Portrait of Benny Brown

Benny Brown

Benny Brown lives in Ipswich.

Skateboarding and drawing are the two main passions in his life. Drawing was his main focus from starting college.

Selling on Depop allowed him to keep doing it after he finished Uni – the app where he is now most known.

photo of artist benny brown

– Considering your two main passions. What would you rather, have no legs or have no arms?

That’s a really tough question, not being able to draw or skate would be a bloody nightmare. I would have to consider what i would lose outside of drawing or skating. i’m going to say lose my legs. Imagine falling over without any arms, or having an itch! Yeah i’ll keep the arms.

– What inspired you to draw your “Party Animals” design for us? Which animal in your illustration would be you?

You know the ones where you go out for one drink at the pub with your mates and it turns in to a full blown session. Well on one these nights i had a sketchbook on me and ended up drawing and recording things said. I remember at the time i was drawing people as animals and this sparked the idea for it. People from all walks of life and different backgrounds in one place to all to do the same thing – drink, smoke and chat. If i had to be one of them it would be the Little bear chilling on the far left in the background i reckon, he’s of just chilling doing his own thing, thats my vibe.

– What is the worst critique you’ve ever had for your drawings?

I had some pretty harsh ones at Uni, but they always made fair points and the criticism was always constructive. I did get a DM from a guy saying i draw like 8 year old and that i’m shit – that did make me laugh to be fair.

Brain Spill Illustration by Benny Brown

– You once said to Depop about Ipswich, “there are some proper characters lurking in that place”. Who is the weirdest character you’ve ever seen?

There are some weird ones, but you don’t now much about them apart from what their known for so i wouldn’t want to single anyone out. Around the skatepark area lets just say there are some unsavoury characters.

There was one guy who i only ever saw once that came down the skatepark with a ratty old acoustic guitar and 2 strings missing. He sat and sang some songs he had written – they were incredibly racist, one song he had titled ‘kill the rag heads’. We were absolutely stunned, this guy was belting it out – people the overside of the river could have heard him.

smile please by benny brown
Another time, three guys were drinking on the grass bank by the skatepark, they seemed pretty good mates and then 30 seconds later they were appeared to be the worst of enemies which resulted in one of the most brutal beatings i’ve witnessed. They ended up fighting in the middle of a main road, had stopped all the traffic and were brawling over the bonnets of cars with people still in them. Two of the guys actually then did just team up on one. One grabbed his leg and held it out, and the other guy stomped it and snapped the dudes ankle. The sound was horrific.
party house by benny brown
sleeping at desk postcard by benny brown

– What would you say to people that would consider your illustrations offensive?

I create work about all sorts of subject matter and i can see that certain pieces of my work could offend. But to me that’s the part of being an artist, to feel something about the work, whether you’re offended or you love it, at least you have engaged with it.

– Have you ever considered moving your illustrations onto decks / skate merch? Do you illustrate your own boards?

Yeah i have made a few personal designs for decks but i haven’t really pursued it any further. Drawing on my grip tape is probably the most illustrating I’ve done towards my own boards.



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