The Idle Man Collective 008: Ben Thompson

The Idle Man Collective 008: Ben Thompson

Welcome to the eighth feature from the new Collective Series by The Idle Man. Where we meet up with interesting men who either work in the creative industry, or we just admire the work they do. Styled in our most recent collection, and photographed by our Editor Cal McIntyre, read the full feature below as we believe it's more about what we do, rather than what we wear. To shop the products Ben is wearing simply click the images.

Meet Ben Thompson, graphic designer and founder of Desire Press. Born with a creative flare, Thompson has always had a passion for designing new and exciting creative pieces. Sharing a passion for print magazines, Thompson joined forces with his girlfriend, Meg Williams to create an exciting new magazine all about sharing and showcasing ideas for creative pieces. Starting in 2016, the art zine proved to be popular particularly in their home town and creative powerhouse, Manchester. Creating the photozine was all about designing something which was feasible and physical with elements of being raw and real.  

Desire Press Online Store

Now Desire Press is an independent publisher, creating exciting new content for each issue. Focusing mainly on photography and graphic design, the journals offer more visual language for you to interpret with the layout of each zine being purely artistic. The first of five issues which have been released so far was called Human Desire. This photozine explored a variety of subjects such as identity, perception, intimacy, and desire through the lens of eight separate photographers, capturing through their strengths of portraiture. Connecting with the reader on a personal level, the photographs were intended to reflect our personalities as humans, helping us to understand our feelings of being exposed and jealous. 

Ben Is Wearing The Idle Man Black Zip-Up Fleece

Although Thompson still enjoys contributing to the photozine through his own work, both Thompson and Williams always keep their eyes open for other creatives wanting to showcase their own creations. They have also released other issues called, Digital Ceremony, Closer Journalism, Gracious Living and Ordinary Fragments. Embracing the journey they have been on whilst creating Desire Press the goal is to think bigger, taking the photozine to the next level and to create a journal for something more deeper and meaningful allowing more contributions from up and coming faces. Bringing broad topics into the public sphere in every issue, it’s important to Thompson to be part of a creative world to explore the boundaries of what everyone is talking about.  

Now letting us delve deeper and go behind the doors of Desire Press, The Idle Man is sitting down with Thompson to find out more about his own personal desires in life and what future endeavours might be in store for the ever growing innovative photozine.

Ben Is Wearing The Idle Man Black Zip-Up Fleece

How did you and Meg Williams come up with the idea for Desire Press? 

Desire Press was founded on a romance for print. A need to create. A desire to be.

 How did you get involved with graphic design? 

Through my years at art school I was heavily focused on Fine Art and process. Since graduating, I found a love for Graphic Design most likely due to a lack of space & equipment. Its cheaper to create work from a laptopprograms, a scanner and a printer from flat, over renting a studio with expensive machinery to make work that ends up staying in said studio. Graphic Design to me; at first was a stop gap, a way keep creating post graduation, until I found a way back into an art studio setting. However, it quickly evolved into an obsession with learning to cultivate digital structure and spaces. Now when I am back in studio environments I see everything from a new perspective. They canteach you that at art school.

Where did your passion for print begin? 

My passion from print comes from the need to create something physical, an artefact, something to hold and touch. I think this has been a real marriage of my art background and graphics obsession.For us, using a screen to create work is now a necessity, but printing it is a privilege. 

Where does the inspiration come from for each zine topic? 

We try to cover a range of topics surrounding the current cultural climate with a focus on what we, as people, desire. To date, weve explored desires themselves, club culture, digital spaces, fragmented beautycloseness and the connections between these areas.

Ben Is Wearing The Idle Man Black Zip-Up Fleece

What would you love to base a future issue on? 

Our campaign for 2019 revolves around the notion of the relationship between man & machine, with particular focus on drawing emotional parallels between technology, materials and humans. We all feel. 

What’s your biggest dream for Desire Press? 

Curating a show in an iconic gallery space or creating a large scale print series with an artist or studio we admire is something I would class as a big dream for Desire. But day to day, our dream is to form connections between artists, encourage collaboration & publish our idea of beauty.  

Desire Press Signature Graphic Design

What challenges have you faced so far with Desire Press? 

The only real challenge we have faced, which I am sure all artists would agree on, is funding. We invest our own money to start a project, make it back, then spend it again on the next.  

We have big plans for this year and are currently looking into ways to raise the money to make those plans hit as hard as possible.

What are your future goals as a graphic designer? 

Away from Desire, personally as a designer I would like to work with more companies on campaigns. Im sure most designers wish for more creative freedom, but as I work so creatively with Desire I would like to apply myself more to outsider briefs. I work my best when Im up against it.

Ben Is Wearing The Idle Man Black Zip-Up Fleece

How do you decipher between what material is used within each issue? 

Currently, we’ve made a home in curating a group of worldwide individuals to work on a project, offering different perspectives on our brief, but overlapping in style, aesthetic & subject matter.  

We do get a lot of submissions also, and we would always encourage people to send us their work if they feel Desire could be a home for them too.

How do you spend your free time? 

Free time is something rare but myself and Meg enjoy fashion, food & drink that we cant afford. So lets say I like to spend my free time spending.

What’s your personal goal for 2019?

To make graphic design my full time occupation and continue to push my social & creative boundaries AKA run myself ragged. 

Ben Is Wearing The Idle Man Black Zip-Up Fleece

Thanks to Ben Thompson and Meg Williams.

View Desire Press

Photographed by Cal McIntyre.

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