Hello! I am Ben Nelson and I am from Henderson, Nevada. I'm an artist, author, and illustrator. I love to draw by pencil, colored pencils, and Adobe Illustrator to portray my ideas of characters and other things drawn. I have many ideas in my head that I want to illustrate. Sometimes, my art is inspired by Disney movies like The Emperor's New Groove, Mulan, and Home on the Range. My talents include picturing scenes in my head and developing their voices, actions, and personalities. Not only that, I can also transfer the voices and other things into other scenes. It's like I have a library of movies, clips, voices, and other sounds in my head. I like to edit things to fit my imagination perfectly. That's why I love motion-stop animations so much. I even made one, it's called "Frog Prince."
Since, I am very visual, I also collect many clips and images to edit them in Adobe Photoshop. I like to draw things in the air and act the scenes out loud to help me translate my ideas into the physical world.
Watch "Meet Ben" video here!
Janay Hagans, Jonathan Jackson, and Troy Sirat in Web Development class of 2015 in Southwest Career and Technical Academy. Additional footage provided by Foothill High School.
2014 Story Video CUE-NV Award Winner
Ben started drawing at two and at three was diagnosed with autism. Although at the time, autism took his speech, his mind was full of images and ideas. We started giving him paper and art supplies so we could see inside his world. He drew on everything- the backs of doctor’s reports while sitting in waiting rooms, inside address books, and on every scrap he could get his hands on.
Back then he used simple line drawings to get what was in his head on paper. He rarely erased and sketched quickly, burning images from his mind to paper. Movement, facial expressions, various points of view, dimensions, etc. flew onto the pages. He was fanatical about keeping his pictures in the order he visualized them. He could move all around a situation, speed up a sequence, slow it down, stop and edit. On one page you’d see from the alligator’s point of view – peering down its bumpy green nose at the fearful little mouse. On the next page he’d show the alligator from the mouse’s point of view, in your face, all teeth drool and slime.
When he was older and could have a conversation with us, his Dad suggested color and his images popped off of the page. In high school, his teacher, Maureen Clark introduced him to Adobe Illustrator and opened a whole new world for him. He could get images out quickly, give them color, depth, movement and life. Creating the perfection in his head became effortless. Mrs. Clark encouraged Ben to try a project and Little Red Flying Hood was the result.
Ben is now working on a series called Metro Misfits about a group of teens who don’t quite fit in. He has each character fully developed with personality traits, style and a full back story (he even imagines specific voice actors for each).
Recently we discovered that Ben has sound effects memorized. When watching a Disney movie he told us that a wind sound in the film was first used in 1937 in Snow White then again in Fantasia. He has a catalogue of these sounds in his head and puts them into his stories wherever he likes. So Ben is directing movies with voices, sound effects, and animation, all inside his head. We are in awe of his talent and grateful to all of the people who have given something to Ben’s gift and encouraged him. Hopefully he will have a successful career doing what he loves. Just like Red, Ben is going the long way, but we know he’ll get there.
-Laura Nelson, Ben’s Mom