By decidedly following his instincts and resisting any urge to overly refine or edit his illustrations, Ben Tallon is able to channel palpable emotion into his kinetic and vigorous style.
Above image from Coggles Christmas campaign
This way of working has helped Ben to create a drawing technique that effectively translates the movement of his subjects, which lends itself perfectly to his sports illustration and reportage projects.
He talks to us through the nature of this process and the ways in which he has come to understand the methods that work best for him.
“I’m an illustrator working with ‘The Guardian’, ‘WWE’, ‘The Premier League’ and ‘Channel 4’ among many other clients. I also write (a book called ‘Champagne and Wax Crayons’ and various creative press columns) and host ‘Arrest All Mimics: The Creative Innovation Podcast’.”
“My style is raw, hand-drawn/painted using ink, acrylic, spray paint, pencil and found materials. I’ve long been fascinated with the naïve, the loose, and mistakes of the human hand and this has underpinned everything I’ve tried to create, in any medium.”
“If I try to polish anything, it falls apart and to go against what you are is catastrophic for creativity. It took a few years, but eventually I admitted all of those flaws and strengths and from that point on, many doors opened in the most unexpected areas of the arts.”
“I work large scale, small scale, on buses, in the studio. It doesn’t matter too much where as it’s better to lead with feeling.”
“I can be in the most cutting edge workspace with all the tools and not get a single thing of quality produced, then perversely find myself putting out great ideas on a cramped budget coach ride in baking heat.”
“So, I try not to restrict my output in terms of scale, timing, method or structure, rather respond to instinct and not question it until I see what happens.”
“Collaboration is important to me. It’s the input of others, even when what they say is something you might not want to hear, that enables you to see new ways of progressing.”
Photographs by Phil Splaine
© Ben Tallon, 2018