Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists and today marks the first weekly artist feature on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at email@example.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Ben Andrews is the first actor that we have profiled for our Artist of the Week and we are pumped. Andrews is a local actor who has found success both in his acting and directing career. He is also the co-founder of Renton City Comicon and the Executive Director of the Seattle Film Summit, so he is quite involved in the Northwest! Find more about Andrews below!
Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Ben Andrews: I was a little late to the art game. When I turned 30 I told my wife I wanted to be an actor. She laughed. In hindsight I would have laughed also. Digital content creation is my medium, but the very nature of the medium bleeds into others. I've had the privilege of being an actor, director, producer, writer, and more. I've learned a lot from a lot of great people in the last 12 years.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
This is a difficult question. It's very different for different projects. If it's other people's stories I'm telling then it's about getting inside their head and understanding their vision. Finding the humanity that they wish to bring to the piece. If it's my work I focus on finding my truth. There is only one unique product in this world and that's us. 7 billion unique people. So if I focus on what is the truth in my art and not 'what is the audience looking for' then I start to find good morsels of life.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
I believe it was my lack of understanding about who I was. Late into adulthood I really had no idea who I was or where I was going. On the journey of finding who I was I became fascinated with humanity. How brilliant we are. How hateful we can be. The mixture of our beauty and our weaknesses. The human soul is the worlds greatest art.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
I have the entire play of Hamlet framed above my fireplace. The brilliance of the writing needed to be turned into framed art in my opinion : )
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Hard to chop this into pieces. It's been the entire journey. The path that I've sought to be the best version of me. The pain, the sorrow. Hurting others emotionally, being hurt. I believe it's all a tapestry of many experiences.
If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
My newest project premieres in LA in August. Called The Son The Father...I have small parts in Librarians on TNT. Z Nation on Sci-Fi. Restaurant Impossible. A few films circulating the festival circuit. A couple appearances on films in Netflix.
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I have four things I'm very excited about. Three or them are for the community and one is a story I've been wanting to tell for years. Now I've just built the confidence and funding to execute it.
- I'm in the fourth year of a grass roots endeavor I started called the Seattle Film Summit. This year we're located in the newest and most beautiful hotel in the Northwest. The Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle's Southport and we're bringing in distributors up here in December for what we're calling our miniature American Film Market. It's time the film industry come to us and we've built a coalition of the right partners to make it happen.
- The second year of Renton City Comicon, which allows me to bring all my creative friends and inspirations together.
- My LA HollyShorts partnership
- Finally my spec TV pilot that I've got some solid names out of LA helping me with. The entire goal is to keep it here in the Northwest. My heart is here and so will be my art.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
A little cream and a little sugar.