bition and interior design as well as in the graphic arts.
Kingston, ON, Canada
ARTIST + MUSICAN
A long-time local of Kingston, Ontario, Benjamin Nelson’s artistic
Practice has adapted to the demands of the not-so-big city.
He is not only a poster artist, but also a print maker, collage
expert, and graphic designer. All together his body of work documents
the development of his own style, and reflects the history and changes
in the music and arts community around him.
After undergoing the disillusionment of institutional, technology and
profit driven higher education, Nelson returned to his hometown
and began a regimen of self-education in handmade design and printing.
Also a talented musician, he is part of the quick-rising duo, PS I Love You.
Benjamin's work is featured in "1000 indie posters"
Get this book ~ It's amazing inspiration.
How do you stay inspired?
To stay inspired I go to libraries or local bookstores and look at art
and design books I could never afford. It helps me generate new ideas
and stay on top of my game. I don't really surf the
internet too much because my attention span is too short for that shit.
It is way more satisfying looking a large format photos in full color
than on a small computer screen.
Typical work day?
Well, when I am not touring North America and Europe with my band PS I
Love You, I usually get up around 10am, go get a coffee and smoke a
bunch of cigarettes, then come home and try to get some work done.
When I am home I usually keep busy and designing posters for
local events, logos for friends' businesses, or tshirts and record
covers for my band and our record label Paper Bag Records. But some
days of the work week I get to have some real fun and work for my
friend Julian, screenprinting tshirts and other flat stuff at his
awesome print shop Ironclad Graphics.
Favorite place you ever traveled to?
Being in a touring band I get to travel to a lot of neat places. So
from a design and music history standpoint I would say my favorite
place I have been to so far has to be Manchester, England. The show we
played there sucked, but the next day we decided to take ourselves on
a personal Factory Records tour of the city to make up for the bummer
the night before. We drove past La Hacienda night club, which is now
an apartment building, then stopped at the Factory Records office
building, which is now a night club called ''The Factory'', and
finally went to see the founder of Factory Records Tony Wilson's grave
site. This site was special for me not only because of Tony's
importance in Manchester's history, but also because the headstone
itself was designed by my all time favorite designer Peter Saville.
Benjamin ( right ) with bandmate Paul Saulnier is Kingston, Ontario’s quick-rising duo, PS I Love You, released their brilliant debut album in 2010.
Album titled, Meet Me At The Muster Station.
PS I Love You
music video "Leftovers"
FAVORITE ARTISTS PAST + PRESENT?
When I decided to enter the design and printing world I had decided to
do so probably because of Andy Warhol. I was obsessed with his art in
high school. One year I dressed as Andy for Halloween. That was dumb.
My wig was totally wrong. Anyway, after failing courses in advertising
and graphic design at college I discovered screenprinting and concert
posters. At that time I was really into Seripop, from Montreal,
Quebec. They inspired me to keep trying to find my own style while
being subversive and totally free in the approach to my work. After a
couple of years of trying to achieve their glory and status, I gave up
and in doing so seemed to have found my own way of doing art by just
letting ideas happen in the moment rather than trying to force out
something that wasn't true to myslef.
These days I am really into Peter Saville, who revolutionized record
covers with artwork for British bands such as Joy Division, New Order,
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Pulp, among many others. And
through this new obsession I've found inspiration from the artists of
the Bauhaus movement from the 1920s and 30s, especially Herbert Bayer
and Jan Tschichold.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW OR MOVIE?
My favourite movie is Back to the Future Part 1.
I've always been interested in time travel and looking cool at the same time.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you like to be?
Not a drummer in a band, that's for sure. I've been thinking lately I
might like to be a member of a Historical Society. Preserving
important buildings and stopping rich jerks from demolishing
history...but being a full-time screenprinter would also be pretty
Name something you do in your spare time?
I watch ALOT of X-Files with my girlfriend and our cats.
His friend's screenprinting studio where he works and prints stuff:
WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILE YOU WORK?
Records. Lately, alot of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Twin
Shadow, David Bowie and Kate Bush.
PS I LOVE YOU
Thanks for your time + inspiration BN!
Keep up the great work.