Never grow so old again - Ben Frey

Posted on Tuesday 25th October, 2011 Times Viewed: 3738
Ben Frey is a Vancouver based artist who's art work has been used over the last 5 years by the Sitka Surfboard brand this winter he was approached by Westbeach to collaborate on a jacket for this upcoming season.

We had a catch up with Ben about his influences, Vancouver and the Westbeach collaboration.
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Photo by Tyler McLeod

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Ben: If I were to draw and make art all the time, it would be worrisome...it would be as if I’m a shut-in, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately I don’t earn a living yet on art so I do other things. I also work for an organization that houses the impoverished, drug-addicted and mentally ill residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. I also play music; in a band called Sun Wizard that just released a debut album and has been performing around Canada quite a bit as of late. I’ve been into Steinbeck’s travel books recently. And I want to learn how to be a carpenter so I can build a cabin or a small A-frame house.

You’re from Vancouver, Canada, how much of an influence do your surroundings have on your illustrations and designs?

Ben: The west coast wildlife always seems to pop up in my work. I like to reference spirit animals within the subjects, and I suppose the ones that I am more direct with here in this region subconsciously show up more regularly.

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You have recently completed some illustrations for Westbeach, how did that come about?

Ben: At a solo exhibition that I did for Sitka Surfboards’ Vancouver store, an apparel designer for Westbeach approached me about collaborating on a jacket for an upcoming season. And because I really like Westbeach’s product and used to wear their classic hoodies when I was a teenager, I was very interested in working with them.

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Have you done any other kind of unique collaborations like the one with Westbeach?

Ben: I’ve done a lot of work with Sitka Surfboards for the past 5 years. I love those guys. They’re getting bigger, but almost every person who works within that company I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know well and feel a strong family vibe with them.

Where did the inspiration for each design for Westbeach come from?

Ben: My inspiration came from how Vancouver influences me. Every design came from scenes that I witnessed around the city and I just developed them even further with my style and theme of illustration.

What are your plans for the future?

Ben: I’m putting together a new body of work for an upcoming solo exhibition at Ozaki Gallery in Berlin this spring. Sun Wizard will probably be keeping busy by touring Western Canada this fall and then quite possibly USA soon. And when I get a chance, I’ll begin learning carpentry to build that cabin that I’ve been meaning to do.

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You can check out Ben's website and blog here

You can purchase the Westbeach Jacket at http://www.westbeach.com/ or enter our competition to win a jacket here!!
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Comments (404)  
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