If something in your gut is telling you it’s time to break out of your longstanding routine, Ben Heine is the guy to both spark your imagination and demonstrate what’s possible with fresh thinking.
The Belgium artist seems to have an endless supply of original ideas, superbly executed. I especially love his Pencil vs Camera series, which is shown above and below. With Ben’s permission, I’ve assembled this mashup of his quotes arranged to illustrate five ways to mix things up this year. The words (except for the headlines) are from Ben’s interviews with Flickr, Volkswagen, DeviantArt and other sources.
1.) Perseverance is more important than talent
“I have been drawing passionately since my early childhood. I have worked a lot. I don’t believe in innate talent. You have to work with perseverance to become an expert in any discipline.”
2.) Big ideas come from little details
“The initial idea (for Pencil vs. Camera) happened randomly while I was writing a letter in 2010. When I held the letter up to put it inside an envelope, I noticed the paper was transparent enough that I could see my television in the background. I suddenly saw two images working together: the words on the paper and the action of the television. It was surreal, and I instantly thought I could do something creative with this.
“The very next day I made Pencil Vs Camera #1. It wasn’t very creative, but it was the beginning of this new concept. Since then, it’s evolved into more and more complex drawings, and it’s always changing into something bigger and better.”
3.) One quality can set your idea above others
“My hand is always clearly visible because I hold the piece of paper that fits into the picture. Intuitively, I felt from the beginning that it was a necessary choice to balance everything. Yet it is not a pretty woman’s hand, it breaks a bit the harmony. But it was important to emphasize the contrast between imagination and reality and to show that the final artworks are not simple photomontages. I really hold a piece of paper and the drawing is always handmade. It involves a lot of work.
“I think the fact that my hand is always visible attracts the attention of the viewer, it was not an easy decision at the beginning, because the hand may look too big or may obstruct the whole composition of the picture but it also represents somehow a warm human invitation to the watcher to see and grasp the little story happening on the piece of paper, to escape and hopefully dream a bit.”
4.) Compete against yourself, not others
“For me, it’s very important to be innovative and do something different. I’m having fun only because I’m trying to surpass myself daily. I want people to see I’ve given my utmost best in each of my images.
“In the Pencil Vs Camera series for instance, I wanted to demonstrate that it’s possible to combine drawing and photography in an imaginative, harmonious and eye-catching way. ”
5.) Never stop learning
“At the beginning, I thought it was the opposition between the two disciplines that was the original part of the concept, but I realize more and more that maybe it’s more the harmony between the different mediums that makes it interesting and special.
“There are no limits because everything is possible.”