When I was a kid: Ben Javens

In our weekly series “WHEN I WAS A KID” we ask our contributors and friends about what inspired them as children, as there is nothing quite like childhood inspiration to fire up our post Bank Holiday morning imagination.

This week, it is the turn of Yorkshire-born illustrator and long time contributor of our Happy Mag for Kids, Ben Javens to inspire us with his childhood memories.

When I was a kid...

I used to collect...lots of different things. I probably started a new collection every other week but I never collected anything that was hard to get or too weird! I had a friend who collected scabs! Instead it was things like stickers, pens and pencils. I was a kid in the 80s and I remember novelty rubbers being a big thing (or at least they were in my mind) and so I collected those for a bit. I had quite a lot but they either got stolen or lost and that was the end of that. The last collection I started as a kid was of pin badges and I still have them now. Without counting I’d say there are well over a 1000.

I used to watch… a lot of TV as a kid. My favourite things to watch were cartoons like Tom & Jerry or the Pink Panther and I especially liked holidays when they would show longer cartoons like Charlie Brown or the Raccoons. I also loved to watch American action shows like Knight Rider, Street Hawk, Air Wolf and my favourite of all, the A-Team.

I used to dream… about flying a lot. I very rarely dream these days/nights but I’d love to have a flying dream again.

I used to read… comics. I’d like to say I was cool and that I read American superhero comics or 2000AD but for me it was all about the Beano and Dandy. I’d get the comics every week and the Annuals at Christmas and I also loved to copy the pictures or make my own versions of them.

Now I… collect records, watch Columbo whenever the opportunity arises, sleep like a log and never read the countless art and design books I keep buying.

Ben is currently residing for a week at Yorkshire Sculpture Park where he is busy building Pam & Tom dolls house and many other wonderful installations for The Drawing Imaginarium, our 10th anniversary event taking place this weekend!