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Community Focus – Plain Ben

Our focus for this week is a talented Guardian by the name of PlainBen. He has been hard at work creating some stunning art that has been highly praised on our Creations page. He agreed to stop by and share some of his favorite pieces and give us a quick look at the process of creating them.

Welcome to your Community Focus, tell us a bit about yourself and your specialty within the Destiny Community.

Ben: Hi there – I’m Ben. I’m a 24 year old student studying Games Design in the UK. Online, I’m Plain Ben, a guy who likes to digitally paint characters from Destiny (usually my own). Once my studies wrap up I'm hoping to spend a bit of time relaxing and painting again and I hope to be sharing the results of that with you in future. I think my next step with art is to work towards improving myself enough to be able to create more compelling scenes, hopefully with inspiration based off hints we'll be getting in the run up to Destiny 2.

There will be plenty of Destiny 2 info to inspire you this year. May 18th should give you plenty of reference material. Where can we find you and your art online?

Ben: My art can be found on my Tumblr, DeviantArt, and Instagram pages, this is where I tend to post more of the finished work directly. If you're looking for me specifically I hang around Twitter. I've found it to be a nice place to talk to others in the community. I also visit the Art & Stuff group here on Bungie.net

Often the best way to get to know someone is to find out how they play Destiny. What is your favorite weapon and Subclass?

Ben: My Titan's been my main class since the beta, and lately with all the Raiding and revamped content I've been running as a Defender - because everyone needs a protective bubble once in a while.
 
As for weapons, Praedyth's Timepiece has reappeared in my loadout and surprised me with just how nice and 'comfy' it is to use. It's a great all-rounder that works wonders in PvE and Crucible, and is especially useful in the Vault of Glass! 
 
Titan is a wise choice, definitely the second best class. Tell us about your process. How do you create these beautiful pieces we see on the Creations page?

Ben: For my digital paintings I use Adobe Photoshop CS5 with my Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet. I’m not the best at super clean line work so I sketch out the character quite rough and then ‘paint’ in blocks of greys. From there I like to play around with the shapes and colors until I’m happy with it – sometimes changing the look of an image completely - then I get down to all the fancy details and little fixes and cleanup which probably takes up most of the time on my paintings. To finish up I top it all off with a little sprinkling of filters and effects. 



The final product shows off all the time and effort you put in. Do you have any favorite artists who have inspired you?

Ben: I pull inspiration from a large span of artists and spend lots of time browsing art-sharing sites looking for great artworks and the people who make them. I found a majority of those I like through Bungie from past titles and Destiny. I've enjoyed the lovely concept art for Destiny done by Isaac Hannaford, Dorje Bellbrook and Ryan Demita, and the ridiculously well done illustrations created by Kekai Kotaki and Jaime Jones, who in my opinion are among the best in the industry.

Recently I've dove into the community's art side and found some great art made by some lovely, talented people so I'd love to give a call out to those (in no particular order)
ShArtII, IanPesty, FMekki, Pherian, Progo, Aviixe, MissBloodyEyes, DrAssenov, and there's plenty more out there, it's a vast community. 
 
Vast indeed. We will have to hit up some of these community artists in the future. You have created a lot of cool art. What are some of your favorites?

Ben: These (below) are definitely among my favorites. The first two especially. I made them after the first images were shown of Age of Triumph. All I had for reference at the time was one obscure screenshot each. I really enjoyed trying to piece an armor set together will limited reference art. 







Those are all gorgeous. Is there anything else you would like to add before we let you get back to the drawing board?

Ben: First, I see a lot of people especially those younger in the Destiny community leaving comments along the line of 'I wish I could draw' in response to other's artwork. To those people I want to say I started drawing when I was about 19 and my first drawing on a tablet was essentially a stickman in a badly drawn desert. It was awful and so was my second drawing and my third. But each time I tried to make something a little better. Gradually, I improved one small step at a time, and it became a lot more enjoyable when I could see my progress over time. Sometimes it's not visible until you look back over months, but when you see it, it feels great. Don't worry about being the best artist ever. Try to be tiny bit better than you were yesterday and don't sweat it if you aren't. Nobody is that consistent. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process as much as you enjoy the results.

Second, thank you Cozmo for this wonderful opportunity, as well as the moderation/mentor team manning the Bungie.net creations page. And of course thank you to everyone in the community for being incredibly supportive of fan art in all its forms and the artists who create them. You guys are the best!

No, thank you for sharing your art with us and giving us a little peek behind the scenes of how you create it. You are an inspiration to us all.

If you enjoyed the art PlainBen shared with us here, there is plenty more where that came from. You can see more of his talent at work on his DeviantArt page. 

If you know of another artist who is creating cool stuff, or just someone doing interesting things in the community, let us know about it. You can make a post on the community forum with the tag #CommunityFocus and we will take a look. 

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