the same 5 questions we always ask

Introduce yourself. How old are you and where are you from?

Hey, I'm Ben Jepson, I'm 22, and from Sandpoint, Idaho.

How would you describe the work you do? And what inspires you to make this type or art?

My art tends to follow a really bold graphic style. I often use a combination of black and white with usually one other bright color. So its mostly monochromatic with a high level of contrast. I make my own stencils. I like how they keep things really crisp, and from a practical standpoint, I can make multiple copies or variations of my work without much hassle. It's amazing how each layer of a multi-layer stencil doesn't look like much, just an abstract weird shape. But when you layer them and the set comes together, those abstract shapes create a powerful image.

What are your plans for the future and where do you hope your art will take you?

Ideally, I'd like to do some traveling, get a feel for some other styles. Recently I've been experimenting with a loose brushed style that's inspired by Asian ink work. I'd like to be able to mesh those often contrasting styles, the bold graphics of stencils and the energetic and loose brushed style which is much more organic. I try to think outside the box and see if I can break new barriers

Music goes hand in hand with current culture and the art scene. What are you listening to lately while you work?

It changes with my mood. My friends complain that my ipod drives them nuts because it has such a random mix of styles on it. But I'm a huge John Butler Trio fan. It's funky folk rock, powerful, and music you can really groove to.

Who or what are you influences? And what other artists on the scene are currently catching your eye?

Banksy is a big influence, for sure. His work is bold, and his color choices are strong. I love how conceptual it is, and how well he's been able to stay pretty anonymous. It's exciting and intelligent and unconventional and I really appreciate that. He sure knows how to make a statement. I also really enjoy the work of Nikki McClure. She makes these really detailed works out of paper she hand cuts with an exacto knife. It's usually two tones and kind of falls into the same style of bold and simple shapes that somehow work together to create a unique and powerful image. I saw a show of hers in Portland awhile back, and all the details that go into her work blows my mind.