So you know that people have favourite musicians (not to the extent of wearing One Direction merchandise and getting a tattoo of Zayn Malik on your head) but y'know, just being inspired by what someone does? Well that has been me since I first discovered Ben Tallon's work back in my early days of college when I thought being a graphic designer revolved around Adobe Photoshop and thought CMYK was the only colour scheme that existed. I've always really admired Ben's work because it's different, you all probably know how much I like my mixed media and textured work as it's all I ever go on about. I'm going to try and make this post as cool as possible and not make this blog post like a shrine (sorry Ben).
At first I was a bit apprehensive because... WORDS. I must admit with less time on my hands I am used to my picture based books, but upon reading Champagne and Wax Crayons it was really lovely to have an artistic based book that was actually more informative and like an autobiography. I really don't know anything personal about any of the illustrators/designers I like so this was a great insight into what the process of a creative career can look like. It was un-glamorised and raw at times and I have even more respect for Ben now I know the struggles he faced and how hard he tried and got through. Although some parts were quite sad (Maybe this was just because I was having a hormonal couple of days) parts were also truly hilarious and I found myself cracking up through numerous chapters. After this review I will actually put below some of my favourite quotes because they were so brilliant (see couscous one above).
What I also really loved about this book was that I can really relate to some parts, which is worrying as I'm not even into my proper career yet (shit, what's to come?). I know too well what it's like to be broke and not have enough money to pay bills, Like Ben, I've grown a mild passion for Lidl but have yet to upgrade to any Sainsbury's or Co-op. I think self-doubt is also a trait that most creatives face at more than one stage of their lives. Despite all these bad happenings, the happy ending has taught me that even though you get lows you always come out of them stronger with fight and extra knowledge, and without sounding like an X Factor contestant, things really do happen for a reason sometimes. I found the 'What I learned' sections particularly insightful and useful and loved reading quotes from other creatives scattered throughout the book like Roger Browning's - The design director of The Guardian Newspaper.
I cannot recommend this book more for creatives who need a pick up from a low and want to be reassured that their life isn't going to fall to pieces. This book was just what I needed after my deadline and has made me feel motivated and inspired to actually go out and approach people for work instead of them approach me. Congrats to Ben on the book and thanks for all your help (if you're reading)
1. Drawing David Beckham's penis - "Covertly drew one A3- sized naked Beckham with an outrageously enhanced member. It took me four days to complete."
2. The throwing bread at a wall in happiness part
3. The references to Lidl throughout (woooop)
4. That couscous can make creatives 'unstoppable'
Ben's Twitter, Website & book