Fine Lines and Fine Art in Black & White: A Journey Through Scott Benner's Iterative Creative Process

Fine Lines and Fine Art in Black & White: A Journey Through Scott Benner's Iterative Creative Process

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UPDATE: Scott is currently one of nine artists featured on!

Intrigued by the works of M.C. Escher and Robert Crumb, Scott Benner began his relationship with art at a young age, doodling on graph paper left around the house by his father, an electrical engineer. After years of practice, patience, and perseverance, Scott honed his talent and amassed an ever-growing portfolio representing thousands of hours of dedication and pure craft (if not tens of thousands).

Scott presented this impressive body of work to Liz Powers, ArtLifting Co-founder and Chief Happiness Spreader, in March of 2014.

As Scott recalls about his first meeting with Liz: “I don’t think she was expecting me to show up with what I had, but I brought everything I had, literally my entire life’s work. [It] went back to ’70 or ’71.” Shortly after, Scott saw decades of his art displayed in local art shows for the first time. “Things just grew from there. It’s been incredible. I never expected it to go as far as it has, and I still feel like it’s something that’s growing.”

Masterpieces such as the grandiose Before Hand After Hand—which itself took over 1,000 hours to complete—typically require that Scott create multiple smaller ‘versions’ of the piece before finalizing a larger vision on paper. With each iteration Scott completes, he refines his technique and pattern, ensuring that he does not go overboard with additions and spoil hours or even days of work.

“When you do abstract art, you need to know when to say, ‘enough is enough,” Scott explains. “If you go over that point, [you] end up ruining it, like over-seasoning a sauce.”

By the time he began work on Before Hand After Hand, Scott’s goal was to find the biggest piece of paper he could, along with the sharpest, finest tipped pen, and push himself to new levels of complexity. “That was the whole point—to see how far I could go with it,” he describes.

Scott experiences cluster headaches and bouts of confusion as a result of Horner’s syndrome, which he developed in 2012. After a series of unfortunate events left him without a home and without a job, Scott found solace in his art and saw that others were also touched by his work. After meeting with Liz Powers in 2014, he began selling his creations via and has since found housing. Scott does not, however, plan on stopping there:

My focus right now is really working on my art as a full-time thing. This is the first time in my whole life that I can focus this way. When you just draw every now and then, every time you start up, you’re kind of starting from scratch. Now, I’m involved in this never-ending process [where] my ideas are flowing and feeding off each other. I’m actually pursuing it as something I can [do] on a full-time scale. That’s where I’m aiming for now.

Considering his past accomplishments, Scott’s goals are right on point.

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To view and shop Scott's artwork and products, please visit the link provided here and scroll until you see his collection. For more about Scott and other artists, view our Artists page and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for future blog posts, content, and updates.

abstract art artists artlifting Before Hand After Hand black & white Boston complexity designs disability featured fine art fine line homeless homeless shelter homelessness Horner's syndrome iterative Liz Powers M.C. Escher patterns pen & ink portfolio process Robert Crumb Scott Benner spotlight

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