We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Loiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ben, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
To me, it’s not about finding a balance between work and life. In a healthy life there’s work to do, and how can that work not be influenced by our daily life? In fact, the two can contribute to each other harmoniously—one inspiring and igniting the other. But, it’s not always as easy as it sounds. It takes tending to, at least in my experience.
For example, if I’m open to be inspired by people, conversations, nature, history, and new and old ideas, then it opens the door for me to give attention to life and the people around me while also fueling my work. Then life and work are not separate things to balance, but become integrated.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work is simple. It’s a mix of analog and digital—made by hand and passed through a machine. It communicates and delights, visualizes ideas, and makes the ordinary unordinary.
For over 20 years now my studio has been partnering with purposeful clients, creating thoughtful and beautiful identity design. Depending on where the client reaches me in the formation of their business, the studio helps with consulting, company naming, logo design, identity development, brand guidelines, and the implementation of all of the mentioned elements—whether in print, on the web, or in motion.
My studio takes on clients who are imaginative and making a positive impact in their fields or communities. I’m most excited to help them find clarity and consistency in their visual expression, and to realize their potential as a brand.
I also use some of the hours in my studio to produce artwork and operate www.shopotherthings.com, the outlet for introducing this side of my work to the public. Other Things is a collection of work that uses language, color, and shape to explore the shared sentiments of life and to communicate meaning in a form that, just like life, takes attention to decipher, like solving a puzzle. Though simple in appearance and form, the work tells the story of my life—a progression from the layered textures of walls and spray paint in my youth to the geometric forms found in design to the uplifting words of my faith, each part influences and enriches the next.
Overall, I strive to create work that’s filled with meaning, sparks conversation, and adds good to the world around us. I hope those who interact with my work, whether the design or art, get that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d take them to a few landmarks like the Watts Towers, the Eames House, and the Corita Art Center. I love visiting places like this that offer part history and part creative inspiration. We might visit a bookstore like Arcana or Hennessey + Ingalls, stop by the LACMA, then visit Thai Town for a meal.
If they like plants and nature I’d introduce them to Potted or Wyldbnch, two of my favorite plant shops in LA, and then spend an afternoon at the South Coast Botanic Garden.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is challenging because there have been so many events and persons who have helped me become who I am today. But, today I will remember the late American artist, Mildred Thompson. I was fortunate enough to study under her at the Atlanta College of Art, while she was an adjunct professor. Her work was vibrant and moving, and her teaching style was inspiring and infectious. She was my most influential teacher and one I inherited principles from I still use today. I had the opportunity to visit her home and studio, collaborate with her on lesson concepts, and have many helpful talks with her. She helped me explore ideas that were uncommon and inject energy into my work.
Photography by Elim Pan