My design space: Always in three time zones

From his sunny attic studio, Ben The Illustrator reveals the stories behind some of his favourite objects and items

Based in the green, rolling countryside of Somerset, South-West England, Ben The Illustrator – aka Ben O’Brien – works from a tranquil studio in the roof of his Georgian terrace house, which he shares with his wife and business partner, Fi.

It’s a large, airy space that’s full of natural light, with wooden floorboards and white exposed-brick walls. “Although my work is very colourful,” he says, “I enjoy the ‘blank canvas’ style – it always feels fresh and ready for new things.”

O’Brien and his wife are currently developing a range of new products using his bold, illustrated fabric designs. “This bag (1) is the final prototype before we start producing them using the different fabric patterns,” he explains. “It’s one of our biggest projects this year. It’s a real heart and soul venture for us both.”

Music is an important part of the illustrator’s creative process and O’Brien is never far from a pair of speakers (2), while his collection of clocks (3) brings a global feel to the studio. “We wanted a connection to two of the most inspiring cities at all times,” he says.

Also on his desk is a collection of inspiring creative documentaries (4), each of which has been watched over and over again. The ornamental ‘i’ (5), meanwhile, is one of the first studio objects the pair bought after moving into their new house. It came from a junk shop and represents not ‘illustration’, but ‘ideas’. As O’Brien explains: “Without a good idea, a piece of creative work can have little meaning.”

The Golden Ratio: a designer's guide, over at Creative Bloq.