We recently caught up with LCI Melbourne alumni, Ben Stockdale, to discuss his current creative projects, inspiration and experience studying with us. As a digital creative and computer graphics generalist, Ben Stockdale creates artwork and animations using a variety of digital software and tools, primarily featuring a sci-fi and retro-urban aesthetic.
Outside of a normal workday, Ben spends a lot of time trying to construct new ideas and create different types of new effects. Right now, he is working on trying to get a better grip on the processes of creating a complete CG sequence. From hand-modelling assets and taking photographic references, to shooting live action components and compositing them all together into one final shot.
“It's tough, but so far I'm having a blast”
Ben takes deliberate care in creating detailed, handcrafted elements for each new project, beginning with early concept generation through to final production. Ben is inspired by sci-fi and futuristic themes, as a type of visual aesthetic that really speaks to him and is immensely intriguing to admire. He has a huge library of inspiration that he constantly references, for fine details on how to make something more real, believable and engaging.
“There's something about putting a lot of fine detail into something you create that gives me a lot of joy, even if no one else will notice it”
Ben recently dove into a project during lockdown that has formed into an animation showreel. He describes this work as a collage of all of the different sorts of things he’s enjoyed working on previously. You can immerse yourself in the full animation showreel below!
Ben’s self-titled creative process, ‘scrap the current project and move onto the next shiny thing’, stems heavily from what it is that inspires him to start. The CG sequence he is currently working on, started from seeing a really cool picture of a hydraulic robot arm contraption.
“Next thing I know is that I'm 20 browser tabs deep into Pinterest, I've blocked out an entire scene and I'm modelling little industrial switches at 3am”
Ben has always had an eye for art and design, attributing his creativity to growing up with his mother, who is an extremely talented painter. When he was younger, Ben enjoyed drawing sketches and ink work, he then explored digital mediums in high school which ultimately developed into a strong passion and career path. Before starting at LCI Melbourne, Ben considered himself a ‘closet artist’, barely publishing his work or involving himself in the industry or community.
LCI Melbourne supported Ben while he started exploring new avenues of design and influenced him to have a better appreciation for different styles of work. During his second-year studying, Ben scored an internship as a graphic designer. He was given the opportunity to experience the intricacies and quirks of the industry first-hand, positively impacting the quality of his work. Ben still works with the same studio and has been full time there since the last day of his program at LCI Melbourne.
“The LCI Melbourne community gave me the confidence to showcase what I create, be proud of it and also learn how to take criticism in a completely positive way and turn it into something even better”
Ben encourages current and future LCI Melbourne students to make friends! Find like-minded people that you can collaborate with, they will act as the biggest advantage to your career. Don't be afraid to ask questions or show your work around; everyone there is trying to achieve similar goals of their own and you never know what you might discover talking to people with different experiences.
“My best advice would be to give it your best shot, be proud of what you do, and you'll get where you're trying to go”
It’s onwards and upwards for Ben Stockdale and he is always looking forward to what’s next! Whether that be a step up in the industry or trying a completely new medium, Ben will be up until 3am doing whatever it is.
“It really blindsides me sometimes, but it's the most fun I can have just being boundlessly creative”