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Local Artist - BENJAMAGNUS

Posted on January 13 2017

Tell us about your business and how you got started.
I started doing freelance logo design in 2012. As that translated itself into more of a profession, I began doing illustrations in my free time, which became an outlet for both stylistic experimentation and pent-up affection for pop culture movies and literature. The work sold through the library store is a result of these passion projects, and help to preserve my sanity.
Why did you decide to work with the Library Store?
What's not to love? I grew up with the Library... or rather, it helped me grow up. Now, I get to create work that I'm proud of, contribute to funding the CPL, and return the favour, helping them grow in return.
Where did you draw inspiration as some of your prints tie in so well with literature?
I love referencing early printmaking styles and techniques from lithography to silk screening. Though I run them digitally, I build the illustrations in a similar process. The best part about literature is that a lot is left to the reader's interpretation. I try to keep this spirit alive in my prints, a lot of which are location-based; the setting is established, but the actual narrative is left to the viewer's imagination.
What makes your products special?
My parents are collectors of more traditional art: photos of architecture, paintings of nature, historic objects, etc.  My goal with each print is to create something my parents would want to hang up. Sometimes people don't want their walls to scream pop-culture, you know? So it's always about the art first. Also, one of my main quarrels with digital art is that things can look too perfect, or manufactured. I like when things are imperfect; somehow, it makes them feel more personal, more human. 
Where can people find more of your work?
Both Calgary & Edmonton Comic Expos! I have a booth (called "Benjamagnus Design"). Swing by and we can have a conversation and be best friends. If you already have too many friends, prints are always available on my website, www.benjamagnus.com.
 
What is your fondest memory of the library?
No single memory... just more of a feeling. I always used to go with my mum. It was our little afternoon date activity. I'd get Calvin & Hobbes, and probably some awesome novels about King Arthur. She would get stacks of (boooooring!) hardcover books - even weird things like cook books???

Now, I get cook books too.
What is your favourite book?
I'm reading The Martian, by Andy Weir, for a third time right now. This book is intelligently written, with wickedly hilarious (PG13) internal monologues that simply don't translate to the film. Also, pick up the gorgeous original paperback cover if you can, and skip the one with Matt Damon's face... boo!

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