates 15% of its income to WWF & UNICEF I am keen to see the outcome of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (30 November-11 December 2015) where the conference’s objectives are to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of
the world. This conference will effect our generation and the next and that is why the ShakenArt™ Earth Collection is so important in focusing on what really matters which is ‘Our Little Blue Planet’.
nooneARTist: What style of interior do you prefer for your house?
George: For my house? I would definitely say either Bauhaus which was started in 1919 by Walter Gropius or West Coast (USA) Modernist Architecture. I would suggest watching a Film called ‘Coast Modern’ to really explain what I love. I absolutely love that synergy between cutting edge building technology that is “green” combined with chic elegance.
nooneARTist: Have you ever thought about opening your own gallery?
George: No, I think, that if an artist or designer opens their own gallery it would actually detract from their creativity and distract them from creating their raison d’être.
nooneARTist: If you could perfect one skill, what would it be?
George: Communication. Yeah, to have the ability to communicate using a single global language that allows everyone on this planet to understand the precarious position in which we live. Through talking and understanding a simple message we need agreement from everyone of the 8 Billion Humans on Planet Earth to protect Planet Earth. Through ShakenArt™ I hope we can communicate just that very message of ‘Protecting the Planet’ and in doing so Protecting the Next Generation.
nooneARTist: How many people do you have in your company?
George: One; which is Myself. I create the concepts, design the art, design the web site, liaise with clients, suppliers & handle all logistics. I wouldn’t have it any other way as it constantly brings me back to ensuring everything is done to the highest quality for my ShakenArt™ clients. In addition however; my wonderful wife gives me plenty of support which is essential to keeping everything on track. I genuinely value her sense of style and perspective.
nooneARTist: In regards to your work, which 2 qualities would you like to provide for your clients choosing from “good quality”, “good timing”, and “good price”?
George: Definitely the first would be ‘Quality’ as the Designs I produce are to the highest standardsand secondly ‘Good Timing’ simply because we produce Zeitgeist Art for the life and times that we live in. At ShakenArt™ I am dedicated to ensuring however that all three are taken care of to ensure value and investment for our great clients.
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Stay tuned for more inspirational talks with contemporary artists!