I first met Benedict at a small exhibit at Museong Pambata almost two years ago.
His art then, though having a childlike quality to it also had a darker undertone that shone through. It was that duality that made me want to find out more about his creative process.
The driving force of Benedict’s art and indeed life is intuition. He describes it as that voice in your head that would not be silenced, that secret passion that would not be ignored. It is also the greatest source of of every artist’s flighty muse, inspiration.
“Inspiration can be found anywhere,” Benedict says, “you just have to be open to it.”
The key to finding inspiration is listening to your intuition and plugging in to what Benedict calls the “universal hard drive” (interestingly enough I have long held a similar concept which I call the collective consciousness). It is the collection of human experiences and stories. It is “where all the concepts and inspirations are.”
For those wondering what it feels like to be plugged in to universal hard drive, it is what is commonly referred to as being “in the zone”. It is, as every creative must know, that magical state when inspiration strikes and the creative juices flow. Suddenly, all the ideas come naturally and flow effortlessly.
Tapping into that intuitive potential can be harnessed and practiced according to Benedict. You just need a deeply held belief that it will arrive but it should not be actively sought out. “Trust in your intuition. So long as you are calm and receptive, the idea will come.”
When stuck on a project, the key, he says, is to take a step back and allow yourself to focus on something completely unrelated. He himself would go on trips or at the very least take a long walk to get into that relaxed yet focused head space. It is that calmness and openness that makes it easier for intuition to kick in.
When working on a piece like the painting he brought along to the interview, he would begin with the feature that he is instinctively drawn to. Sometimes, he would start with the eyes like most artists but for this piece, he started with the lips and worked from there.
He never has a detailed plan of what the finished piece is supposed to look like. Rather he allows the painting to take shape organically, adding on aspects as his intuition dictates.
“Don’t try to control things. It will just frustrate you. Let the universe conspire for you.”
Benedict tells his stories through visual art be it painting, sketches, murals, of even photography and graphic design. He believes that story telling is inseparable from life, that it is a collection of moments and emotions. Art is what allows you to share that, to tell that story and bring your thoughts to life.
“Art is the conclusion of imagination.”
When asked if art will ever be irrelevant, Benedict says that life without art will be monotonous. People will stay in the box, not thinking, not imagining, not creating.
“Art challenges. [It is] a bombardment of possibilities.