Creatively Speaking With: Ben Eversmann

Like his favorite guitarist, Kevin Shields, our senior art director likes to create work that’s outside the mainstream. Read on for a free-form exploration of Ben’s artistic inspirations and process.
Kevin Shields

Who? Ben Eversmann, Senior Art Director

Ben’s creative hero: Rock guitarist Kevin Shields

Why Kevin Shields?As a budding 15-year-old guitarist in pre-internet 1991, his band, My Bloody Valentine, and particularly the album Loveless, blew my young mind and opened me up to a new world of sonic possibilities and aspirations. It was like nothing that I had ever heard before — or since, really. His influence on indie rock, alternative, shoegaze — whatever you want to call it — cannot be overstated. 

The piece of Shields’ work that Ben comes back to again and again: The one I’ve already mentioned, the album Loveless. It’s a masterpiece. Truly groundbreaking and immensely influential. It’s been out for more than 30 years, but I can put that record on today and enjoy every minute of it. I also find that the buried, whispery vocals and dreamy, droney style of the music make it great to listen to while working. 

Ben’s routine when approaching a new project: I don’t do typical art director things like sketching out ideas prior to working in Illustrator or Photoshop. I do, however, always try to make sure that I’m pushing the boundaries of any project I work on and not just playing it safe. And I think that comes, at least partly, from the music I discovered at that formative time in my life. All of those bands — MBV, Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Swervedriver, Pavement — made me never want to write, play or listen to music that was safe or mainstream, an ethos that has stayed with me into my post-music-playing career as a creative. 

How he pushes through creative blocks: Anything to just step away from the computer for a bit and stop thinking about the task momentarily. When it’s nice out, I’ll take a short walk. If it’s cold outside, I’ll take a little break and play guitar or drums for 20 minutes to clear my head (my home office doubles as my music room). 

Ben’s most treasured possession: The aforementioned music gear. 

His idea of happiness … These days, I’m super happy when it’s 70 to 75 degrees and my two kids have a few soccer games over the weekend. I coached them both for a long time, and now that I’m (finally!) no longer in that role, I love to be able to just sit and watch them do what they love doing. 

… and misery: Disney World. 

Ben’s first concert: I think it was Midnight Oil in eighth grade at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. I honestly don’t even remember liking them that much, so I’m not sure why that was it. Now, had you asked about my favorite concert, we would have come full circle back to 10th grade and seeing My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr. at Mississippi Nights, a small club in St. Louis. Life-changing. That may have also been the loudest show I’ve ever been to.