Member of the Week – Ben Bensen

Sep 2, 2023 | Featured Member, News

Ben Bensen paintingBen Bensen, Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles Air Force Chair (2010-present), recalls his first professional assignment as an artist. While in his senior year at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, he painted a pocket watch for a billboard design to advertise Hub City Bank. He has been making a living as an artist ever since that day in 1971.





Graduating from USL, Ben left Louisiana to attend the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, to further study illustration and painting. He received a BFA in illustration in 1977. One year later, while still maintaining his freelance clients, he accepted a full time position as an aircraft illustrator and art director at General Dynamics in Pomona, California. He stayed for three years producing ads and promotional material for the aerospace giant.

Ben left General Dynamics in 1980 to start his own storyboard and advertising business in Los Angeles with clients that included the automobile, entertainment and aerospace industries, and advertising agencies.
Ward's Azaleas

A member of the Society of Illustrators/Los Angeles since 1978 and a board member from 1983 to 1988, Ben was part of a ten member team to institute a chapter of the Graphic Artist Guild in Los Angeles. The Guild is a union of graphic artists, photographers, painters and designers that was formed in New York in the late 1960’s to promote ethical and financial guidelines to the industry and to provide legal and health benefits to all its members.

Through his association with the Guild and SILA, Ben has given many promotional seminars on ad design, and he has shared his unique marker technique at major California universities and trade shows. He also taught ad concepts and advanced marker design at the Art Center College of Design for four years.

With the advent of computers and Internet communication, Ben widened his clientele beyond the major advertising agencies in Los Angeles and the west coast to include those in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis and Detroit. In 1999, Ben was asked to help design the promos for the first Spiderman movie. Many concepts and two years later, the movie trailer and the movie itself were victims of the 9/11 attacks because of the extensive use of the Trade Towers in New York in the script. The Spiderman script had to be rewritten.

In 2002, as a member of the Air Force Artist Association, Ben was invited to represent the West Coast contingent of a five member team to spend two weeks in Germany and Turkey to document through sketches, photos and paintings the United States Air Force’s involvement protecting the “no fly zone” in Iraq during Operation Northern Watch. Ben Bensen relocated with his wife, Therese, and son, Brian, back to his native Louisiana in 2002 where he is currently painting for fine arts’ galleries.
Pierce ArrowBubbles-A Polo EventWait Till You Hear Me Play

© no artwork displayed can be used without permission of the artist, Ben Bensen

Special Bio:Short Bio-2023