We sat down with Ben Jennings, the winner of our IndyVolved 13 poster design contest to learn more about him and his inspiration for the design. Read on to learn more about Ben!
Where are you originally from and how long have you lived in Indy?
I was born and raised in Northern Indiana – a small community about 20 minutes west of South Bend. I moved around a bit, after graduating from Ball State University and made stops in West Palm Beach, FL and St. Louis, MO before moving back to Indiana and settling in the Indianapolis area in 2006.
How did you find out about the poster design contest?
I have been a long-time subscriber to the Indy Arts Council newsletter, so when the poster design contest came through that vehicle, I jumped at the chance to give it a shot. Between the Indy Arts Council and my connection to Nickel Plate Arts in Fishers, there is never a lack of artistic endeavors to contribute to. That’s one thing I love about these communities – the commitment to the arts!
We love the way you incorporated the skyline into the IndyHub pin logo. What was your inspiration for combining those two elements?
First, thank you so much for the kind words. There is not much that is more thrilling for a designer or artist than when something so personal connects with other people. It really is an awesome and life-giving feeling.
That said, honestly, my initial sketch idea was based around the IndyHub pin logo and the concept that this “hub” could and would connect various components of our greater community. I tried to stay true to the actual mission and vehicle that IndyHub and IndyVolved entails and delivers on. The idea that the “hub” would reach out, connect and grow our community led me to think about Indy’s cityscape ‘sprouting’ up from the hub, and everything else being connected through a system of routes, connections or ‘roots’, so to speak.
What do you do when you’re not designing awesome posters for non-profits?
Trying to sleep– haha! Honestly, I’m not sure we have enough time to discuss all that. My wife and I always joke that we are terrible at saying “NO” to anyone and anything – and it’s true. We tend to stretch ourselves a bit thin, but, we never get bored! I have a Landscape Architecture degree from Ball State University. I did that professionally, and still do through my own design studio, for a number of years prior to going back to school.
I felt a call to a greater purpose of service several years ago, and with that, went to nursing school and became an RN. I currently do that full-time and allow it to pay the bills so I can use my free time to do art, design and graphics. It’s my creative outlet. I would love to do it more and make more of a pseudo-career out of it, and am working towards that now, in all that free time I have (note: sarcasm).
What’s your favorite place to go to in Indy?
Really, there are so many unique and vibrant places to go here in Indy– that is one thing I love about it! I remember as a kid making trips to Indianapolis and it being a really big deal to go to the city. There was always energy and things to do and things to see. Even back then, there was an energy and vibrancy that we didn’t experience in our small community.
Nowadays, we love going to the Murat for shows or hitting the White River Amphitheater for concerts. Mass Ave is so alive and entertaining and the restaurants down there are awesome. There really isn’t a bad place to spend time- it’s usually hard to make a decision! I’m a huge sports fan, though, so I will say that you’ll find us in Lucas Oil Stadium on Sundays in the fall cheering on our Colts.
We recently announced our IndyVolved 13 Exhibitor List, is there anyone you’ve been meaning to check out?
Great question – there are so many awesome exhibitors that it is almost overwhelming– I mean that in a good way, though! I have to say, one of the exhibitors I’m most looking forward to knowing more about is ArtMix. One of my goals is to create an art mission, as well, for underserved and underprivileged children – and they do that for the disabled as a therapy and a mission to enrich lives. I would also love to use art as a way to rehabilitate offenders, so, that is all mixed in with that notion.
Arts for Learning is another one that uses creative pursuits for children to enrich and teach. It will also be nice to reconnect with groups I’ve met or worked with in the past, like Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and Second Helpings. I can’t wait for IndyVolved 13!
Thanks to Ben for designing an amazing IndyVolved 13 poster– if you see one out in the community, be sure to take a picture and tag us on social media. We’ve got posters, postcards, coasters, bus ads, you name it! And RSVP in advance to make check-in a breeze on June 14. See you there!