Ben Ricketts - otherwise known as Design of Bricks - is a self-taught independent illustrator and designer based in the creative city of Bristol. A fan of typography, lettering, calligraphy and a collector of graffiti and street art books, he creates his images by sketching out the designs in pencil, inks them, scans and vectors them.
Ben has recently released a limited edition set of Bristol themed prints based around the areas of Bedminster, Stokes Croft and Clifton. These prints are made on 300gsm Cass Art paper, hand finished with gold paint, signed and numbered.
We wanted to find out more about Ben's Bristol prints, ask about his preference for our own brand paper, and showcase his typographical designs.
Hi Ben! Which are your favourite art materials to use for your illustrations?
For my illustrations I usually sketch out the typography and designs using standard graphite pencils. The wooden Cass Art ones are good value for what I want. Once I've got something I'm happy with I ink them with black fineliners, usually Staedler or Edding pens. I've finally learnt how to vector designs which gives a super crisp final result. To do this I scan in the sketches and trace them by hand using free software. There are probably way faster ways to do this using graphics tablets to vector my designs but I haven't invested in any of that stuff yet. Loads more to learn!
What is it you like about Cass Art Paper?
The print run I've recently finished I got screen printed onto Cass Art own brand 300gsm A3 paper by Carillion Print in Bristol. It's really great! I chose this paper because the finish is really nice and you get loads in a pad at a good price. The printers even commented on the paper choice when I picked them up and mentioned they were impressed at the price.
What is it about the city of Bristol that inspires you so?
It's the only place where you've got the feeling and benefits of being in a city with the laidback attitude of the South West. London stresses me out if I'm there for more than two days! There's also loads of quality musicians and venues in Bristol. Being a follower and fan of graffiti, street art and design, I've followed the work of quite a few Bristol-based artists who've been painting for a crazy amount of years in the city.
Sum up Bristol in three words…
That's a really tough one, I'd say: Cider, Graffiti, Bikes.
You can buy Ben Ricketts' Bristol prints and see more of his work on his website.
You can also follow him on Instagram @ben_ricketts.