Art work by former West Suffolk College student Ben Giles was seen on millions of computers, tablets and phones throughout the world when he designed the Google Doodle for the internet giant’s search page.
The Btech Art and Design student was asked by Google to create a logo design to mark legendary horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll’s 174th birthday. The resulting colourful garden scene full of flowers showed Gertrude and her umbrella in the corner of the picture. She designed and created over 400 gardens in the UK and has been described as a premier influence in garden design.
His design was seen across the world including the USA and Canada, for 24 hours.
Ben, 25, was asked to create the logo design following his recent success with some of his work projected in Times Square, New York, and a four page spread of his art work in the New York Times magazine.
Closer to home, Ben, from Bury St Edmunds, staged an exhibition at the Apex just a few weeks ago, called ‘Beginnings’.
From West Suffolk College Ben studied for a BA in Fine Art at Kingston University. Now, he is working and spending his spare time as a freelance artist, but he hopes he will eventually be able to earn a full time living from his art.
Ben said; “.This year is definitely the most exposure I’ve ever had and its been amazing having the chance to work with clients such as Google, New York Times Magazine and Wall Street Journal on different projects and commissions.
West Suffolk was the place that gave me free reign away from the more rigid structure of school and sixth form, it allowed me to explore my creativity and intuition rather than forcing me towards a specific path or direction that the curriculum may have indicated. I was rewarded rather than punished for having my own ideas and solutions to creative problems. Several tutors in particular were happy to see artistic expression develop and offered every opportunity and support to push that even further. “
Ben’s sister, Anna, who is a Fashion and Textiles teacher at the college, said: ”I am very proud and pleased for him. I think he has done really well. The art department really helped him as an artist to get him to where he is today. He loved his time here and it gave him the tools he needed. Now he’s doing really well”.
This year Ben has taken part in exhibitions in Toronto, Buffalo, Boylston, New York, Oxford and Norwich, where he now lives. Last year he spent some time as an artist in residence in Alvik in Norway.
Ben’s work has also been commissioned by the Wall Street Journal, Conde Naste Traveller, and a number of other publications including Paris Review.