Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thanks for Two Years!

I can't believe it's already been two years since I started. It seems only yesterday that I uploaded the first "Ghost in the Machine" morph to DeviantArt and hoped that someone would see it, let alone like what I did. I've had fun and met some great people along the way. Thanks a ton and hope you have enjoyed!

I created an artist questionnaire for my features at FemaleMuscle.com and figured it was time to turn the spotlight inward. Here's a little more about me and the world of Area Orion.

What do preferred to be called?

Ben, although I mostly get AO or Orion. Some people think my name is Area which is hysterical. I don't correct them.

When and where were you born?
I was born in Iowa, but grew up in a Northern Illinois city not too far from Chicago. It's a screwy place, but I love it.

Where do you currently live?
Just outside of Area Orion.

What are your interests, hobbies or passions?
I'm a huge music fan. I recently started learning guitar, but probably only sound good to myself. Movies and comics are also a passion of mine as well as Art & Design. I love things that are creative and unique

Do you have a job other than producing your artwork?
Yes, but it's more on the commercial side of art. I love what I do and get payed well for it. Area Orion is just an outlet for my inner Schmo and haven't earned a cent... probably never will.

How long have you been an artist?
I've been creating art of some sort all my life. I remember my first drawing was when I was 3 or 4. It really sucked but I loved it and kept at it.

What inspired you to become an artist?
Probably my Grandmother who encouraged me to dream and not see the world as everyone else saw it. After that, almost everything was inspiring.

Do you have formal art training or education?
I have an Art degree from a Midwestern University. I would love to show some of my old professors this work, but not sure it would play there.

What artists have influenced you?
So many. Anyone from Edward Hopper & Paul Klee to Boris Vallejo and H.R. Giger. David Matthews and Wreck-Shop are two big influences in the fantasy muscle realm. I'm a huge fan.

What type of artwork do you create
In this arena, it's female muscle morphs. I'm not even sure it's considered art, but I'm trying to change that perception. There's a lot of creativity and skill in molding pixels like an unformed lump of clay. I've also created more illustrative works called the "Big Girl" series and some others. Most people just want the morphs.

What is your preferred medium?
The best digital 2D canvas... Adobe Photoshop on a Mac.

Do you have a favorite subject matter?
Sexy Women. I seriously love all types of women, but am most fascinated by Female Bodybuilders. There's just something so surreal and sexy about them. Maybe that's why I like to morph them, taking their unreal physique to a new level never imagined.

Who or what are your inspirations?
See above

Describe your artistic style

"Photo-realistic photo manipulation creating extreme body enhancements" sounds pretty good. I aim for realism and have had many people ask me if the people in the photos are real. It's probably the highest compliment to me.

I also strive for bright, vibrant colors and a strong contrast between light and dark. It's a style I imbue into all my work

Is there something that makes your artwork special?
Not really sure about "special", but I like to think I have some of the sexiest, most realistic, "holy-crap I've never seen anything like that before" women on the internet. It's really a social commentary if you think about it.

Can you describe your creation process and technique
It always start with the image. I couldn't do what I do without the model and photographer. Lately I've been lucky to work with both directly. I look for what's interesting and not just the standard pose. After that comes the technical process of outlining each muscle group then the creative process of morphing. I've made a tutorial on my technique for anyone interested.

Was there one artwork or event that was a turning point in your career? Why?
It was definitely the discovery of DeviantArt, an online community where artists can sign-up and display their work. It has an enormous female muscle fan base and I decided to show my stuff there. Area Orion was born.

DA and I have had our differences and most of my stuff has been removed. I still have that page, but my work now is mainly shown on my blog... and a few thousand other places too.

Have you received any awards, prizes or other fame for your work?
Yes but not for Area Orion. It's such an underground niche artform.

I like to think I've achieved some recognition though. I can't tell you how happy I was when FemaleMucle.com first displayed some of my work with the caption "Ultimate Muscle Morphs". I'm always excited when someone notices what I do, especialy from within the bodybuilding or artistic community.

Do you have any future plans or ideas you can tell us about?
Who knows, but I'm always looking for new ideas and ways to make my work better. I like the Japanese term "Kaizen" which means constant improvement or change for the better.

Anything else you would like to add?
I'd really like to thank everyone I've met over the past two years. Fans & friends, artists & photographers, bodybuilders & models, promoters & more. This is such a great community and I'm glad to be a part of it.

Stay tuned, I'm just getting started. There's bigger, hotter, and sexier Female Muscle and Breast Expansion morphs coming out of Area Orion. The enhancement labs are just warming up and we still haven't visited Level 2 yet.

Where can people find out more about you?
I have a few different online places, but everything goes through my blog areaorion.blogspot.com

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