Guest Editor Profile – Benjamin Clarkson

Benjamin (Ben) Clarkson

Underneath Winnipeg Manitoba

In terms of your things, what does your space (studio/office/living area) look like?
My work environment is similar to a temporary military base. Nothing is ever cleaned or organized and supplies are kept haphazard where ever they fall. I also live in my work space which leads to creating a sort of fort like environment. My back corner of my living room is taken up by a collection of lamps, a small collection of books on the history and theory of drawing, a drafting table, all pointed towards a television that I never ever use as I prefer to listen to book tapes and radio broadcasts as I work. I also like to watch science conferences and natural history documentaries. Just like a military base.

Spilled coffee and ink permeate every surface and I have a large precariously placed pile of drawings which is the ever growing record of my life’s work. It often smells like curry.

Where do you normally get your things?
I usually get my things at thrift stores or from friends who go to thrift stores. Or the garbage. Usually when I am in need of a certain object, like new glasses, I will buy some old glasses and slowly work towards modifying them to serve my purpose. I don’t like new things, we make enough junk in the world already, and there are always cheaper, greener (BUZZ WORD ALERT) options to most of the choices in life. It’s more fun that way. Life is fun.

I also get alot of treats from my girlfriend who is constantly stocking my apartment with stickers, postcards (my favourite), old markers, paper bags, pictures of cowboys, EEG read outs, and slightly racist tins.

What is your prize possession/”thing”/collectible/tool?
I didn’t think I had one, until I really thought about it. Actually I have two.
Several maybe.

I have a wonderfully broken in mexican telecaster from 2001, which I use to write a great deal of music and practice my current musical interest (right now I am trying to pretend like I know how to play bebop guitar, it’s going poorly). It rests comfortably, and uniformly, a quarter step out of tune and due to constant modification and adjustment it sounds like a cross between a guitar and a dying prehistoric mammal (in a bad way).

My other prized possession is a doll of a santa like character with a wool coat and silly boots, but with a unexplained porcelain head of a common cat. It makes no sense, and it terrifies most visitors. I often, when taking a break from my drawing, put on puppet shows with it, and a t rex, on chat roulette.

I used to have an amazing fountain pen, that when properly cleaned, contributed to my secret desire to draw like Robert Crumb. But it has since lost a small part and has been rendered useless. It rots now amongst my old brushes, too fondly remembered to be discarded.

I’m also very partial to my Mac Book Pro, which I consider just as much a part of me as my renal system, as I use it just as much.


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