Timothy John Benjamin is a Scorpio, a 21st century humorist, portrait maker and an illustrator. He is a child of the Free to be You and Me Generation and has been an artist since before he could write and has also been an illustrator for hire since the early nineties.
I was born just before midnight in the heartland of America in the same hospital that my mother was born in and delivered by the same nurse that delivered my brother, Jeff, two years prior in Saudi Arabia.
I lived in Oklahoma for two months and then moved to Europe and the Middle East. My childhood was one of transition.
I come from two wonderful family trees that root quite well. The Adams (that is with one "D") and the Benjamins (or "Ben "in" "Jam") On my father's side of the Benjamins, there is Jack Benjamin, whom I share an artistic flare by both of us painting naked people on our walls. On my mother's side, the Adams, I have a long history of hard working and compassionate heroic folk. A prime example of a truly great being is my grandfather Erle W. Adams.
My father was in the military as a film director, however this is not why I moved a great deal in my childhood. UVI was a film distribution company for the Middle East and Europe. I lived places such as Bahrain do to my father and my mother working for UVI, distributing and censoring VHS and Beta films for hotels throughout the region.
My mother was a big believer and follower of the freedom and forward thinking of the sixties. Graduating in 1968 (good year), she took her teaching degree and taught in the then Civil Rights gripped south. Following the words of John Kennedy, my mother was out to change the world.
Eventually I did settle in the U.S. Given a time gap, my family lived out of our V.W. Bus and traveled through out the States. Living as the hippies we were, we eventually settled in California (with or without flowers in our hair).
After high school, I did find a way of acting a bit more outgoing, pulling on years of listening to comedians and reading many biographies of historical humorous characters like Oscar Wilde, John Cleese, Norman Rockwell, Lucille Ball, and many more. Not having a clue what to do as a career, I did think of teaching art history or art to kids, which would be fine except I tend to have problems communicating with children. However, I do tend to excel with senior citizens. Working in the retirement center as a waiter and spirit lifter seems to fit me well.
Setting up a booth at art fairs, I have had the opportunity to sell my art to the public as well as talk to other artists.
Some Call Me Tim
I, Timothy Erle Felix John Rufus Benjamin Adams, am known by many names.
My middle name was given to me at birth after my Father's Father's name of John "Jack," a man that I resembled so much that one day my father said: "Tim, you remind me so much of my father that I think you should be chained to a wall until the age of thirty-five."
The name Erle is of my Mother's Father's name. Erle W. Adams, a man of great integrity and compassion. After the birth of my older brother, Jeffrey John, there was a thought of of a certain lack of creativity in naming a second son after "Jack" Benjamin. In many ways, I should have had the middle name of Erle (that is Erle spelled with ERLE not EARL, the post office and may others have been well trained in not spelling my grandfather's name incorrectly). I do resemble a great many aspects as well as like to be a great many aspects like Erle W. Adams. On the other hand, I am crazy like "Jack" Benjamin and like to paint anything any where like Jack; however I know and love my Grandfather Erle, who has always been there for me so I have decided to change my middle name to Erle.
"Some Call Me... Tim" 2007
"Self Portrait with Horse 2002"
Illustrating a Point
All along I have wanted illustrate in books and be like my artistic heroes like Norman Rockwell or Alan Lee. Illustrating for a magazine like Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post" or like Alan Lee's work in Tolkien's World of fantasy would be fantastic. John Howe pointed out that many critics feel that illustrators like himself and his contemporary Alan Lee "live in a fantasy world," when he actually is very aware of the world and all the ill that comes with being a free-lance artist.
Of the three (Lee, Rockwell and Howe) I must feel more like Lee, since I would love to hide away and draw for people. Alan Lee lives very much like a Hobbit, in that he is quite content in not being in the spotlight and let his work speak for itself. My middle school art teacher stated that she had a dream that I had an art showing that was well received, however I was in the back room hiding.
Into the Great Wide Open
In a northern relaxed state, I now live among the trees and wildlife and I am working on fantasy projects and am listening to all the music the world has to offer. It is a wonderful time to be alive and with each new day, a great step forward is unfolding upon the world and in the end... it did get better.
"At least I am not as sad as I used to be." - Nate Ruess
As adulthood flows over me, the future seems be a twisted time line on a scroll of worn paper that seems to wrap around me helping on accession but in the most part tripping me here and there.
I hope that all will be wonderful for all and all will be as nice as a Norman Rockwell painting.