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May 2019

ISSUE | 07 FEATURING SYDNEY BASED ILLUSTRATOR MELISSA YA


BENTO is a bi-annual online magazine of all things art and design brought to you by Bento Box Design Studio. A collection of innovative and eye-catching visuals in the one place ready to inspire and open your mind to new and exciting things. BENTO prides itself in featuring emerging creatives consisting of local, national & international talent. We understand how important it is to follow your passion and how little opportunities there are for you to get your name out there. Through BENTO, we want to connect aspiring designers together with other like-minded individuals all across the world. Bento Box Design Studio aims to build a wide community involving all facets of art and design. If you are interested in becoming a contributor and submitting a piece for our next issue please follow the steps found at bentoboxstudio.com.au/magazine . We would love to see what else is swimming around in the minds of creatives. If you would like to work with us on any further issues of BENTO we are always looking for opportunities to collaborate. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part is prohibited in any form or by any means, including photocopying, scanning or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the editor, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the editor, addressed “Attn: BENTO Permission,” to info@bentoboxstudio.com.au The views expressed in BENTO Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the publisher, company or its staff. Cover artwork by Melissa Ya. © 2019 Bento Magazine All rights reserved.


EDITOR Bento Box Design Studio

STU DI O DIRE CTOR

FEAT URED D ES I G NER Mel i ssa Ya

CONT RI BUTORS

Monica Widjajana monica@bentoboxstudio.com.au

Aaron Teo - Codename: Rexerker Alisa Dempster - Isometric Things Angel Nguyen - Keiko Shampoo Anna Tan - Jynx Lab Illustrations Arvin Seiler - Crave Chocolate Gaspar Emmanuel Y. Indaya Jr. - Mike Shinoda - Post Traumatic Laura Moore - Carnaby’s Cockies Leo Titley - Perth Lolita Russo - Rebellion! Natasha Bjornsson-Merrick - Bee Mindful Rebekah Dorilys Dunstan - Old Hollywood

M A RKE T ING ASSISTANT

S OCI A L S

Leeanne Nguyen leeanne@bentoboxstudio.com.au

CREATIVE DIR E CTOR Tristan Ta tristan@bentoboxstudio.com.au

ART D IRE CTOR

Josef Correia Herbert josef@bentoboxstudio.com.au

DESIGNE D BY Bento Box Design Studio

I N S T A G R A M | @bentobox.studio F A C E B O O K | @bentobox.studio D R I B B B L E | Bento Box Design Studio

S UBSCRI P T I ON bentoboxstudio.com.au

MA GA Z I NE press@bentoboxstudio.com.au bentoboxstudio.com.au/magazine BENTO is proudly published twice a year.

BENTO ISSUE 05


06

MELISSA YA

12

AARON TEO

14

ALISA DEMPSTER

16

ANGEL NGUYEN

18

ANNA TAN

20

ARVIN SEILER

22

GASPER EMMANUEL Y. INDAYA JR.

24

LAURA MOORE

26

LEO TITLEY

28

LOLITA RUSSO

30

NATASHA BJORNSSON-MERRICK

32

REBEKAH DORILYS DUNSTAN


MELISSA YA ILLUSTRATOR | SYDNEY, NSW AGE | 24

I L L U S T R A T I O N I N S T A G R A M | @by me ilne W E B S I T E | mel i ssa-ya.c om T O O L S | A d ob e P hot oshop , A d ob e Illus tra tor

Tell us where it all began. How did you become an Illustrator/Graphic Designer? Growing up I never did much drawing to be honest - I was more into curating a whole bunch of things in a way that looked nice as a whole. Specific things like being selective of typefaces, creating layouts, pairing colours together etc. I remember having lots of fun making layouts for Bebo and Myspace profiles on MS Paint. How did you discover your style of illustration? How would you describe your style? When I first started getting into illustration, it was mostly flat vector based since I was starting out on Adobe Illustrator. So a lot of geometric shapes, clean, smooth lines and playing with isometry. When I look back at my old illustrations and compare them to ones now, I can obviously see that I’ve steered away from flat-vector style to a style that incorporates texture and free-form shapes and lines. I wouldn’t say that I have a particular style, since I like to be versatile across different visual styles. Who and/or what influences your work and why? It boils down to anything, to be honest! The idea of having a specific influence to shape my work feels limiting. It could be me connecting to a line from a book, experiencing a certain emotion from a film or me just wanting to draw anything. Is there a designer or illustrator who you admire and think are killing it right now? Hiller Goodspeed (www.hillergoodspeed.com), because his illustrations are quirky but also very wholesome and sometimes poignant. Jaemin Lee (leejaemin.net), who does a really good job of balancing visual elements, typography and colour palette. Take us through your design process. How do you complete your illustrations from start to finish? Before I begin sketching out an illustration, I like to do research beforehand. Research into things like current events, my current inspirations etc. Sometimes it’s straightforward as “Today I really want to draw food”. Once I get an idea I sketch it roughly, then slowly start filling out shapes and playing around with colour. On days where I don’t feel like limiting myself to a brief, I end up reflecting on my current emotions or a feeling that I’d like to evoke, and build on from that. These days I’m trying to make my illustrations feel a bit more sincere and narrative driven. We noticed that in your recent project uploads on Instagram you have been quite selective with your colour palettes. How do you decide on which colour palette is used in your illustrations? I tend to be drawn to the same colour palettes across all of my illustrations, sometimes a pastel version or a more bold option. Blue and pink tones probably make up 80% of my work, but I do also enjoy getting out of my colour comfort zone. As an illustrator, I see a consistent colour scheme as something that others would be able to recognise/define my work by.

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TITLE | Nowhere


TITLE | C N oi nnevtei ne ise K n ci de S t o r e W o m a n


Have you ever been commissioned to do any strange/unusual illustrations? Unfortunately, no! Most of my commissioned illustrations have been pretty ordinary. I think it’d be super fun to work around an unusual brief. What is your favourite commissioned project so far and why? My favourite commissioned project comes in two parts — a set of formal wedding invitations and an animated video for the same client. I breezed through these two projects with ease and luck, since the client knew exactly what they wanted the final outcome to look like. It was also a good way to pair my illustration skills with principles of print design and frame-by-frame animation. I’m grateful that I was able to create something tangible for what a lot of people would call a special day. It left me lingering with a super nice and warm feeling. Tell us about your home office/desk. Is it Pinterest perfect or a messy disaster? It’s a mix of both! It can be neat or messy, depending on whether I’ve thrown myself completely into a project. Typically, my desk is cluttered with piles of books to one side, a lot of unused stationery (am a notebook and writing tools hoarder), and occasionally a print of an artists’ work. I like to change my desk environment every 6 months or so, because I feel it helps break a creative block. Even if it’s something small, like putting a potted plant or replacing a photograph. Which creator of a fictional work would you like to meet in person? Lemony Snicket, the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events! I would love to see if he talks the same in person as he writes in prose. What movie quote do you use on a regular basis? Not a regular basis, but sometimes I’d say a line from one of Wes Anderson’s films. I quote tv shows more often like The Office, Arrested Development and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (waaaaaay too inappropriate). What weird food combinations do you really enjoy? I like playing safe when it comes to food combinations! What are you interested in that most people aren’t? I like collecting and drawing food packaging designs. Also building my collection of enamel pins and badges. What language(s) do you wish you could speak? I’d love to become fluent in Teochew (my parents’ native tongue), Japanese and Korean. Two things that are unique about Melissa! // All of my current tattoos are my own personal illustrations/designs. // I have two freckles under my chin, so I guess a unique physical trait. ARTWORK 1 // Even though trains will undoubtedly get you from point A to point B, sometimes it feels like you’re drifting aimlessly in life, waiting for happiness to catch up to you. ARTWORK 2 // Based on a Japanese novel titled ‘Convenience Store Woman’ by Sayaka Murata. A story about a strange woman trying to become ordinary through her employment in an ordinary work-environment - a convenience store.

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“ I T H I N K W H A T Y O U H AV E T O D O I S H O L D O N T I G H T A N D L I V E W I T H T H AT F E E L I N G , E V E N IF IT ’ S WILD AND ROUGH, AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ON THE VERGE OF GIVING UP”

BANANA YOSHIMOTO, “MOSHI MOSHI”


TITLE | Codename: Rexerker


AARON TEO 3D ARTIST | PERTH, WA A G E | 24

W E B S I T E | a a r o n ttx.art st at i on.c om T O O L S | M a y a 3 D , Sub st anc e P ai nt er

DESCRIPTION // This 3D model mech, Codename: Rexerker is designed to fit into the “Pacific Rim” film’s universe as one of the ‘Jaeger’ that fought the ‘Kaijiu’. It is constructed with a full titanium core with minimal protection armor to maximise its mobility. This mech’s name is an amalgamation of ‘Rex’ due to its fingers and feet resembling the claws of the Tyrannosaurus Rex and ‘Berserker’, which was a member of a unique group of elite Viking warriors who went into battle without any traditional armor. Similarly the mech is equipped with minimal armour. The colour red also symbolises the anger and rage of a berserker, hence, the name Rexerker is given to this mech. Rexerker is equipped with a carbon steel saber on both of its elbows, which can be holstered and extremely powerful flashbang lights attached to the yellow metallic glass on its chest. It has fought countless battles, thus, scratches and damage can be seen on some parts of the armor. Rexerker is currently on standby mode in a hangar located in Australia, preparing to fend off another attack. This is my first personal project I did as a hobby after graduating from University so I’m glad I got to design and create through my own vision without any restrictions. How would you describe your style? My style has always been sci-fi futuristic or fantasy. I prefer realistic and detail textures over simple colours but I like working on both. I also tend to pay a lot of attention to fine details when creating my 3D models because I think these little extra details help to enhance the overall model. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? Depending on the project, searching through Pinterest and rewatching movies or TV shows helps me to identifying aspects that catch the viewers’ attention. Listening to music or soundtracks also helps me to visualise scenes and moments I want to capture in my projects.

In the end, what is most important is receiving feedback from others and evolving my work based on that feedback. Who and/or what influences your work and why? My inspiration mostly comes from Anime, movies and games. I’m a fan of giant mech and monsters, thus, the movie ‘Pacific Rim’ inspired me to create a design for this project. After learning the basics of 3D modeling, I started this project. In general, anime is always giving me inspiration to create stories. Every night when I go to bed and close my eyes, I start thinking of alternative paths for stories to take. The only thing stopping me are the limits of my imagination. In your own opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? I’m not sure if this is a word but ‘Mountain Chicken’ is just weird and funny to me. Why? Because it is not a chicken, it is actually a type of frog. A frog that is given the name ‘chicken’ but is not a chicken. If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? How about an old school space sci-fi, like the film ‘Alien’ (1979). It is futuristic in a way and not many people has actually seen this kind of technology. Before entering the room, a map would be projected to show that access has been granted after tapping the key card. The beds are curved sleeping pods and visitors can sleep with the lid closed if they want to. The walls and floors will be silver with grey stripes to match the space theme. The closet will be a hexagonal shape with a glass door to appear as though it is storing a space suit. The floor just outside the bathroom door will have the word ‘ENTERING AIRLOCK’ printed on it so when flushing the toilet, it will be like flushing the waste into space. The bathroom will have a double sliding door opening in opposite directions to help you feel that you are entering an airlock room. BENTO 13


ALISA DEMPSTER ILLUSTRATOR & ANIMATOR | PERTH, WA A G E | 23

I N S T A G R A M | @tr e x i a.art T O O L S | A d o b e P h o to shop , A d ob e A f t er Ef f ec t s

DESCRIPTION // A random object or animal is drawn from an isometric perspective with a grey tone colour scheme. With these kinds of projects, it makes me think about how I can animate them and put focus on motion, rather than texture and other details. I also wonder what kind of meaning others associate each image with as its narrative is quite vague. This was inspired by the music video ‘Supernaive’ by Opal Waltz. The video was an independent animation by Vincent Tsui. I made this series as a daily challenge during October, when I was motivated to do a digital daily challenge rather than doing ‘Inktober’. I later decided that some could be animated as well. How would you describe your style? My style leans towards isometric illustrations that can be translated into simple animations. I tried to keep it simple in every way, while trying to make it endearing by keeping the illustration small on the canvas. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? Before getting into any program I sketch out my idea quickly in a small sketchbook, where I annotate and brainstorm to expand on the concept. This is important as it sometimes lets me see other possibilities, where it leads to thumb-nailing different varieties of the same idea. Who and/or what influences your work and why? David O’Reilly and the game ‘Monument Valley’ by Ustwo Studio are great influences on my work. I grew up with games, and while I am impressed with how far graphics have come with games like ‘Dark Souls’, I am drawn more to subtle graphics that are able to capture great atmospheric moods.

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My works were also inspired by feelings of mundanity and meaninglessness that one can feel sometimes in life. Are you a part of any creative groups that you would recommend everyone to join? Weekly life-drawing has been a consistent activity I participate in. I highly recommend joining any local ones you can be part of. It’s been one of the only days I practice my hand drawing skills as I have been focusing more on motion graphics. It has also been a great way to meet new people and be part of a community. In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? Asymptote. It just sounds funny, don’t remember what it means because maths class was a long time ago.

BENTO Editor’s Note: An asymptote is a straight line that continually approaches a given curve but does not meet at any finite distance. If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? An obvious one for me would be cat cafe theme (who doesn’t love cats), but I’d also love to see an escape room themed hotel. I’d hope it’s not too difficult to find your keys but it would be very rewarding when you finally get to your room after solving puzzles, though it could be a bit too stressful. The hotel would have a few separate escape rooms, while the guest rooms would have riddles, board games and mini puzzles as I don’t think the guests will appreciate being trapped in their bedrooms.


TITLE | Isometric Things


TITLE | Keiko Shampoo


ANGEL NGUYEN GRAPHIC DESIGNER | PERTH, WA A G E | 21

I N S T A G R A M | @_ang el c reat i ve F A C E B O O K | @angel c re8t i ve W E B S I T E | angel c reat i ve.d esi gn T O O L S | A d ob e P hot oshop , A dobe Illus tra tor

DESCRIPTION // At the supermarket, you’ll find a lot of outdated kids shampoo packaging graphics on the shelf with artificial scents and chemicals. Keiko aims to be an organic foaming 3 in 1 conditioning shampoo and body wash for kids. Convenient for busy millennial parents and fun for the curious child. It features a contemporary flat design with a seahorse representing play, aquatic and chosen due to its form like foam. Keiko is a brand rooted in Japanese, ‘kei’ meaning lucky, happy, blessed or adored and ‘ko’ meaning child. A cute yet credible name that lives up to caring for children’s hygiene. How would you describe your style? My main style is playful and contemporary. I aim to create a sense of comfort and closeness with fun through light coloured, clean flat vector graphics. On the other side of my style spectrum, via darker colour schemes, I can develop cool, dynamic and energetic themes that seem futuristic and conservative. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? Digging through Pinterest and collecting images under the project’s board. If I want to compare, I would go out there and search the shelves for existing products and see how I can make my product different and stand out from them. List some themes and choose. Listen to some chillstep or chillhop to get me into the mood. Proceed to sketching symbols or imagery and plans for how the packaging works. Then hands on creating it digitally! Who and/or what influences your work and why? I like to think a unique design comes from one’s own imagination and interests. I like seeing simple and clean designs that have a playful functional aspect into it. Recently I discovered and am inspired by Japanese designer Oki Sato and his simplistic playful innovative functional designs by looking at different perspectives. “The word fun is inside of function”. Are you a part of any creative groups that you would recommend everyone to join? The Design Kids Perth is a very active local group. The hosts are very welcoming and friendly. They would have meet ups every Tuesday with a different topic or theme and we would gather to give advice, be inspired and make like-minded friends! The Facebook Group ‘The Designers League’ is a really wholesome creative global community where you can post your work for feedback or ask for opinions in regards to your job. In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? Skedaddle! It’s like a visual word to see someone rushing off in a comical way. If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? I love Japanese food, especially sushi. I’d love a Sushi themed hotel! A ball pit filled with orange balls like roe. Beds having sashimi or seaweed wrap blankets and sushi roll shaped pillows. Sake drum seats. The overall interior would look like the traditional tatami rooms from Japan.

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ANNA TAN ILLUSTRATOR | PERTH, WA A G E | 23

I N S T A G R A M | @jynxl ab _ W E B S I T E | www.jynxl ab .c om T O O L S | Sk et c h, A d ob e P hot oshop, Wa com Ta ble t

DESCRIPTION // This particular piece was part of my Valentines Day card series which I released earlier this year. I wanted to create a series of cards that offered a humorous yet relatable idea of love. Inspired by my own relationship, I wanted to capture the fleeting moments that hold so much meaning but never really get addressed (yeah, if I’m holding in my fart it ain’t love, lol). I believe that life is too short to be anything but happy and I hope to bring a smile to anyone that interacts with my work! How would you describe your style? For the longest time, I felt that my style was not unique and this was something that held me back from creating for a very long time. It was only when I realised that I had been spending too much time thinking about what and how I wanted to draw instead of simply putting pen to paper! I would say that my illustrative style is a reflection of what makes me happy and is constantly evolving. As of right now, I have been really loving developing these cute, humorous, vector illustrations. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? Oh how I wish the creative process were linear! The following steps can usually occur in no particular order: Research - What am I creating, for what purpose, and for who! Brainstorming - Once I have substantial research, I begin to brainstorm. A particular technique I use is called ‘listing’ and this is where I list words that associate directly and indirectly to the topic of my project. I find that this technique helps me to push my ideas further. Ideate and plan - Sketch sketch sketch! Develop - Scanned and straight into Photoshop, I begin to utilise layers to create my piece. Who and/or what influences your work and why? My work is inspired by the idea of daily life, with a touch of humour. In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? Doodling. I mean... who thought this word would best represent drawing? Someone tell me please. If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? The theme would be mid-century modern with a focus on pastel colours. The rooms would be minimal, fresh and inviting.

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TITLE | Jynx Lab Illustrations


TITLE | Crave Chocolate


ARVIN SEILER GRAPHIC DESIGNER | PERTH, WA A G E | 24

I N S T A G R A M | @arvi n_s_d esi g ns T O O L S | A d o b e P hot oshop , A d ob e I l l ust rat or, A d ob e InDe s ign

DESCRIPTION // Packaging and Brand Identity for a local, boutique chocolatier. As part of a TAFE assignment, I was required to design packaging and a brand identity for a new, local, boutique chocolatier. The brief asked for a contemporary design direction; an aesthetic that would stand out against the vast array of mass-produced items. I began with research into current packaging design trends, to gain an understanding of potential competitors and to guide the creative process. A combination of typography and imagery was decided on to most effectively present the brand and product - as a small, emerging business, the design would need a strong visual appeal with degree of sophistication to gain the attention of customers. After developing a modern and understated logo, I began to create and refine the graphics. Weaving photographic and vector elements, a contrasting interaction between organic and digital forms was created. The typography was carefully applied to further convey the feel of a professional, contemporary brand. The end result was a set of 3 production-ready artworks which met the requirements of the brief in a creative yet professional manner. How would you describe your style? I prefer working in Illustrator, which I find best for creating bold designs. Though I enjoy crafting these attention-grabbing pieces, I also appreciate a subtle and well balanced composition, often favouring a less-is-more approach. Colour and typography are very important to me and I generally find myself spending the most time developing these areas. I try as much as I can to remain diverse in my approach to design, not confined to one style but always willing to dabble in different areas to keep things interesting.

Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? I begin with plenty of research to steer myself in the right direction. This then translates into the sketches and thumbnails that underpin my designs. From here it’s a process of ongoing building and refinement with regular feedback until I get a result I’m happy with. Who and/or what influences your work and why? I generally take my influence from other creatives, mechanical design, music and my environment. Inspiration can come from anywhere so it pays to keep an open mind — the missing element of a design that ties the whole thing together can sometimes come from an unexpected source. Are you a part of any creative groups that you would recommend everyone to join? I’m a part of The Design Kids. Awesome resource for keeping up with what’s happening in the world of design, access to great workshops, organised social events (TDK Tuesdays), job boards, the list goes on... In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? Hootenanny - always a good time! If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? An extravagant, Japanese game show themed hotel and the rooms are giant bowls of ramen which you have to escape before the time runs out to win the Ultimate Prize!

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GASPAR EMMANUEL Y. INDAYA JR. ILLUSTRATOR | PERTH, WA A G E | 26

I N S T A G R A M | @g asp yart F A C E B O O K | @g asp y a rt T O O L S | A d o b e P h o to shop , A d ob e I l l ust rat or, I nk mark ers

DESCRIPTION // This is an artwork I did of an icon that I look up to the most. For me, he’s one of the greatest icons of my generation - Mike Shinoda of ‘Linkin Park’. I’ve been a long time and a true ‘Linkin Park’ fan for as long as I can remember and I’ve been following his artistic career ever since the year 2000. I decided to make an artwork of him because his music and art inspired me in a lot of ways. As an artist, he inspired me to be experimental, to experiment different with possibilities, to identify my strengths and weaknesses. How would you describe your style? Digital art/vector art is my strong suit but then I like to experiment different mediums (hand made drawings or sketches, painting and digital) and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? Before making this artwork, the first thing I did was find some reference photos in relation to Mike Shinoda, and, once I found the image I was looking for, I went on straight to Adobe Illustrator to get started. The next thing I did after drawing and adding some colours, I went on to Photoshop to add some extra details and for the final polish.

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Who and/or what influences your work and why? Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda. I’ve learned so much from them through their music, as well as art.

TITLE | Mike Shinoda - Post Traumatic

In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? Gerbil for me is the funniest word in the English language because that word itself is hilarious, especially when someone randomly says it.

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TITLE | Carnaby’s Cockies


LAURA MOORE ILLUSTRATOR | PERTH, WA A G E | 30

I N S T A G R A M | @l auramoored r a ws T O O L S | A d ob e P hot oshop , P e ncil, Goua che

DESCRIPTION // This hand-painted illustration is of Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos perched on Australian native flora. It is a decorative piece that I have turned into a tea-towel design, as well as a seamless repeat pattern that can be used for textiles or anything else! It is one of a number of illustrations I have done which use Western Australian flora and fauna motifs. These illustrations are naive and playful, using very simple colour palettes. The colour palette of this illustration focuses on the fact that these are black cockatoos, and the pink and grey add a touch of femininity. How would you describe your style? My recent illustration style is naive, playful and feminine. On the flipside, I also really enjoy doing very detailed and more realistic illustrations. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? Gather inspiration (lots of images), draw thumbnails of my layout, play with potential colour schemes, produce a loose sketch, refine that sketch, and then paint it! If I’m turning my illustrations into a repeat pattern, I then need to go into Photoshop and Illustrator and play around a lot more. Who and/or what influences your work and why? I’ve taken a few online classes of Lisa Congdon’s, which have been a big influence on my recent illustrative style. Her classes taught me to loosen up with my drawing style and embrace the quirkiness of faster hand-drawn styles of illustration. I’m also highly inspired by the Australian landscape. We have very unique flora and fauna in this part of the world that I connect with a sense of place and the idea of ‘home’. In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? I haven’t thought about it! If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? It might already be a thing, but I think I have to say an Australiana themed hotel. It would be a bit lavish, with Australiana themed wallpapers and prints and objects (but in a classy way hopefully).

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PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

LEO TITLEY GRAPHIC DESIGNER | PERTH, WA A G E | 26

F A C E B O O K | @l e o ti tl eyd esi gn I N S T A G R A M | @l e o ti t l eyd esi gn E T S Y | Le o T i tl e y D e si g n T O O L S | A d o b e P h o to shop

DESCRIPTION // ‘Perth’ is the first piece of an ever-growing series of minimalist digital-illustrations, that depict some of the most beautiful places in the world. This piece captures the essence of Perth’s outdoor culture, our obsession with travel, and the city’s endless expansion and development. How would you describe your style? Minimalist, bold and geometric. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? I first pick a subject/scene to illustrate. I then capture the most appropriate view/shot of the scene that encapsulates its beauty and identifiable features. I then take the image to Photoshop and start breaking it up in layers (from background to foreground). I trace each layer and colour them in different shades of grey to create a sense of distance. I often choose subjects that feature bodies of water, to fill the image with a single colour for the sky and its reflection. Who and/or what influences your work and why? My initial influence was New Zealand graphic designer/artist, Bridget Hall. I’ve been to New Zealand every year since 2013 and I’m always impressed

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by her incredible ability to capture the essence of New Zealand’s natural landscape in such a geometric and digital style. I’m a bit of a neat freak and like things to be clean and tidy, so the digital medium was very appealing because it allowed me to produce precise and neat work. I also come from an architectural background, so digital and geometric drawings have always been something I’ve done.

TITLE | Perth

Are you a part of any creative groups that you would recommend everyone to join? Unfortunately I’m not. But I do follow a bunch of cool creatives, such as Bento Box! In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? Knickerbockers. They sound funny and they look funny. If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? 1960s Californian Desert Motel. Everything is pastel. Mint green walls and neon lights.

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LOLITA RUSSO ILLUSTRATOR | PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA, USA A G E | 15

I N S T A G R A M | @eg ol ep sy W E B S I T E | l ol i t arusso.c revad o.c om T O O L S | F i reA l p ac a, V SCO

DESCRIPTION // My piece focuses on the chromatic aspect of culture. I designed the piece to be as colourful as possible while still sticking to a general aesthetic. How would you describe your style? I think my style is ambitious and very sharp, like a punch in the face. It is direct and lively, focusing mainly on colours. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? Sometimes, I’ll plan out a piece in my head and directly initiate it. I then find that a few things need changes, and soon enough, I find myself improvising on my piece as opposed to sticking with the original plan. The important thing is this: it all works out in the end. Who and/or what influences your work and why? Shows such as Cartoon Network’s ‘Powerpuff Girls’ and Nickelodeon’s ‘My Life As A Teenage Robot’, as well as artists such as Joakim Riedinger and John Kricfalusi have all played a significant role in morphing my style and approach to art. In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? Despite it having no humorous context at all, ‘neanderthal’ is probably the funniest word to me simply because of the power it holds when insulting someone. One can easily call you unattractive or stupid, but a neanderthal? That’s when the hyperbole takes over. If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? The theme would be entirely vintage-based and Renaissance-esque. There would be cherubs of porcelain and floral vases, and the architecture would simply scream rococo. There would be classic phonographs, radios, and landline phones. It would always smell like feminine powder and elegant perfume, and the crooning of Al Bowlly would permeate through the lobby at all times.

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TITLE | Rebellion!


TITLE | Bee Mindful


NATASHA BJORNSSON-MERRICK DIGITAL DESIGNER | MELBOURNE, VIC A G E | 24

I N S T A G R A M | @nannasai d no W E B S I T E | nannasai d no.c om T O O L S | A d ob e P hot oshop , A dobe Illus tra tor

DESCRIPTION // Bee Mindful is a digital piece of work that I created to raise awareness about the steady decline in the bee population. The bees are dying off due to climate change and I believe that it is important to raise awareness about the issues going on in the world. How would you describe your style? As a graphic designer, I am required to have a very broad style, I need to be able to create different kinds of designs for different kinds of clients. Therefore, I wouldn’t really say I have a specific style. However, in spite of this I’ve always been in love fine liner pen illustrations! Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? I’ve always found it so difficult writing about my creative process. I’d say that most of my ideas come to me when I’m about to fall asleep, I write them down and sleep on it. In the morning I’ll have a clearer idea of what I want to achieve and start by sketching or writing down my thoughts. Once I know what I want to do it is literally all I can think about until I bring my idea to life. Who and/or what influences your work and why? The biggest creative influence in my life has always been my mum. I can remember the exact moment I decided I wanted to be an artist/designer was when I came across my mums old sketchbook when I was about five. I instantly fell in love with the fine liner pen and pencil illustrations scribbled throughout the pages and carried the book with me everywhere to show anyone who would look. Are you a part of any creative groups that you would recommend everyone to join? The only creative group I know of in Melbourne is the Facebook group ‘Melbourne Creative Network’. It’s amazing for finding out about exhibitions, finding jobs, freelance work and everything else connected to the creative industry. I’m pretty certain there is one for each state, so I totally recommend joining! If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? Milk. I have no idea why but I’ve always found the word milk hilarious. I think it’s got something to do with the way it feels on your tongue. If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? Hmm. I’ve got a million ideas for this, but I’d have to go to a tree house hotel. I’d love it to be in the treetops of the jungle with the rooms full of vines and hammocks hanging from the branches. It would be fantastic to wake up to the birds singing and the monkeys swinging through the trees.

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REBEKAH DORILYS DUNSTAN ILLUSTRATOR | PERTH, WA A G E | 23

I N S T A G R A M | @w i th a k .b i z T O O L S | Cam e r a, A d o b e I l l ust rat or, W ac om T ab l et

DESCRIPTION // I recently moved into the Perth suburb of Como and I am enamoured with this building. The Grand Cygnet has a beautiful art deco style, sitting like a pink ocean liner overlooking the Swan River. It was built in 1938, between the world wars when cinema entertainment in Perth was a popular pastime. It is listed on the State Heritage Register and noted as one of the least altered movie theatres from this time. Perhaps this is why the foyer is so cozy with the smell of popcorn embedded in the carpet. The theatre itself has a sense of lightness and spaciousness that is no longer common in the black-walled cushioned cinemas that have been built since. It’s beautiful hardwood flooring and expansive high ceiling encourages you to look up and around until the show starts. Going to The Grand Cygnet brings on a wave of excitement comparable with what I felt as a child going to the movies with my family. How would you describe your style? I would describe my style as both illustrative and whimsical. Briefly outline your creative process. What are the major steps? I first took a few reference photos of The Grand Cygnet which I then loaded it into Adobe Illustrator. I used a mix of shape-building tools to build the largest blocks of colour, then pen tools for more intricate details like the font. This project was partly a challenge to myself to learn how to use my new Wacom tablet and so my process also involved sticking my tongue out and testing my hand eye coordination!

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Who and/or what influences your work and why? I would say my work is vastly inspired by impactful shapes and colour. For this piece, I was firstly inspired by the design of The Grand Cygnet and it’s romantic Hollywood vibe. I was also interested in the idea of using coloured cellophane and the idea of layering it in a collage.

TITLE | Old Hollywood

Are you a part of any creative groups that you would recommend everyone to join? I love Lynda.com which is more of a resource but it’s full of creative people! I am always learning new skills and ways of working on this site. In your opinion, what is the funniest word in the English language and why? I think the word Monstera is pretty funny, because it’s basically ‘monster’ - but it’s really just a very pretty houseplant! If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like? I would love to see a Grand Cygnet style hotel! It would be somewhere you could spend more than an afternoon and feel transported through time. It would be an old Hollywood glamour style hotel with muted colours (pink of course) and bold architectural shapes. There would be palm trees out the front, a big tiled swimming pool and conversation pits and in the foyer and penthouse suite. TITLE | Old B HE o lNl yTw Oo o3 d3


De lic io us ly p re p a red w i th

by Ben to Box Desi gn Stu di o

Profile for Bento Box Design Studio

BENTO Issue 07  

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