Christine Benjamin, Eclectix Interview 21

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview 


Christine Benjamin is a true local, home grown in San Jose, one of the original Berryessa clan. A fantastic artist and all-around great person – full of life, vitality and cheer. She is a painter, illustrator and art doll maker; creating colorful, quirky and vibrant imagery of all sorts. Space women, skeletons, monsters, sock monkeys, robots and mod girls –  in various playful antics. Accomplished in so many medias, it’s hard to pin down her one strength. She is a seasoned professional and was always communicative, creative and reliable whenever Eclectix worked with her on exhibits. Humble, accessible and enthusiastic without the overly sensitive baggage many artists carry around. Her art reflects her sweet and talented personality, shining through the darkness, transforming the scary into the fun and our fears into celebrations.

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview

My favorite art memory from my childhood is …

I used to make paper dolls and puppets for my younger sister. The paper dolls would be fashion proportions – so very long legs and I would make them lots of clothes to wear – that were in style at that time. I would make my sister and I puppets from socks or paper bags and we would put on shows for our friends.

My interest in art/painting started … 

when I was 1 year old. My mother gave me crayons and paper and kept buying me art supplies when I would run out. She would always have friends that we would visit and they wouldn’t usually have kids my age so I would bring paper to draw on to entertain myself.

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview

I am often inspired and motivated by …

My sister motivates me to push myself in different directions. She will see something in a sketch that I’ve done and help me to see it in a different way – a certain story or meaning that I maybe didn’t intend. My good friend Tracy who is an amazing artist always sees the other side of what I am working on and this helps me to complete the story. He will always give good critiques that help me push myself farther. My son draws really fun characters and it inspires me to loosen up. I also love classic monster and SciFi Movies, and reading comic novels.

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview

If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be … 

Jim Woodring who is an awesome artist – comic artist. (below)

And we would…

Get coffee and talk about his concepts for his comic novels and then go back to his studio to paint or draw. His drawings and paintings are beautifully colorful and the imagery is crazy. I met him in person a few times at Comic Con and he is very humble and a genuine nice person.

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview

The tip or art technique (a specific tidbit of craft, advice or mechanical expertise) that has helped me the most is …. 

I would say for artists to always have a sketch book (above) and pencils, pens with them. That way if you get an idea you can sketch it or write it down. Ideas come quickly and if I don’t write them down I will usually forget. I have so many sketch books and I always refer to them for for ideas.

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview

If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be …

Frida Kahlo’s “Self Portrait With Monkey”  because she is one of my very favorite artists and this painting is my favorite. She put so much expression into the monkey’s faces and the detail in her face, clothes are delicate and beautifully rendered.

My favorite piece of my own art is …

A painting I did called “Teasing Death”. (above) It shows a skeleton chasing a sock monkey who is carrying a donut. I like the idea of death being teased by my little bratty sock monkey character – Chico. The skeleton looks sad and pathetic and the sock monkey has a smug look on his face.

My ultimate project or fantasy is …

It would be to have my dolls (below) come to life in a short movie – stop motion. I would love to create any characters that I want and my own story and have enough time to do something incredible.

christine benjamin eclectix

The last song I chose to listen to was … 

“Super Rad” by The Aquabats. They are one of my favorite bands – really fun guys dressed in super hero costumes fighting monsters on stage.

The last book I couldn’t put down was …

Wearing Dad’s Head” By Barry Yourgrau. A compilation of short bizarre stories.

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview

I can’t live without …

My art supplies and my dog “Mr. Bon Bon”. I have to make art and I love being with my little fluffy dog.

It’s not hip, but I really love …

Oatmeal with honey.

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview

My favorite word is …

Chiaroscuro. ( Definition: The treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting and/or An effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly or from a particular direction on something.)

My favorite motto (or quote)  is….

“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it.”  by Jonathan Winters.

Christine Benjamin - Eclectix Interview

LINK: Christine’s Website 

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(This entry was  originally posted on 6/1/11 )

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