Monday, September 28, 2020

Under-Drawings for 'Tony Jenzano: Astronaut Trainer' book

Tony Jenzano (1919-1997) was considered a mechanical genius. He was one of the few people on Earth who could put together and run the Zeiss projector. The Zeiss Mark II is sort of a hidden character in this book. It appears in multiple illustrations, and without it or Tony, this story may have never happened.  The following are some of the under-drawings that were done before painting the colors. 



Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Astronaut Map

This map shows some of the stars that the astronauts had to memorize. Our hope is that maybe one day a kid would pick up this book and memorize these stars too, thus beginning their own astronaut training!👨🏽‍🎓👩🏻‍🎓















































Saturday, September 19, 2020

Zeiss II

Some of my favorite illustrations from the ‘Tony Jenzano: Astronaut Trainer’ book are now up on my website. www.benlinalexander.com


This one is a closeup of the Zeiss Mark II in action inside the planetarium dome. Before we had modern projectors, planetariums used these gigantic machines to project the stars onto the dome. 


I’ve included a few historic photos of these amazing machines for more context. 







Tuesday, May 12, 2020

New painting for my Kerala, India series





































In 2018 I had been working on a new painting for my Kerala, India series. As I was making some final edits, my iMac started corrupting my files whenever I saved and I got thrown into trying to figure out how to fix it. Luckily I had an older version of this painting to work from but I never had a chance to get back to it until recently.

I didn’t know what this piece was going to be about when I started, but I was flipping through some of the amazing photos that Marily Scaria took on one of her trips to India, and this one stood out to me. It started off as a portrait of this old man but I was intrigued by the thin stick he was carrying and how he‘s using that to train an enormous elephant. This concept resonated with me I connected it to the topic of anger, especially anger in men.

The elephant could be a symbol of a person’s inner anger, his inner beast. This man is old, experienced, has seen a lot, has been through a lot. And he has...not so much controlled his anger or subdued it...but harnessed it. Disciplined would also be another good way to describe it. What I like the most about this is that the elephant’s tusks are not cut off or sanded down. He didn’t kill his anger or tame it down from an elephant to a puppy dog. I think that kills a man’s psychology. Instead, he’s ready to call upon it at any moment and put it away quickly.

Anger is a powerful force that can do a lot of good when used in the right way, as a tool for self-motivation or to protect what you love. Like any other emotion, it can be used incorrectly and selfishly. This old man figured it out, the balance of it all.



3rd Packaging Illustration - Cockatiel and Galah

A packaging illustration I completed last year for a bird seed manufacturer, Vetafarm. On the left is a Galah, and an Australian Cockatiel on the right. 






Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens

This year’s biggest birthday gift came from above. Not only was June 4th my birthday, it was also the day I became a published illustrator!

Written by Anne Kuo and published by Callisto Media “The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens” was published on June 4th, this month. There are about 25 of my illustrations in here of different types of chickens, coop-building diagrams, and more. If you’re into backyard chickens or if you’d like to start, this is the book for you!

Thank you Callisto Media and Anne Kuo for the opportunity!

Available on Amazon and Barnes&Nobles(online):
https://amzn.to/2MKVuHn















Saturday, February 23, 2019

Theater Production Artist 5

Along with the illustrations, I also tackled the branding and social media marketing of play. It was a huge task but it turned out to great in the end. The theater company had performed this play in NYC a few years ago and it drew about 150 attendees. This time, it sold out a week ahead at over 600 attendees for one show in Ithaca, NY! Glad it worked!