Aside from illustration and design, Ben is a huge music fan and particularly likes punk and hardcore. ‘I’ve played in a few failed punk bands,’ says Ben. ‘I even tried to sing. That didn’t go well…’
Talent aside, we are HUGELY jealous of Ben. Why? Simple. He has a pet turtle. ‘His name is Quentin Turtletino. That probably tells you something about my taste in movies…’
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I studied Visual Communication at The Arts University College of Bournemouth. I spend a good deal of my time just drawing and messing around on Illustrator. Until quite recently I used to be all about the hand-rendered but over summer I’ve developed a love of vectors. It makes me feel super nerdy to spend 14 or 16 hours a day on Illustrator and Photoshop when the drawing only took an hour to start with, but the results are good. I’m a keen photographer and have a fairly large collection of old cameras, most of which, to be honest, don’t work.
What are your inspirations?
My inspirations? that’s a bit tough. My inspirations come from a lot of different places. There’s a lot of great illustration sites out there but I really prefer just flicking through some of my books. I love collecting monographs of illustrators, but also books about sketchbooks. I love to see that raw format of ideas before it’s built into a polished image, you can really get a lot from those. I get a lot of inspiration from other contemporary illustrators obviously, and I’m pretty into tattoo art but I try not to let that run into my work in too big a way.
What’s your favourite piece of work you produced?
My favourite piece of work I’ve produced has got to be my Love Is Blind piece (available for £15, A2 print from www.mercerdrawsthings.bigcartel.com). It’s a piece that I made from a quick drawing about a year ago and then recently picked up and applied my love of illustrator to. It took me so long and I think it shows.
It’s tough to choose just one favourite illustrator, there’s so many different artists that I just love, Mike Giant, Godmachine, David Foldvari, are some favourites. But my number one has got to be David Choe. That guy’s just nuts. The style of his work is so sweet, the colours & detail and just his general attitude to life are a real inspiration. His monograph is my most precious possession.
All images © Ben Mercer. To view them in clearer detail, click on them.