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TNO Artist of the Month: Ben Karis-Nix

Troy Cloth & Paper

Super excited to kick-off the new year with a TNO Print Off! poster! This time last year we were just thinking about the idea of starting this little project, and didn't have enough time to pull something together for the month of January. It's amazing what a year makes - we now have artists scheduled six months in advance! So much talent in the Capital Region!  

No better person to ask for this special TNO than our friend, Ben Karis-Nix! 

What did you want to be when you were a kid? 
I wanted to be either a scientist, rock star, or an artist. All practical pursuits. Unfortunately, I can’t even calculate tips so my youthful astrophysicist aspirations made way for studies in archaeology (more digging, less math). Then I toured in a couple rock bands through my 20’s. Threading through all that, though, was a lot of drawing. I did a lot of field drawing for my archaeology professors in school, and designed posters and t-shirts for my bands. Eventually, I started to focus more exclusively on design, illustration, and printmaking, and that’s where I’m at now. 

Favorite artist?
Hmm… boy, I’m not sure if I have a favorite artist, but I really love sci-fi and science illustration from the 60’s and 70’s. It’s very romantic. Although litereral in scientific sense, sci-fi/science artists from that time often rendered images in an abstract, painterly style. Like this work from Rick Guidice portraying Voyager 1, for example: 

Favorite thing about Troy? 
Troy is fascinating mash-up of wonderful things - technology and the arts, the old and cutting-edge, and the people that live and work here are an exciting community to be involved with.

What inspired you for this month's poster design? 
For the Sage Anniversary print, it was fun to try and make a true-to-life illustration but then reduce it to just 2 bright colors. 

Few people know that you...
I have no more secrets... it's all out there. 

Favorite thing to listen to when you're working? 
I have trouble listening to music and working at the same time for some reason! Even driving - when I turn on the radio in my car I lose track of where I’m going. I seem to have only one operating channel in my brain that works at the exclusion of everything else!

Any exciting/upcoming projects? 
Yes! I have a comic project in the works and a line of science & nature inspired prints called 1AUprints that I’m developing. For the print line there’s a new Facebook page and website if you’d like to check it out! 1auprints.com  and Facebook.com/1auprints 

Thanks Ben! Can't wait to get them fired up on the press and chat with fellow RSC grads!