Retro Illustrator Ben Walker

The east London draughtsman lists his psychedelic influences.

25-year-old Ben Walker is an east London illustrator who’s recently revived his motivation for drawing.  Ben Draws inspiration from a variety of sources, but focuses on organic structures, psychedelic poster art, and classic comic books to spur his imagination.

Dazed Digital: How long have you been drawing?
Ben Walker: I used to draw loads but only started again last October or something after going to see an exhibition at the V&A.
DD: How would you describe the style of your work?
BW: Very much in the vein of late 60's British poster artwork.
DD: Were you interested in drawing when you were growing up? What is your favorite subject matter to draw?
BW: Yeah, when I was really young, but then got forced to paint at college. I hated that so left and never bothered with anything like that again until last year.  I don't really have a favorite subject matter but I guess I like organic things, veins, eyeballs, tentacles, cells & nerves & the like.
DD: What inspires you at the moment?
BW: I'm always inspired by how good poster art used to be, and in some cases still is but it really annoys me when you see those dead horrible, really pixelated Paint Shop Pro flyers on MySpace.  Or when really big club nights like Frog or this new one Push that have the most boring unimaginative flyers imaginable...
DD: What is your dream job?
BW: I don’t know really… When I was young I wanted to be an engineer on a starship, but now I guess I'd settle for being a fisherman around the Greek islands or something.
DD: Who are your favourite artists and why?
BW: Arthur Rackham - I imagine he was a big influence on Hapshash and the Coloured Coat. The reason I got into drawing again was because of these chaps and the work they’ve done circa '66 to '69!  I really love comic book art - I don't know anyone’s names though. Soft Machine & Silver Apples.
DD: What are your plans for the future?
BW: I haven't got a clue.  I plan to stay in London for a while, hopefully do some artwork for Clinic at some point. That’s my ambition! Hopefully make some money, although I haven't figured out how yet.  Then maybe move back to Newcastle and do something exciting or stay here and waste away...