Portfolio: Bench Allen

Illustrator, Plymouth UK

Bench describes himself as a "mad giant with a pen the size of a tree, bringing his visions and imagination to life."

Where did you train, and what did you specialise in?

Illustration at Plymouth College of Art.

What's your favourite tool?

Mainly pen and ink, because it’s an easy and bold way of working. Plus, you can use them anywhere. 

What techniques to do you use most?

I always start a piece with a pencil and pen. I’ll then scan this into a computer; I use Photoshop if I think it needs cleaning up or colour adding to it.  

What has been your favourite piece you've created?

It’s got to be Palincest, which is a project I collaborated on with illustrator Laura Jayne Weeks. The end result was a screenprinted book, with our illustrations inspired by wildlife and layers.

What kinds of materials do you work with?

Pencil, pen and ink. 

What computer packages do you use?

Photoshop.

Which clients have you worked for, and where have you exhibited your work?

I’ve worked for a couple of magazines based in the Southwest: Kuhl-Cher and Curious. My work has also been shown at my college’s art graduate summer show and at New Designers 2011 and 2012. 

What inspires you?

Nature – especially the sea. 


Part of a collaboration project, entitled Palincest with Laura Jayne Weeks 

A page from my eight-page zine How Islands Are Made, showing how they grow from a titanic guardian crab, who inhabits the centre of the world 


Another image from Bench’s collaboration project, Palincest with Laura Jayne Weeks

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Part of a series of classic horror portraits


An illustration to accompany a series stories Bench wrote about Edward Magpie and the crew of the Stultifera Navis


The first of a series of illustrations to tell the story of The Ghost Explorer

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A collection of illustrations documenting the Ghost Explorer’s journeys