How would you best describe your work under your art label Benconservato?
I have been creating under this title for around 10 years. I tend to do more illustration and Lomography these days, all very whimsical, a tad strange, spontaneous and sub-conscious.
Explain to us the name Benconservato and why you chose it.
Originally Ben Conservato was the name of my jam brand. It means “well preserved”. Cooking was my passion, I wanted to open a vegetarian / vegan restaurant. Then I decided I didn’t want to hate cooking for myself, so I went back to just working in restaurants. I liked the name so much, I just kept it.
When did you begin creating art and what is your creative background?
I have always drawn and painted. I went to Art School, travelled overseas and did years of multi-plate photographic etching in Italy. I have done a few years of graphic design too, but sitting in an office as a full time job, working for someone else makes me feel dead inside.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I can’t actually say outright. I would be inspired by others for sure. I do a lot of moleskine exchanges where you draw in a moleskine and send it on to the next person. Eventually you get it back full of other artist’s work. I do watch a lot of documentaries too. Animals mainly, dinosaurs, natural wonders, science. Life is just generally very inspiring.
What mediums do you love working with most?
Paint, especially gouache is my favourite medium. Next would be ink.
What is your creative process?
I tend to try to get down to working like a full time job. I don’t really sleep in. I might start with some quick things to get moving. I like to think a lot about what I am going to draw before I do so. I am not really a sketcher. I dislike re-doing things, which is how it is sometimes.
How has the journey been in setting yourself up as an artist?
It has been a little bumpy sometimes, sometimes you have doubts, but I wouldn’t be happy if I couldn’t do some type of art, so it is just a part of my life.
What does being a finalist of our Finders Keepers Art Competition mean for you?
Oh, I am very excited about it. It is a huge honour! The piece I created was really subliminally created. I was feeling a little stuck and used tea on the paper to get my mind moving and the stains told me what to do. It is a little out there, but I am happy with it.