Benjamin works full-time as a registered architect, however drawing and illustrating for children have always been his passion. Through his involvement in Children’s book illustration and as a father of two, Benjamin has developed an interest in widening his outreach to children through both writing and school presentations.
“The opportunity of seeing life again through children’s eyes is a major influence in the creation of my work.”
As a Children’s book illustrator, Benjamin has illustrated the first books in two separate series of stories: the “Skool Rox” series, written by Barton Williams and the “Engibear” series, written by Engineer and Author Andrew King.
The detail and intricateness of the illustrations for “Engibear’s Dream” have captivated a wide audience – from ages 3 to 80! The follow-up book “Engibear’s Bridge” is also in production, due August 2014.
In both of these series of books, Benjamin worked in a collaborative role with the authors to develop not just the illustrations but also the “brand” for the series, assisting with integrating both the concept and text with the pictures (followed by the grunt work of producing the illustrations themselves). Benjamin is also a regular illustrator for the “Little Rockets” series of early readers, published by New Frontier Publishing. “Ferret on the loose” has been released, and “Mike the Spike” will be following shortly.
Other than illustration, Benjamin tries to set time aside to write as well. To date he has written one book titled “Solveig’s shadow” (seeking a willing publisher) and is working on a Young Adult novela loosely based on the themes of Globalisation. Benjamin is a member of SCBWI (Society of children’s books writers and illustrators) and has had his work showcased in the Bologna Illustrators Gallery 2014 through SCBWI International.
Under the name “Unfold Design”, Benjamin has also explored many other design fields from graphic design through to furniture and object design. Benjamin has been a finalist in the Sydney Morning Herald “Young Designer of the Year” competition three times and was awarded the “Lifestyle Channel Design Award” in 2004.
Benjamin’s illustration abilities cover a wide range of styles and media, allowing an entirely flexible and brief-driven approach to both Commercial illustration but also Children’s book illustration. Benjamin recently was a finalist in a book cover design competition run by Murdoch Book and he has been commissioned for a number of commercial illustration projects. Benjamin’s varied artistic influences have created the opportunity for undertaking a wide spectrum of illustration styles. As an architect, technical drawing and “non-fiction” illustration comes naturally, but a year and some more of study (life drawing and etching) at Julian Ashton Art School in the Rocks, Sydney, have encouraged for a more free-flowing expression. The two sides are constantly at war!
Logo design and mascot/character design are a particular specialty, taking the theme for a company or enterprise and creating a recognizable symbol or mascot to become an on-going marketing tool.
“As a brief-driven illustrator, I am always aiming to ensure that the illustrations work as hard as possible to get the intended message across, be that for a commercial project or for a children’s book creation. This is my training, my background as an architect and designer – but it is equally important in illustration.”
“Ferret on the Loose.” Written by Heather Gallagher. Published by New Frontier Publishing. 2013
“Engibear’s Dream.” Written by Andrew King. Published by Little Steps. 2012
“Angry Mangry”. Written by Barton Williams. Published by Little Steps. 2011
BOOKS IN THE WORKS
“Engibear’s Bridge.” Written by Andrew King. Due August 2014
Shortlist – WAYRBA (Western Australian Young Readers Book Awards). http://wayrba.org.au
Finalist – SCBWI Bologna Illustrator’s Gallery (BIG). http://bologna.scbwi.org/scbwi-bologna-book-fair-2014/2014-illustrators-gallery-2/
“Engibear’s Dream” awarded President’s Prize at the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards 2012 (AEEA 2012). This prize is really a testament to author Andrew’s committment to promoting the profession of Engineering.
Finalist – Murdoch Books “Girl with the dragon tattoo” competition
Finalist – Lockwood design competition
Runner up – Lifestyle Channel Design Award – “Innerspace”
Runner-up – Earthsharing logo design competition
Finalist – Gowings/Bonds T-shirt design competition
Winner – Lifestyle Channel Design Award – “Tatamiorigami”
Special Jury Prize – Sydney Morning Herald “Young Designer of the Year” Award – “Tatamiorigami”
Finalist – Sydney Morning Herald “Young Designer of the Year” Award – “Dining Red”
Finalist – Sydney Morning Herald “Young Designer of the Year” Award – “Just add water”