Thursday, September 16, 2010

Silk Screen Artist

A few days ago I was browsing through Etsy, and I came across the shoppe of, Ben Kafton. I was so impressed with his work, that I couldn't go without contacting him. I asked Ben for an interview, and he delightfully agreed. This is what Mr. Kafton had to say:

The Barvar dear: Where are you from?

Ben Kafton: I live in a rural town of 15,000 people in Northern Utah, roughly 5 minutes away from the base of the Rocky Mountains. Incredible scenery and the rustic feel of a mountain town.

The Barvar Dear: When did you start creating art?

Ben Kafton: My first drawing I did I was probably 1 - 3 years old, built very large cardboard houses when I was 6 -7 years old. I started taking art seriously though when I was 17 years old in high school. I began drawing all these musicians that I liked and learned to screen print the same year, and printed up several t-shirts with my drawings on them.

The Barvar Dear: Where do you get/find the inspiration for your creations?

Ben Kafton: Everywhere from books, films, music, walking, cycling to just putting out a piece of paper and drawing whatever comes to mind.

The Barvar Dear: Do you listen to music while creating? If so, what?

Ben Kafton: I mostly listen to a local non-profit community radio station ( that plays boat loads of creative, different music. Probably defined as the college radio-esque music, world music (from africa to jamaica), indie music, etc.

I recently listened to an interview of sorts with Jim Jarmusch, a creative and somewhat odd filmmaker, he said that he limits what he listens to while writing plots for his films because when he is listening to music it helps inspire his writing, so he is very careful about what he listens to.

I really enjoyed the interview and the idea about what you listen to can have an effect on what you create. Moving forward I am going to try out his idea of only listening to a certain genre of music that has the same feel that I want in my artwork.

The Barvar Dear: Who are your biggest influences?

Ben Kafton: I love the work of Saul Bass, Henri Matisse and even Picasso with his vast different styles of works. I found a book about the 1960‘s Avant Garde art movements in the Nordic countries that had a lot of interesting ideas, artwork, and photographs that have helped me see a different view of the world in a really unique way.

The Barvar Dear: How would you define yourself as an artist?

Ben Kafton:I define myself as an artist as someone who definitely sees the world differently. Choosing willingly to push the limits of my own drawing skills thru massive amounts of ambition to create something that will have an impact on someone. To inspire others to knowingly tap into the large amounts of creative genius that each of us has.

The Barvar Dear: What makes your art different from others?

Ben Kafton: I deliberately try not to be tied down too much to a particular style and in so doing that, I have more free range of the different types of illustration work I produce.

Ben also shared with me that he has recently sold many of his prints at the San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair in California where he had an incredible experience.

To view, buy, or contact Ben Kafton, Click Here!

By: E. Alger

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