Artist StatementI create art using new techniques for an age-old purpose: to tell stories and inspire action. As a child, I was inspired by cartoons; drawn characters and stories brought to life with no visible brushstrokes or shading. My fascination for that aesthetic met its match in my discovery of vector art. After producing photography, sketch and graphic design work years, the vector technique brought me full creative fulfillment for the first time. Now I use the painstaking process to create pieces that share positive messages using unique color palettes, detailed shapes and countless nuances of light, shadow, and midtonal values. My work often uses themes themes of love, cultural understanding, fantasy and futurism to appeal to and inspire the imagination of diverse audiences. I believe that art should be accessible but that accessibility need not compromise quality. I believe that artists should be kind but that kindness need not compromise courage and honesty. And I try my best to live and create in a way that honors both of those beliefs. My current show, Who Said What, is a collection that combines my love for engaging people in the creation of my art as well as my desire to reimagine quotes that move people to live better lives. The creation process begins with a call for quotes to be submitted. I then do careful research and select a unique photograph of the quote’s author, typically in their youth, imagining them as my peer. Using the reference image, I draw the piece itself inspired by 1950s and 60s screenprinting, interior design and album covers. Each piece has a unique color palette and font from an up-and-coming typographer. This series has grown as people become inspired by it and add to it, but it has also spawned inspiration for new collections. As I grow as an artist, I hope that people continue to draw the same level of enjoyment from engaging with my work as I do from creating it.
Benjamin Jancewicz is a Baltimore, Maryland based visual artist whose work is shown in galleries, cafes and homes around the United States and Canada. He joins a cadre of creatives pioneering the vector technique. Trained in several traditional art forms, including photography, screenprinting, sculpture and painting, Benjamin has found vector art to be a fulfilling and exciting new manifestation of his creative vision. As a vector artist, he uses the emerging form to create compelling pieces that share stories and inspire action.
His first full collection using the technique, the Who Said What Show, is a constantly growing set of pieces that engage the audience in the work’s creation as well as consumption. People from all walks of life submit powerful quotes from icons that range from the popular to the obscure. Thus begins a painstaking process of research, drawing and design that results in a hauntingly beautiful vector portrait. The final piece features a rare image of the quote’s author and the quote itself, written using the fonts of emerging and often unknown typographers.
The collection has been both a critical and commercial success, resulting in over 50 showings, private purchases, and high demand as demonstrated by the continued submission of new quotes from people all around the world. It has also inspired subsequent collections, including Benjamin’s upcoming work “The Robots Are Coming”.
Benjamin’s experimentation with vector art began in college with a rendering of the Biblical story of Dina and Shechem, reimagined as a tragic, cross-cultural love story. Despite his immediate attachment to the technique, this most recent phase of Benjamin’s artistry comes after over a decade of creative work in other genres.
He and his wife, best friend & business partner, Tamika, are the founders of their design agency Zerflin, and are parents to two wonderful children, Nya and Arion.