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Shortlisted for the WIA Awards 2018!

Ben Tallon's 'Dr. Martens Stand For Something' boot collaboration is shortlisted in the World Illustration Awards.

Ben's work with the famed boot company was entered into the Experimental category - for work in formats such as apps, virtual reality, installations, experimental work and portfolio projects. We are delighted for Ben and look forward to seeing his entry in a new online showcase, a full colour, 128-page catalogue, direct mailed to 1,300 major commissioners worldwide and also as part of the exciting exhibition in London this June. 

Ben gives us some background on his piece, "I've loved the iconic oxblood Dr. Martens boot since I first saw them, worn in very British fashion by Damon Albarn on the Modern Life Is Rubbish Blur album inlay painting. This fabulous art direction by Stylorouge had a formative effect on my love of artistry and the boots depicted have remained anchored to that moment. So when Dr. Martens and I agreed an experimental collaboration using them as an admittedly challenging, unconventional canvas, they caught me at a rough moment.  

Suffering creative burnout in a big way, I struggled to find my motivation, battling through projects with a sense of duty. Shortly before the project started, I became angry for a multitude of reasons that don't need to be detailed here; a murky cocktail of political irks and personal irritations and to my surprise, it was that negative emotion that triggered an interesting artistic response. So I set about painting on things; large objects and unusual surfaces, fabrics, letting go, loosening up. It proved cathartic and by the time the boots arrived, I was ready, full of prickly energy. This pristine pair of gorgeous footwear sat there on my studio worktop, glistening on the table so I grabbed a can of spray paint, a bottle of Indian ink and in punk fashion, perhaps a cultural foundation of the boots' longevity, I let rip and did not stop for the next week. 

So what you see here is a love letter to what these boots represent to me; DIY culture, have a go and make it work. I was delighted with the outcome and such turning points in the evolution of a visual style don't come too often. 'Stand For Something' may be a slogan, but it's also an important message and there have been few projects to which I've committed quite like this over my ten years as an illustrator. Even in the most glum moments, creativity can flourish and this project with a much loved brand served as a timely reminder of that."

More info here.

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