Christian Benavides – maezen

Before we get into your work, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have a deep passion for drawing, traveling slow and long periods, learning new things, and dancing salsa. In my free time, I love to watch short animated films, anime series, play single player video games and reading comics, all influenced by sci-fi, fantasy, spirituality/mysticism, and adventure. My all-time favorite artists include Moebius, Hayao Miyazaki, and Hokusai.

Aside from my interests, I also enjoy growing and bettering myself through practices such as meditation and spiritual focused themes. I strive to incorporate these practices into my daily life with simplicity and determination. I have a laid-back, relaxed personality, but I also possess a passion and intensity for things that spark my interest and attention. I practice gratitude and try to learn from every experience that comes my way.

I have a fondness for felines, enjoy playing sports and exercising, and have an eclectic taste in music. At times, I can be talkative, while other times I prefer quiet contemplation. Although not a frequent visitor, I have a fascination for hot springs. I also have a few favorite dishes that I adore, including Colombian Ajiaco, Tibetan momos, and Italian pizza. I do not take things too seriously ( maybe my work sometimes can play against that idea haha) and enjoy smiling and laughing.

We are curious about your past and your style. When did you get started with art, what are your preferred topics and how would you describe your style?

I have been working as an illustrator since 2014. My biggest growth came when I decided to travel and apply my life experiences to my visual representations. From encounters with indigenous and artistic traditions around South America, work, and study at The Animation Workshop in Denmark, to practicing Tibetan Thangka Art in the Himalayas. This was basically the way I decided how I wanted to create artworks and why. After years of traveling and self-learning, I modified my style and technique until it became what it is today. The art I create represents this internal and external journey. My preferred projects have a clear direction of representing sci-fi, fantasy, and mystical worlds and characters. Today, my focus is on creating cover art for editorial, board games, music, video games, and animation industries.

To be part of our project, we asked each artist to address certain topics in their designs that we should all think about more often. Can you briefly explain what your designs are about and what message you want to convey with your designs for maezen.

My admiration for exploration and the wonder found the world has inspired this collection. Each piece reflects the moments of self-discovery and growth, as I absorbed and processed the diverse sensations and atmospheres that surround me and the various places I've visited. I collected the idea of the journey through time, as seen through the different eras of humanity, each of which evokes a unique setting.

The Japanese-inspired piece carries a mystical and fantastical feel, with all the vibrant colors, textures, and intricate details. In contrast, the mountain trekker piece contains elements of adventure, challenge, physical work, and freedom. The third piece, set in outer space with a futuristic theme, resonates with the evolution of humanity, along with society, technology, and the exciting possibilities that this progression offers for the future.

All three images are linked and exist in the same timeline, as if experienced by one character through different avatars. The desire for exploring, discovering, and evolving continues across all three pieces, culminating in the idea that self-discovery is an ever-evolving journey that transcends time and space, and unites us all as one.

Last question, is there one thing which is important to you that you would like to share with our community?

I think of life is a never-ending game, one where we continuously strive to become better versions of ourselves and contribute to the growth of humanity. Change is the only constant, and growth is the driving force behind it. While it may be a challenging journey filled with crises and obstacles, they are all part of the process of evolution. To lead a fulfilling life, we need to actively commit to progressing and working towards our goals. Like any well-played game, we must approach life with excitement and embracing the unexpected. So let us embrace this game of life and play it to the best of our abilities.

Check out more from Christian: Instagram | Website