Pencil vs. Camera is an original visual concept invented and popularized by Ben Heine since April 2010. A new art form and the artist’s special trademark, it is also one of the most creative and powerful art concepts of the 21st century. The images in this series usually show a hand-drawn sketch held and photographed by the artist to infuse ordinary scenes with new surreal, visionary, or romanticized narratives. Ben’s visible hand represents the connection between the viewer, the artist and the artwork. Heine does not recreate photographs, but he reimagines them. In these images, he likes to tell a story and convey timeless messages using imagination, illusion, poetry and surrealism. His work is powered by a fearless positivity. An already beautiful-looking photo is enhanced with a sketch that adds a splash of satire and whimsy. Heine wrote: “I make art for people. I want them to dream and forget their daily troubles. Each new creation should tell a story and generate an intense emotion, like a poem, like a melody”. Starting with simple sketches, Ben brought major innovations to the concept in 2012 and 2013, adding colors and black paper or increasing the drawings’ size. Heine’s first Pencil Vs Camera’s images quickly gained popularity and received positive criticisms from specialized and influential art sites along with international opportunities for the artist. Since 2012, many smartphone applications emulate Heine’s Pencil Vs Camera’s style. Several other artists have also borrowed from Heine’s innovations to create variations of his Pencil Vs Camera. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. The concept has also become popular in many primary and secondary schools worldwide. It is used to stimulate students’ imagination and encourage them to use new technologies and share their ideas.

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