A Ten Question Interview With The Artist…Ben John Smith

Why do you write?

I haven’t the foggiest. I guess I always have, it helps to keep things interesting. When the going gets a little weird, or rough, or violent; I don’t get stressed. I think, well this might end up a good poem so lets just fucking ride it out. Then if nothings happening and life is boring the fuck out of me, its easier to make life weird and blame being a creep on the pursuit of art.  You can pass of any kind of madness as a grasp at art.  I couldn’t paint, sing or strip; Writing was the only other option for me.

What books do you read?

Anything from Plato to Palahniuk. I’m reading “The Crimson Petal and the White” by Michael Faber at the moment and loving it. I never ever have a stack of books lower than 4 or 5 deep. I went through the Buk and Fante period were that was all I read. Nothing else. Over and over. But that was taxing. on the soul mainly.  I read Goosebumps and Paulina Simons when I was 15. My vibe now is a steady middle mix of them two genres. My all time favourite book is “The Unconsoled” by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Fucks me up every time.

What inspires you?

Good film, beer. My woman mainly. Cat videos on youtube.  I don’t know, I swear sometimes its just watching a mans eyes as he stares at the grey hounds on a TAB screen and then sometimes its nothing at all. Seeing dudes hustle – that’s the truth. Seeing other dudes hustle makes me want to hustle harder. There is always time to be creative, any excuse is just laziness. There is always time to fucking hustle.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

I’m not being all coy here or hunting for a good word, but I honestly couldn’t call my self “a writer”. I’m a fucking trades man, a labourer, that’s what I get paid to do. My books have cost me WAY more money than they have made. So I’m a Industrial Painter by trade. That’s what I do, that’s what I am successfully/commercially; Writing is what I do on the side.  I’m as much a writer as I am a politician. Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to be a real writer; best sellers, classics, popping Moet over an orgy of giggling hookers, but I’m not. I have no delusion of grandeur. I’ll wake up tomorrow at the ass crack of dawn to wash shit from walls. That’s okay, the writers dream lives on.

How Do you deal with rejection?

I stand in front of the mirror, dress up like a woman and punch my self in the face.

Who are some writers you admire?

I admire the fuck out of a fella called Ryan Quinn Flannagan (http://ryanquinnflanagan.yolasite.com/books.php).  He is a fucking killer with this shit. The best poet I know personally. I mean, we have never met – we write letters to each other.  Believe me when I say that this lad is the real tits.  Just brilliant.  I admire Celine’.

I admire Bret Eastern Ellis.  I envy Christopher Nolan.  You seen Interstellar? I mean, Jesus.  How the FUCK does this guy come up with this insanity.

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

I used to fuck around with graffiti. I still sketch once a week or so. I recently made a short film with my man Paul Commisso, and film is something is want to fuck with on a VERY heavy level.  I think film is the best medium for art. If you can do film right, I mean really right, your in the highest order of artists. GOOD film is the high water mark of our civilisation at this time. If you ask me, but hey, what the fuck do I know.

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Don’t jack off before bed time EVERYNIGHT for 7 years, your sleeping pattern will be fucked and you will be so used to going to sleep after cumming that you will develop very serious future sleeping issues.  That and to just fucking take it easy man, you will make it to 30 at the very least – that’s not a bad fucking effort for what your going to do to your body in the next few years. Word my self up on some people to avoid and some people to make extra time for. I’d tell my self to leave school now, that was a waste of time. I’d basically say “your going to be such an idiot, buts that’s fine, make the best of it.”

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Do it, all the time, as often as possible.  Just fucking lay it out there. But blood curdlingly honest to and about your self.  rip open your fucking stomach. be brutal. Be beautiful. Beautifully brutal.

What is your writing process?

Play up in the biggest way possible and see what notes I have in my phone in the morning then sleep on it for 3 weeks.

Ben Smith is a half hack writer and runs a dirty website called Horror Sleaze and trash. He has two cats, one wife and too many personalities.

Ben Smith is a half hack writer and runs a dirty website called Horror Sleaze and trash. He has two cats, one wife and too many personalities.

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