Ben Van D
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Ben Van D grew up with 2 siblings on a hobby farm, in a small town in the Ottawa valley. He has always had an interest for the arts and dabbled in various forms of art throughout his youth; he has drawn since childhood, studied and taught improvisation, and spent time as a part of Drawn & Quarterly in Montréal, publishing comics. With a steady job in the design industry in mind, he went to college and obtained a degree in Graphic Design. In 2010, he gained a position with the House of Commons of Canada, where he is currently working as a senior graphic designer. Alongside his professional career, Ben likes to do a lot of freelance work, where he retains much if not all creative control. He primarily works in a digital format, sometimes working from an initial a pen and ink drawing, but likes to try new mediums and modes of expression. His work often features grotesque figures and he found himself early on being drawn to artists like Titian, Rubens and Goya, whom he had discovered on his father’s bookshelf. “Goya was terrifying!” he recalls. Ben had taken a cartoonist course as a kid, and quickly realized that this polished medium was not for him. The style Ben Van D has developed is coarse and often vulgar. He aspires to produce work with as heavy of an impact as the artists he admired. He lists his top inspirations these days as being Jack Kirby, Francisco Goya, Andrew Alain and Dan Clowes.
Having been a compulsive doodler for as long as he can remember, Ben Van D is always trying to piece together imagery. He says it clears his head, it’s comforting. Much in the same way, he likes walking around and sitting alone in places where there aren’t many distractions. He used to sit, drawing, in laundromats, where there were always bright light and a constant, comforting hum. He wasn’t washing any clothes, but people would assume he was, and they wouldn’t bother him. He enjoys rainy weather and is an enthusiast for music, movies and alternative press comics from the 80s and 90s. Ben is currently living happily with his girlfriend and new daughter in Ottawa. There you can often come across his work on bills and posters for the music and arts community. He also takes part in shows for his artwork; check the events page for any upcoming shows! Ben Van D is not one to dilly dally, he likes to just do it and show it. He is very fond of collaborations and wants to continue growing as an artist, with the practice of skills and exploration of new ambitions.