We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Kessel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ben, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
In a truly aligned endeavor, one’s participation would not be contingent on external success. The pursuit itself would be worth it, regardless of what comes from it. If you are expecting a particular outcome to justify your efforts, then this question becomes a strategic matter of balancing possibility of success with your investment of energy. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with playing a game that way, those are not the games I wish to play. There are ways to have way more fun!
I know I won’t give up because I’ve picked a game that is still worth playing, no matter what happens. I’m willing to fail infinitely along the path, even until death, because I was working in alignment with all possibility every step of the way. That’s the wonder of a open-ended, creative pursuit: it doesn’t matter what I receive externally if I fully love the process of creating art and therefore creating your own way of life in this world. It is possible to arrange your life in such a way where you are secure in any situation, knowing you are in command of only your decisions and releasing control of outcomes. I’m not perfect in upholding this ideal, but I believe in the possibility. Time and time again, those without expectation have the greatest experience, and often receive way more than they could imagine in return!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My favorite place to be is imagi-nation: a place where anything can happen! Our world is a confusing one, with many elements I do not understand. Upon that physical foundation is a plane where infinite possibility can flow – the game I play is the unlocking the configurations to enact our dreams unto the waking realms during our stay.
I have no idea what I will create next; what kind, in what medium, with which people, and from what kind of opportunities that enter my path. All I know I connect with my source, and follow the fun of the process. Digital media is the umbrella designation for the works I present online, making use of my loves of photography, filmmaking, and all of the possibilities of rendering ideas with digital tools. Combining storytelling, visual intrigue, conceptual ideas, and new presentation methods into multimedia works is my favorite way to create with the technology available in this period of time!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The downtown Phoenix art scene is alive, growing, and with tons to offer. My personal favorite event is a free monthly Art-get-together simply called ‘Art Night’. Art Night is an organic good time for artists to create together and meet each other. Live painters, a variety of vendors, music performances, costumes aligned with the monthly theme, and the opportunity to show your unique expression in ANY medium you can bring to the venue! Every Art Night turns out differently, but with the same welcoming vibes of a vibrant creative community.
Oh, and you’ve GOT to see The Ploppet – AZ’s premiere funky Art Car. The Ploppet crew of Claire and Kyle Johnson creative massive visual extravaganzas in the forms of sculpture, paintings, and, of course, ART CARS! With three in their growing fleet, they are the sights of the streets and are great people to meet!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All I’ve ever been able to do, and who I’ve grown into so far, are all contingent upon the countless lessons I’ve been gifted. Without those blessings, I’d be a little baby tadpole with no legs.
As a particular individual, I’d like to highlight my brother, Trey Vincent. He has inspired me with confidence over the years, as we would tag team our first events in the Phoenix music scene – him as a killer guitar performer, and myself capturing media. Having developed stage skills since he was 6 years old, and being a general goofball, he showed how action and repetition plows through uncertainty, and proved how most of my concerns exist only internally.
Personal Photo: taken by Darren Ito Photo 1 (Frog): Taken by myself, of the Planted Alchemist Community Garden Photo 2 (Coif): Taken by myself, of Nina Giuliano Photo 3: benkesselmedia Emporium at the Art Night event, featuring Trey Vincent in the photo Photo 4: (Welder): Taken by myself, of Peter Deise Photo 5: (Resin Art) Taken by myself, of a resin collab with Claire Johnson, Kyle Johnson, Marisa Fugleberg, and Newt Grover Photo 6: (Me w camera) Taken by Claire Johnson, featuring Glass Art by Newt Grover.