Ben Johnston, Designer/Founder, Josephmark

Lying on the couch, windows wide open, listening to records ...

Back and forth between Los Angeles and Brisbane every two weeks, working on the redesign of Myspace and catching with his global clients, Ben Johnston leads a bustling existence. A director at local design house Josephmark, Ben oversees an array of cutting-edge, interactive projects, with the design house realising a strong digital tilt. Focusing on the ever-evolving realm of digital means there is always new knowledge to learn and new challenges to conquer, with Ben expanding his design thinking into film works with Breeder as well. One part of newsworthy graphic t-shirt label Made In The Now and a partner at West End haunt The End, Ben’s visionary nature and drive has meant a constant evolution of new ventures to embark on. Before his appearance at Creative³ this week, Ben took five to chat to The Weekend Edition about his weekend essentials.

How do you like to start your weekend?
Sharing a beverage with friends on the rooftop veranda of our studio in Petrie Terrace. From there it’s all about having nothing else planned for the rest of the weekend.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Either an early surf or a sleep in, followed by breakfast with the family at The Chelsea.

How do you like to unwind?
Lying on the couch, windows wide open, listening to records.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
A weekend that has allowed me to dip my head in the ocean, breathe fresh air and gaze at the stars. Concluding with that feeling of absolute exhaustion on a Sunday evening.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
Boring answer: Clean out the garage (seriously). Better answer: I’m chomping at the bit to learn to fly a glider. I grew up in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast and my mates and I would spend days sitting on the hillside flying remote control gliders … ever since then I’ve wanted to fly a real one.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
I must admit, I have been known to enjoy a quiet Sunday session.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
I’m flying to Los Angeles on Sunday for work. There’s a great little Japanese restaurant in West Hollywood that does the world’s best spicy tuna rolls.

What are you reading at the moment?
We Are Anonymous by Parmy Olson– highly recommended if you have anything to do with the internet.

What inspires you?
Space and time. Looking at the stars, as a reminder of how small and insignificant we are in the scheme of things. The feeling of liberation that comes with this allows for a cleansing of head space, and an energy that provides the confidence to embark on inconceivable adventures.

What was your childhood dream?
To be a fighter plane pilot in the Australian Air Force.

What has been your greatest achievement?
I have immense pride for the businesses and teams that I’ve had the chance to be part of developing over the years. Their collective energy and output has surpassed my wildest dreams.

What is success to you?
The ability to be 100% present and comfortable in the here and now.

What are your words of wisdom?
A great man once taught me to ‘do what you want; don’t hurt anybody’.

Only a local would know … down the hill from all the pubs on Caxton Street resides a little canteen called Pamela’s Pantry. Ask the adorable ladies behind the counter to make you up a picnic basket of goodies.

Perk up …
Sunset at the lighthouse, Byron Bay
Relax …
Lake Cootharaba, Upper Noosa River
Dine …
Libertine, The Barracks
Indulge … a massage at Evolve Natural Medicine, New Farm
Shop …
Goodtime Surf and Sail, Woolloongabba
Catch-up …
The End, West End
Be inspired …
Asia Pacific Design Library, SLQ


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