Tuesday, 31 March 2009


A new image for the Homepage of my Portfolio site, which I've just updated for 2009 www.joelbenjamin.co.uk.

I wanted to move on from using the simple self portrait on the homepage, and move on from focusing on just head and shoulders portraits so much too. So this I thought would make a fun image of me as I like to see myself at present.

If there is any story behind the picture, its that I very much like my bike and ride it at least every other day.
I bought the Bike initially as a continuation of my enjoyment of skateboarding, but as something a little more practical and easy going. It has two cogs on the rear wheel, one either side. One is fixed, and if you flip the wheel round, the other lets you freewheel.
Initially I was interested in riding fixed gear but find that it takes a lot of concentration. This isn't a problem in itself, it's just that what I love about riding a Bike is that you can be carefree, look around, take in the sights and even whistle a fancy tune if you like. So I ride this way so that I can get some good excercise in and not miss out on anything inspiring I may spot on the way.

Just in case you where wondering; "Dang! what are those rather fetching sneakers Joel has depicted?", they're my Emerica Jerry Hsu's, which I picked up from the lovely local Smash Skates.

Sunday, 29 March 2009


I've been playing around with making some of my already exsisting portraits a little more interesting. Although I won't be placing these in my portfolio, I like these punky colour themed variations.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

All Smiles

A recently completed portrait commission. This actually was my first commissioned portrait, and the hardest I've had to do so far. Smooth, Cherubic faces are something of a nightmare to render correctly, esp' in colour.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

More wip

Another sneak at some work, of which the finished version will be uploaded to my portfolio soon.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


This weeks Epoch Times Poetry piece. Published 11/03/09.

A Reading of ‘Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae' by Ernest Dowson

"Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion".

(Just the first stanza because it's a long'un).

Here's some rough designs, 3 of 8ish. The general image came to mind pretty much straight away as I read the poem. However it wasn't until I had sketched and sketched various compositions that I realised that the ghostly lady needed to be between the two lovers.

This one is based on Augustus Rodins famous 'The Kiss'. I was going to medernize the characters if I used it, but went off the idea after a while.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Creative bits

A little bit of sketchbook here, quick painting and sketching from TV on the Radio's 'Dear Science' album cover insides.

Also, I stumbled across this 27min video of a guy called Merlin Mann talking at a Mac conference about Creative Patterns, or somesuch??
I found the bit about Twyla's Box quite inspiring.

Watch it Here

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Current portrait commission, which I am being far too slow about completing.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


This weeks effort for the London Epoch Times, Poetry Column. Published today!

Subconsciously influenced by Brian(Dark Crystal & Labyrinth conceptual designer)Froud's Pressed Faeries book (which I havnt glanced at for a long time).

Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes
by Thomas Campion

Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air,
Thrice sit thou mute in this enchanted chair,
Then thrice three times tie up this true love's knot,
And murmur soft “She will, or she will not.”
Go burn these pois'nous weeds in yon blue fire,
These screech-owl's feathers and this prickling briar,
This cypress gathered at a dead man's grave,
That all my fears and cares an end may have.
Then come, you fairies! dance with me a round;
Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound.
In vain are all the charms I can devise:
She hath an art to break them with her eyes.

Original article on the web here.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Work in progress

A piece of a piece of personal work, that'll be up on my portfolio site along with other bits soon.