Creative Instagrammer of the Week: Ben Johnston

A freelance graphic designer and illustrator, Ben Johnston is an artist who is working to revive the dying art of hand-crafted signage.

This week, we’re passing the Creative Instagrammer baton onto graphic designer and artist Ben Johnston, a man who lives by the motto of his murals: “I just want to drink coffee, create stuff & sleep.” A mantra that I’m sure he shares with those who understand what it’s like to be completely passionate about what they do. 

Based out of Toronto, the South African born artist knows his way around a chalk board. With a multitude of commissions under his belt, like the 1,600 sq foot mural for Sierra Nevada, Ben has shown us how awesome his self-taught style is and just how well he can capture the energy of a piece. With a technique that transitions beyond the two dimensional, Ben’s eye-popping style has a bold personality that’s immediately recognizable and absolutely captivating.

Looking through his massive compilation of work, you can see his extensive effort to push himself out of the comfort zone and simply discover a new way to envision typography. Although he began his career studying industrial design, it wasn't until he began experimenting with graphic design that he realized his true passion. This lead to immediately dropping out from school to become the freelance artist that he now is, a risk that proved rewarding for both him and us, who get to experience his work because of his brave decision. Watching him create, you can see his background in industrial design come to life: each line is carefully measured and his although some of his work may seem chaotic, it’s all organized and orchestrated with masterful precision. You definitely get the impression that Ben enjoys his work. Each piece has an element of play, something both fun and full of inspiration; he’s 100% of what he creates.

An artist who’s dedicated to trying new styles, working hard and is absolutely filled inspiration, Ben Johnston is definitely someone to keep an eye on and follow. His instagram features the process behind each of his pieces, so you can get a sense of the detail and careful calculation that goes into each measure of chalk.


Photography courtesy Ben Johnston.

Follow Ben @benjohnston25