Art Talk: Ben Hucke
In addition to being a pro rider, Ben Hucke has recently been heavily focusing on his artistic side. We caught up with him to learn more about his roots, thoughts, and plans within this venture.
You've been around in the BMX game for a while now, but it seems just recently you've shown a more "artistic" side. How long have you been illustrating?
I've always been into drawing, however BMX is something that completely consumed my entire life and all of my free time. After giving years of my life to certain brands, I realized I should be doing more for myself as well. That's kind of where Somethingisanything evolved from. I'm much happier all around now. Drawing has taught me a lot of patience and balance in my hectic life. I'm also thankful on how supportive my current sponsors have been with my art as well. It’s cool to be able to create stuff with them.
What do you call this style of illustration?
Most of it is called stippling or pointillism. Essentially, it’s creating an image out of dots. It’s extremely time consuming, but it has taught me patience and tolerance, with more reward in the long run.
How did you get into this in the first place?
I’ve always been into drawing, but up until recently I didn’t know there were certain pens, paper, and certain styles of illustrating different things. I didn’t go to school for art, so all of the sudden discovering these new methods and tools to create what has been in my head has gotten me excited to do more every chance I get. Every day and every drawing I learn something new on my own. It’s the same feeling as pulling a new trick on my bike.
The BMX world seems stoked on your stuff. Have you received any recognition outside of that?
I’ve had a few celebrities comment on my work. Mat Hoffman told me he’s honored to have an illustration done of him. Things like that are more than I ever expected from doing something simply for myself.
In your opinion, what makes an art piece "good?"
It can be anything. It can be made out of anything. It can look like anything. It’s very personal depending on who it relates to. That’s why some art is considered priceless to some, while others wouldn’t pay five dollars for it. For me, it’s being able to capture or create a moment, illustrate it, and, when someone else sees it, they feel the same emotion that the moment captured. To me, the process and the reactions of others is priceless. I never understood why people had an emotional connection to art until now.
What sort of things do you enjoy illustrating the most?
I really enjoy doing portraits. Ever since Mike “Big Island” Castillo tattooed a portrait of my son on me, I wanted to be able to create the same feeling for others. It’s an awesome process.
Any tips for other artistically-inclined riders out there?
Be patient and don’t try to copy other artists. Do your own thing and have fun with it. Actually, exactly what people should be doing in BMX also… Haha.
Have you / do you plan to use your art to coincide with any of your signature parts?
I’m designing my next Shadow Penumbra seat along with a few shirts. More on that stuff soon - it’s still all in the early stages.
What's next for you and your art?
No plans. It’s something I decided to let grow organically. If you’re into it, cool. If not, cool. It’s something I personally enjoy and want to do.
Do you sell pieces?
I do limited runs of prints and occasionally do shirts of various pieces I think people might be into.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support on everything BMX and art related. It means the world to me. Cheers!