Are you getting hyped up for out TOMS event on August 9-10? We sure are! Make sure to come by and meet the talented artist, Ben Gianas. He’ll be there to paint your new shoes!
Where are you from, Ben?
I am originally from Atascadero, California. Sunshine and good vibes brought me down to San Diego.
Where did you get your art skills?
I have been making art since the first time my parents handed me a crayon and I haven’t really stopped since. I have my Bachelor’s in Fine Art from Cal State University Channel Islands which I received in 2009. I continue to learn with every line I pull and every paint brush stroke.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love art, the ocean, and the never-ending journey for knowledge and wisdom. Oh yeah, and a really good craft beer.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I would describe my style as illustrative with a hint of beautiful tension. I love using bold, heavy colors and juxtaposing them with highly rendered black and white imagery. More than anything my style is a reflection of me just trying to have some fun.
What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration lies in the creative nature of mankind.
What’s your favorite art piece that you’ve created?
My favorite piece I’ve created was a combination of six canvasses framed all together for a show in Ventura. Each was a black and white oil portrait of an individual in history whom had either killed, or saved hundreds of lives. By reducing all of the portraits to black and white and juxtaposing them together, the viewer is left to determine who saved, and who killed. It was an interesting experiment on individual, and group judgment based only on a black and white portrait.
What are your goals as an artist?
My goals as an artist are to inspire young people to be more creative. I want people to enjoy not just my art, but all art. As a society, we have become complacent with our creativity, relying on others to do it for us. MY goal is to inspire others to embrace their ideas and create whatever it is that makes them feel good.
Who are your heroes?
My heroes? Easy, my parents. I have been incredibly blessed to have superheroes for parents. They truly meant it when they told me, “If you work hard, you can be anything you want to be.” To inspire someone to be what they want, or embrace who they are is a heroic thing if you ask me.
Who is your favorite artist or what is your favorite art piece?
My favorite artist is Dan Witz. I love the beautiful tension he creates with the photo-realistic style that he hides across ugly metropolitan areas around the world. Look him up, you wont be disappointed.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring artists?
Work hard. Nothing of quality or substance ever came easy. Create as much as possible, whenever possible. Doodle on your lunch, draw or paint on anything you can, ask questions, and explore work from other artists. You would be very surprised how much subliminal inspiration can be gathered from gallery hopping. Last, but not least, DO NOT LET YOUR CAREER DEFINE YOU. It is difficult to be a full-time artist these days and make a living at it, but don’t let your source of income suffocate your creativity. Remember you are an artist, create your own beautiful world.
Want to know more about Ben and his work? Meet him at our TOMS event or follow him on Instagram @bengianasart or #bengianasart.