Benjamin Mitchley is a South African fine artist, born on 1 January 1967 in the Free State, South Africa. He studied fine arts from 1985 to 1987 at the Vaal University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology. He is a full-time freelance fine artist, scenic artist, illustrator and 2D digital animator. He does commissions and collaborations in fine art painting, scenic painting, illustration, and 2D digital animation.
He had his first international art exhibition in Germany in 2005 and 2006.
From 2004 to 2016 he furthered his scenic experience while working in Dubai on the IBN Battuta shopping mall, a sculpture project for the Dubai Municipality horse museum and mural work at the Dubai IMG Worlds of Adventure indoor theme park. In Johannesburg, he worked on a scenic project during the first phase of Monte Casino's East-End Teatro in 2007 and created backdrops for television adverts at Golden Island Studios in 2013.
Since 2010, as a self-taught animator, he created a short film for a SABC documentary and animation collaboration for corporation info-graphic projects. In 2013 he received a first-place award in a medical animation competition for the Iheed institute.
Technology plays an integral part in his creative process. Augmented reality has made it able to look at his artwork in a different way. In 2019 the introduction of augmented reality to his artwork linked to the Artivive app has allowed the viewer to use a smartphone or tablet to see these artworks come to life. This medium has taken him on a new journey with exhibition collaborations with the Artivive company. The first exhibition was held at the Venesia Hotel during the Miami Art Basil in December 2021. He also participated in the 5th Ranetas VR Fest in Alcaniz, Spain, in 2019. In 2020 he received a place as one of the top 10 artists in the Artivive UN Peace Poster International Competition. In 2021 he was a participant at The Junction's 2nd Window Wonderland Augmented Reality event in Toronto, Canada. In 2022 a selection of his Artivive artworks form part of the 'Art + AR = New Experience' Artivive exhibition, hosted by Sunshine Studios in Korea.
What Benjamin says about his work process.
With a pencil, I draw onto the canvas the outline of the image from which I am working. I start filling the canvas with paint medium until all areas of the canvas are completely covered. Once dry, I continue to add layers of paint medium until I've achieved the desired detail. A few months after drying, l will add a mixture of damar varnish on oil paintings as a protective layer. It brings out the richness in the colour. A similar acrylic medium is applied to acrylic paintings for the same reason. Reference images used for my paintings are from my own photographs taken in my surroundings.
I create my digital artwork using design and illustration software such as Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Clip Studio Paint EX, Krita and Artrage. I use a digital pen and a 22-U-mini Bosto intuitive monitor to create with. It mimics the feeling of creating a traditional artwork, whether it be drawing or painting. I consider the creative input, the hours spent and costs on this type of medium similar to that of traditional media.
I create my animation using the following digital animation software: Moho Pro, Harmony Advanced, Toon Boom Animate, Toon Boom Studio, Clip Studio Paint EX, Krita and Open Toonz. For use in a 2D cut-out style, I photograph or scan traditional artwork or use digital artwork from which I create cut layers for the moving parts of the animation. In the animation software, bones are added to each layer to achieve specific movement. Sometimes I create an animation before a script evolves. I would see a moving image in my imagination, create it and build a story around it.
Technology plays an integral part in
the creative process of my work. Augmented reality has made it able
to look at my artwork in a different way. The Artivive App
one of my best assets to enhance my artwork. It has allowed me to
link an animation or create visual depth perception, creating an
augmented reality in front of the artwork.
My Process for Creating an Artivive Augmented Reality Artwork:
Once I have created the animation or digital
image layers, the animation video files and image layers are uploaded
along with the target image (artwork) to the Artivive Bridge website. The size, shape, distance and chroma-key (green screen) of the uploaded files can be manipulated in the 3D workspace on the Artivive Bridge website.
Once the project is processed, it is automatically linked to the
. Once the Artivive App is downloaded to your smartphone or tablet and held in front of the artwork, the Augmented Reality becomes visible.
A Youtube video about my process can be seen HERE
Awards and Competitions:
2012 Vuleka competition, SA Art Times Merit Award. 2013 Iheed Animation 1st place Award.
2020 Artivive Top 10 UN Peace Poster International Competition
Click HERE to order Benjamin Mitchley's Artivive Augmented Reality Limited Edition Prints and Postcards. Click HERE to order Benjamin Mitchley's Anaglyph 3D Artivive Augmented Reality Limited Edition Prints and Postcards. Visits to his studio are by appointment only. Monday to Friday 10h00 to 15h00. To make an appointment send a message or call WhatsApp.
- Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2003.
- Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2004.
- Obz Art Walk, 2003.
- SoulPIE Exhibition - 38 Special Art Gallery, Cape Town,2003.
- Aroma Cafe, Loop Street, Cape Town, 2003.
- Granny Feel Goods, Main Road, Green Point Cape Town, 2003.
- 'Picasso' Red art gallery, Steenburg village, Tokai, 2003.
- Strada restaurant, Munich, 2005/2006.
- Koenig Bistro, Munich, 2006.
- Hof Christmas market, Germany, 2006.
- The Studio art gallery, group exhibition, Clarens, 2007.
- Richard Renni gallery, Clarens, 2007.
- Solo Exhibition, Spirit, The Arts Association of Bellville, Cape Town, 2008.
- 'My Country, My Land', Hyde Park Gallery, Johannesburg, 2009.
- 'Green, Organic, Nature, Nurture', Hyde Park, Jhb. Food and Trees for Africa, 2009.
- 'Gallery On The Side' Four Ways, Johannesburg, 2010/2014.
- Sanlam Vuleka Exhibition, 2012, Merit award.
- 2nd Annual Group Miniature Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 9 May 2013.
- In celebration of Portugal Day, Group Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 8 June 2013.
- Don't let that Horse, Ode to Chagall, Group Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 25 June 2013.
- Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg 2013.
- Art Lovers 1932 - Erotica group exhibition 19 Sept to 2 Oct 2013.
- Art Lovers 1932 - Mixed Media Duo exhibition with Johan van Staden in conjunction with Gordon Froud - Alice in Wonderland group exhibition, 3 Oct. to 16 Oct. 2013.
- The Alfred Mall Gallery, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, 2014.
- Gallery On The Side Four Ways, Johannesburg, 2014
- Pretoria Art Association members exhibition, 2016.
- Annual Group Miniature Exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 2017.
- Solo exhibition, Moments, Trent Gallery, Pretoria, 20 April 2018.
- 'at Midnight'group exhibition, Johann van Heerden Art Gallery, Pretoria, 1 June 2018.
- The Unexpected group exhibition, The viewing Room, September 2018.
- 'Spring' group exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 13 September to 27 September 2018.
- Solo exhibition, Moments, Johann van Heerden's Art gallery, Pretoria, 13 September to 22 September 2018.
- Comic Con Africa 14,15,16 September 2018.
- End year A5 Group Exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery, 1 December 2018.
- 'Postcards from the edge' group exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery, 20 January to 18 February 2019.
- Solo 'Characters & Concepts', Long Street Art Lovers 1932, 31 January to 12 February 2019.
- 'Ophelia' group exhibition, Trent Gallery, 1 to 14 March 2019.
- Language of Light: an exhibition of photography.
Long Street Art Lovers 1932, 14 March to 26 March 2019.
- 'Magnificent Moving Machines' Group Exhibition 31 March to 14 April 2019.
- FanCon, Capetown, 27 -28 April 2019.
- Solo 'Characters & Concepts', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 1 to 27 June 2019.
- 'Landscapes of my childhood', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 14 July - 2 August 2019.
- Comic Con Africa, 21 to 24 September 2019.
- 5th Ranetas VR Fest, Alcañiz (Spain,) 15 November to 1 December 2019.
- Kinkelkuns exhibition, Eldoraigne, 28 November to 1 December 2019.
- End Year Exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery 1 December 2019.
- Anual 'Postcards from the Edge' Group Exhibition', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 12 January 2020.
- '0202/2020' Palindrome Group Exhibition, ArtBox, Pretoria 02 February to 25 February 2020.
- 'New Dimensions' Group Exhibition', curated by Benjamin Mitchley, Johann van Heerden Gallery, 28 June 2020.
- 'Annual Winter Sale Group Exhibition', Johann van Heerden Gallery, 30 July 2020.
- Artivive UN Peace Poster Exhibition, UN Secretariat Building, New York 2020.
- Comic Con Africa Online 24-27 Sept 2020.
- 'Winged Creatures' group exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery, October 2020.
- '2020' end year group exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery, December 2020.
- 'Postcards from the Edge', Johann van Heerden Gallery, January 2021.
- 'Still Life Kudos Exhibition' Johann van Heerden Gallery, 7 February 2021.
- The Rabbit's Foot Group Exhibition, Johann
- Connectivity, Group Exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery, 4 July 2021.
- Flights of Fancy Solo Exhibition Johann van Heerden Gallery 2021.
- This Is Art Expo, CTICC, 26 Nov 2021.
- Artivive exhibition, 'Characters & Concepts', Miami Art Basil Artivive AR Cocktail, Venezia Hotel Miami, 4 December 2021.
- Postcards From The Edge group exhibition, Johann van Heerden Gallery, Jan 2022.
- Artivive exhibition, 'ART+AR= NEW EXPERIENCE ', Sunshine studios, Korea, 15 April to 14 October 2022.