London, United Kingdom

Born, fed and raised in the provincial East Anglian market town of Norwich, Ben Hawkes was one of only a…


Born, fed and raised in the provincial East Anglian market town of Norwich, Ben Hawkes was one of only a selective few to escape the town’s tyrannical grip on its citizens. Having left the smallholding family farm, he spent two years on the Eastern seaboard of the United States dabbling in carpentry and local women. His triumphal return, to study art at Oxford, was quickly diminished when it transpired that he was studying at an art school twenty miles north of the famed University. Still, his education continued unabated, and he graduated with honours in 2002, having agreed to cycle from John O Groat’s in Scotland to Land’s End to raise money for the exhibition. He was told it would all be down hill. It was not.

Ben has spent the last six years in London where he has continued to work as a professional illustrator. His initial studio was a ramshackle garage in Herne Hill, which he shared with a debonair Frenchman, whose love of the insides of broken watches, solvite and underpowered power tools was as great as Ben’s own. It was here that Ben excelled.

His work is driven by the desire to produce arresting and beautiful imagery. Textures and shapes both drawn and found are used to communicate the atmosphere and idea of each piece. The work is starting to move beyond pure collage towards drawn and printed work; using collage and found imagery as a starting point, he utilises traditional drawing, painting and typography in combination with an exciting Constructivist technique. His opinion is that the aesthetic of a piece becomes marginalised by the concept of the work all too frequently; that there is a prevailing idea that concepts and ideas are a higher ideal than pure visual pleasure. Ben operates on the principle that the two are synonymous;, the best work in any form of visual art is always a symbiosis of the two. He aims to produce work that satisfies with simple, good solutions to a brief both visually and conceptually. “This is easier said than done”, he says.

Ben’s happier clients include:

The Times
The Independent
Transworld Books
B & Q

Ben has just finished illustrating ‘London ABC’ for Random House. You can buy it from all good book shops. Here is a sneaky peak:

Latest blog post

  • Telling Tales

    To celebrate Marks & Spencer’s robust range of school uniforms, they went to Twitter to hear about little playground adventurers’… Read more

Making the grade

  • Hip Hop Hen

    New educational app making use of my illustrations. LAUNCHED in 2014 as EDITORS’ CHOICE for iPad. No.1 Best New App… Read more

  • La Roche

    This panoramic artwork was created as a wall mural for the La Roche offices in Geneva

  • What is a crocodile’s favourite thing

    This is Ben’s most recent children’s book, published by Random House called “What is a crocodile’s favourite thing” Is a… Read more

  • Ribena

    Ben created these glowing press ads for Ribena’s new ‘Ribena Plus’ drink


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