Benjamin Mitchley works from his studio in Centurion, South Africa as a full-time freelance fine artist, scenic artist, illustrator and animator. Benjamin does commissioned and contract work, including group and solo exhibitions for local and international clients.
“It is important to me to capture a moment to the best of my ability, but I leave the viewer to interpret the emotion or spirit captured in my work.”
Bosto Kingtee 22U mini, Bosto Kingtee 14WA, MyPaint, ArtRage, Adobe Photoshop, Toon Boom Animate, Toon Boom Studio, Toon Boom Storyboard, Anime Studio Pro, Manga Studio EX.
Oil on canvas/board, Acrylic on canvas/board, Mixed medium, Watercolour, Graphic & Print mediums.
Benjamin is based near Pretoria in Gauteng Province, South Africa.
I was born in South Africa in 1967. Starting in 1985 I studied fine arts for three years at the Vaal University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology. My introduction to digital illustration and animation came at a later stage in my career as a freelance fine artist. My enthusiasm was sparked by the growth of technology and the ways in which art and illustration software mimics traditional mediums. Graphics tablets and monitors have made the creation process easier, and when I'm 'drawing' and 'painting' on these glass surfaces it seems not far from the real thing.
My first digital illustration was created for 150 Alice Project, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Soon after in 2013 I received a contract with Saide, the South African Institute for Distance Education for the African Storybook Project creating 69 illustrations for 6 storybooks. The story I enjoyed illustrating most is 'The clever jackal and the foolish crow'.
I always wanted to animate my artwork and I was inspired from a young age by Disney animation films and films by Studio Ghibli amongst others. Animation software available to the public has made this dream more reachable, and with the use of graphics monitors, easier and quicker to produce.
I am currently working on a project called 'The Episode', an initiative to create original animated short stories from original artworks. These artworks will be digitally reproduced for use in Manga style graphic storybooks as well as digital art prints. 'Mos's Dream' is the first story for this project.
In my latest figurative artworks, using traditional mediums, I depict scenes of everyday life from photographs I capture in my surroundings. The images are simplified and painted with contours, which come together and seem more realistic when viewed from a distance.
Marrying traditional and digital mediums is the norm during planning and producing my work, whether creating rough drafts on my Bosto Kingtee 14WA of an idea for a painting, or reproducing or cutting layers on my Bosto Kingtee 22U mini for an animation from photographs of traditional artworks. They go hand in hand.
I furthered my scenic experience creating murals, backdrop and faux techniques while working on industrial theming, stage and film projects in South Africa and abroad. My search continues for new ideas and I experiment with new techniques, styles and media. I specialize, collaborate and do commissions in oil and acrylic painting, scenic painting, drawing, traditional and digital illustration and animation.
The SA Art Times Merit Award for the Vuleka Art Competition 2012
Iheed Animation Competition 1st Place Award 2013 for 'The Signs of Meningitis'
Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2003 Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2004
Obz Art Walk, 2003
SoulPIE Exhibition - 38 Special Art Gallery, Cape Town,2003
Aroma Cafe, Loop street, Cape Town, 2003
Granny Feel Goods, Main Road, Green Point Cape Town, 2003
'Picasso' Red art gallery, Steenburg village, Tokai, 2003
Strada restaurant, Munich, 2005/2006
Koenig Bistro, Munich, 2006
Hof Christmas market, Germany, 2006
The Studio art gallery, Clarens, 2007
Richard Renni gallery, Clarens, 2007
Solo Exhibition, Spirit, The Arts Association of Bellville, Cape Town, 2008
'My Country, My Land', Hyde Park Gallery, Johannesburg, 2009
'Green, Organic, Nature, Nurture', Hyde Park,Jhb. Food and Trees for Africa, 2009
'Gallery On The Side' Four Ways, Johannesburg, 2010/2014
Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2012, Merit Award
2nd Annual Group Miniature Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 9 May 2013
In celebration of Portugal Day, Group Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 8 June 2013
Don't let that Horse, Ode to Chagall, Group Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 25 June 2013
Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg 2013
Art Lovers 1932 - Erotica group exhibition 19 Sept to 2 Oct. 2014
Art Lovers 1932 - Mixed Media Duo with Johan van Staden in conjunction with Gordon Froud - Alice in Wonderland group exhibition 3 to 16 Oct. 2013