Benjamin Mitchley is an internationally successful South African artist, born on 1 Jan 1967 in the Free State. He studied fine arts from 1985 to 1987 at the Vaal University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology.
As a full-time fine artist, scenic artist, illustrator, 2D digital animator and augmented reality artist, he consults and presents workshops on 2D animation and Artivive augmented reality. He does commissions and collaborates with artists by animating their artworks for the Artivive App.
Since 2010, as a self-taught animator, he created a short animated 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 possible to showcase his animation alongside his artwork. In 2019, the introduction of the Artivive app allowed the viewer to use a smartphone or tablet to see these animated 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.
In 2020 he received a place as one of the top 10 artists in the Artivive UN Peace Poster
In 2021 and 2022 he was a participant and animation AR consultant at The Junction's Window Wonderland
Augmented Reality event in Toronto, Canada.
In 2022 a selection of his Artivive artworks formed 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 an outline of the artwork I want to produce. I start filling the canvas with paint medium until all areas of the canvas are completely covered. Once dry, I continue to add transparent layers of paint medium until I've achieved the desired colour, hue and detail. Once the painting is completely dry, it will be sealed for added protection.
I create my digital artwork using design and illustration software such as Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Clip Studio Paint EX, Krita and Artrage. I create with an interactive touchscreen monitor and digital pen which mimics the feeling of creating traditional artwork, whether it be drawing or painting. I consider the digital creative process similar to that of traditional media.
I create my animation using a variety of digital animation software. Moho Pro is my preferred animation software. Depending on the animation project, I alternate between software like Toon Boom Harmony, Clip Studio Paint EX, Krita and Open Toonz. With Moho Pro I mainly create animation using a digital 2D cut-out style combined with bones and triangulated 2D meshes. Using photo editing software, I digitally created layers from the scanned artwork, photograph or digital artwork. These layers comprised of each moving part in the animation as well as masked areas like props on a stage that the actors can move or hide behind. The background image becomes the backdrop. The cut-out areas in a scanned artwork or photograph are edited and filled with cloned areas of the image to match the proximity surrounding the cut-out areas. Once the layers are ready, they are imported into the animation software. The moving parts are rigged with bones or deform meshes depending on the desired effect. Whether it be a head turn, a bending motion or one layer switching to the next, animating bones, or transforming mesh points along the animation timeline would create a keyframe to freeze or capture a pose or movement. It's a timely process with rewarding results. Sound effects are added to match the actions and style of the animation. Once completed, the animation video is exported. To create the augmented reality, the rendered animation video is uploaded to a project on the Artivive Bridge website. Here I can manipulate the size, shape, distance and transparency of the uploaded files. Once processed, the animation video will trigger on the Artivive App when viewing the artwork or photograph with a smartphone or tablet.
A Youtube video about my AR process can be seen HERE.
Awards and Competitions
2012 Vuleka competition, SA Art Times Merit Award.
2013 Iheed Animation 1st place Award.
Visits to his studio are by appointment only.
Monday to Friday 10h00 to 15h00.
To make an appointment message or call WhatsApp. Exhibitions
- Sanlam Vuleka exhibition, 2003, 2004 & 2012.
- Strada restaurant, Munich, 2005/2006.
- Koenig Bistro, Munich, 2006.
- Hof Christmas market, DE, 2006.
- The Studio art gallery, group exhibition, Clarens, 2007.
- Richard Renni gallery, Clarens, 2007.
- Solo - 'Spirit', The ArtB, CPT, 2008.
- 'My Country, My Land', Hyde Park Gallery, JHB, 2009.
- 'Green, Organic, Nature, Nurture', Hyde Park, JHB. Food & Trees for Africa, 2009.
- 2nd Annual Group Miniature exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 2013.
- Portugal Day, group exhibit, Art Lovers 1932,2013.
- Don't let that Horse, Ode to Chagall, group exhibition, Art Lovers 1932, 2013.
- Turbine Art Fair, JHB, 2013.
- Art Lovers 1932 - Erotica group exhibition 2013.
- Art Lovers 1932 - Mixed Media Duo exhibition with J van Staden with Gordon Froud - Alice in Wonderland group exhibition, 2013.
- PTA Art Association members exhibition, 2016.
- Annual Group Miniature exhibition, Art Lovers 1932 Gallery, 2017.
- Solo - Moments, Trent Gallery, PTA, 20 Apr 2018.
- 'At Midnight' group exhibit, JVH Gallery, 2018.
- The Unexpected group exhibit, The Viewing Room, 2018.
- Solo - 'Moments 2', JVH Gallery, 13 Sept to 22 Sept 2018.
- 'Postcards from the edge' JVH Gallery, 2019, 2020, 2021
- Solo - 'Characters & Concepts', Long Street Art Lovers 1932, 31 Jan - 12 Feb 2019.
- 'Ophelia' group exhibition, Trent Gallery, 2019.
- Language of Light: Photography exhibition. Long Street Art Lovers 1932, 2019.
- 'Magnificent Moving Machines', JVH Gallery, 2019.
- Solo - 'Characters & Concepts 2', JVH Gallery, 1 - 27 Jun 2019.
- 'Landscapes of my childhood', JVH Gallery, 2019.
- 5th Ranetas VR Fest, Alcañiz (Spain,) 15 Nov - 1 Dec 2019.
- '0202/2020' Palindrome Group Exhibit, ArtBox, PTA. 2 - 25 Feb 2020.
- 'New Dimensions' group exhibit', curated by B Mitchley, JVH Gallery, 28 Jun 2020.
- Artivive UN Peace Poster Exhibition, UN Secretariat Building, NY 2020.
- 'Winged Creatures' group exhibit, JVH Gallery, 2020.
- '2020' group exhibit, JVH Gallery, Dec 2020.
- 'Still Life Kudos', JVH Gallery, 2021.
- 'The Rabbit's Foot' group exhibit, JVH Gallery, 2021
- 'Connectivity', group exhibit, JVH Gallery, 2021.
- Solo - 'Flights of Fancy', JVH Gallery, Sept 2021.
- This Is Art Expo, CTICC, 26 Nov 2021.
- Artivive - 'Characters & Concepts', Miami Art Basil Artivive AR Cocktail, Venezia Hotel Miami, 4 Dec 2021.
- Artivive 'ART+AR= NEW EXPERIENCE ', Sunshine studios, Korea, 15 Apr. to 14 Oct. 2022.
- 'Muse' pop-up outdoor Artivive AR gallery, Donaukanal, Vienna, Austria 2022 & 2023.
- Solo - Through The Portal, JVH Gallery, Oct 2022 & Art of Silver, Cullinan, Nov 2022 to Feb 2023
- Artivive collaboration - MoBu International Art Fair of Bucharest in Romania, 19 to 28 May 2023
- Parallel Realities, Illuseum in collaboration with Artivive, Berlin Art Week, 14 - 20 Sept. 2023.