BiographyBen Boling is a freelance illustrator who was born in Gainesville, Georgia and was raised in Cumming, GA. Ben knew from a very early age that all he wanted to do was create art. In grade school he spent most of his time filling up his notebooks with doodles and cartoons instead of actual information. After high school, Ben went on to attend Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia where he graduated with an Associate degree in Fine Art. After a short stint at North Georgia College in Dahlonega, he went on to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. In Savannah, Ben majored in Illustration and earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art. Ben has been a freelance illustrator and painter for over 20 years and still loves it every day!
Ben uses many media in his work including acrylic paint, pen and ink, marker, colored pencil, scratchboard, as well as digital artwork and design. Some of Ben's commercial clients include Snap Graphics, Moon Mountain Studios, Turner's Corner Café, Thwak magazine, Cracked magazine, Teefury.com, Teevillain.com, and Mellow Mushroom restaurants around the U.S. He also illustrated a children's e-book for Dave Willis, creator of Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Squidbillies.
Q : How did you discover your love of art?A : One of my earliest memories is of drawing a picture of Snoopy on the chalkboard in the basement of my parents' old house. From then on, I was always drawing, which explains my atrocious grades from first grade on through college. I went through several notebooks every school year, but not because I was an avid note taker. The borders of the pages would become filled with doodles, then the bottoms of pages that actually had notes on them and pretty soon, nothing but page after page of scribbles and scrawls.
Q : Where do you get your ideas?A : Most of my ideas just come out of nowhere, like getting hit in the face with a hammer, and even I can't explain where they come from . Sometimes my work will be inspired by a book I've read, a movie I've seen, part of a dream I've had, or a song. Of course like most other artists, I am inspired and influenced by the work of other artists. I may see a piece in a magazine or gallery and think ”maybe I should explore that subject in my own style”. I also keep all of my old sketchbooks to rifle through when I need a little inspiration. I’ll find an old sketch that I didn’t know what to do with at the time and will think, “hey, I could use this for this project or that”.
Q : What made you decide to go into the art field?A : Mainly lack of skill at anything else. Since I was a wee lad the only thing I could ever see myself doing was becoming an artist of some sort, or perhaps a forensic pathologist, but my brother got the brains and medical talents in the family. And the looks. And the personality. And the delightful odor. So since being an artist doesn’t require you to spend time around other humans, and with the advent of email even minimal phone contact is acceptable, I knew I had found the gig for me! Seriously though, if you ask anyone who has a love for drawing or painting and is serious about their artwork, I'm guessing most will tell you it was all they could ever see themselves doing. I had very little choice in the matter, seeing as I’m virtually unemployable and totally unskilled at even the simplest job. And frankly there aren’t a lot of jobs that include sitting in front of a TV in your underwear all day eating cheese puffs and playing video games.
Q : Who are some of your influences ?A : As far as artistic influences , there are so many that I can't possibly name them all , but here’s a few : Dr. Seuss, Todd Schorr, Looney Toons cartoons, comic books, Walt Disney, Bill Mayer, Robert Williams, Jim Woodring, Dave Cooper, Mad and Cracked magazine artists from the 70’s and 80’s, and various other animated cartoons or movies. However, some of my biggest influences are not from the visual art field. People like Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Bill Hicks and others have influenced not my style, but the concepts and themes in my work. Of course most of my stuff is really just non-sensical gibberish with no meaning at all, and that’s the way I like it.
Q : Is it true that you are a 7 foot tall cyborg who came from the future to kill Sarah Connor, the mother of the man who will lead the uprising against the machines?A : Yes...wait , no, I was thinking of someone else.
Q : Scratchboard? What the heck is a scratchboard?A : A scratchboard consists of a thin piece of wood, one side of which is covered with a layer of ground white china clay, and then coated with a layer of black India ink. Small cutting and scraping tools are used to scratch and scrape through the ink and expose the white clay underneath creating a black and white image. They’re a lot of fun and the final product has a cool woodcut-like look to it. I had used one for a project in art school that was quickly forgotten until I spotted scratchboards for sale many years later in an art supply store and decided to pick one up. My Uncle Nathan was an artist who did portraits for fun in pen and ink and I decided to try it out myself using the scratchboards. My scratchboard work is totally different from my usual style and can be a nice break from drawing monsters and goofy animals.
Q : Where can I buy originals or prints of your work?A : Right here on this website! I always have a few original works lying around and have recently made several prints of my work available for sale directly from yours truly. Each print is lovingly signed and then affectionately packaged before it is dispassionately shipped out in a cold, sterile mailing tube. Visit the “Shop” page if you’d be interested in owning a signed print of your very own! I have just a few available regularly, but if you see something in any of my galleries you just CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT and can’t find it in the prints gallery, contact me at email@example.com and we’ll see if we can work something out!
EDUCATIONGraduate of Forsyth County High School in Cumming , GA - 1988 Graduate of Reinhardt College in Waleska, GA with an Associates of Fine Arts - 1991 Graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah , GA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts/Illustration with an emphasis in Art History - 1994
SKILLSKnowledge and completion of artwork in various mediums including pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, colored pencil, markers, acrylic, and gouache. Knowledge of various software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
- A Monster Christmas – illustrations for e-book written by Dave Willis and Bob Pettit
- Mellow Mushroom – Various designs, illustrations, and in store paintings and murals
- Pop Culture King Show – logo design for radio show
- Alcove Gallery – Various group shows including the Wonka show, the Circus show, and the annual Cartoon Madness shows
- Magictouch – Design and illustrations for carnival amusements
- The Great Atlanta Toy Show – design and illustration for postcards, flyers and posters
- Cracked Magazine - Script illustrations
- Gallery Street - Prints and wallpaper border designs
- Thwak magazine - Front, back, and inside covers and script illustrations
- Neverland Farms - Several hand painted signs for event facility
- Snap Graphics - designs for logos and signs
- Roller Coaster Corp. of America - flyers , posters , t-shirt designs , and online comic strip
- Atlanta Sideshow magazine - Several cover and interior illustrations
- Fantastic Flyer (Delta's In-flight Kid’s Magazine) - Cover and spot illustrations and mastheads
- Mountasia Family Fun Centers - T-shirt designs, banners, and promotional illustrations
- Freelance work includes logos, character designs, mascots, and other illustrations, paintings, and designs for many other companies and individuals