Artist Benjamin Bullins
Benjamin is an award winning photographer and artist from New Orleans. He graduated from Louisiana State University, receiving a bachelors degree in Fine Arts, shortly after, he received an associate’s degree in graphic design from Delgado Community College. Benjamin then went on to work in the city as a commercial photographer, shooting for many editorials and individual clients. Hurricane Katrina brought a lot of changes to the city, and Benjamin didn’t have enough photography work to sustain him full time, so he worked in construction to keep him going in a city whose future didn’t look so bright in the days after Katrina. As he was out working, either photographing house demolitions or constructing new homes,
Benjamin began salvaging materials that caught his eye. Not long after, he started a body of work using these pieces. It was the beginning to a new direction for Benjamin’s career as an artist, and his commitment to New Orleans.
Benjamin is known for his use of recycled materials that are assembled into one of a kind pieces of art. “It’s the beauty of man-made objects enhanced by natural elements”. That’s how he tells the story, through the texture and colors that appear on the objects he uses. Benjamin spends a lot of time outside the studio, searching for unique pieces that he can put to use. Most of his inspiration happens as he’s out around the city. Sometimes he knows exactly what is going to become of a particular find, and other times the object has enough character that Benjamin is sure to find a use down the road. On occasions, clients give Benjamin materials for his projects and this support has helped him in many ways. Benjamin likes to work directly with the client to build a relationship that will make their artwork more personal and have a greater story.
Hannah is Benjamin's wife and sidekick. From the very beginning when Benjamin was shooting photography, you would see her with her pen and paper taking notes or carrying some of the camera equipment (aka Grip). After Katrina, she and Benjamin would take walks on the train tracks and collect all sorts of "junk". Benjamin would assemble the pieces together and ask her what does this look like? Hannah always knew her husband was creative and talented, but to see him completely light up when he would create his art pieces was something that she knew she had to continue to encourage him and support him as He pursued his dream. Her most important job is to help keep Benjamin staying focused on the creative aspect of the business. This mostly means she manages most of the non-creating behind-the-scenes day-to-day workflow of the business.
When it comes to art, Hannah enjoys working with hobby arts and crafts materials, such as fabric, beads, yarn, paint, etc. You will see more of her creative touches with these mediums. Recently while Dumpster Dive brainstorming ideas Benjamin was being silly with one of her carefully cut shirts and began tossing it around his neck as a scarf. Hannah saw this scarf needed a braid and there was birth the first of The Benjamin Collection/Dumpster Dive product line "Jabeaux Scarves".