EXCLUSIVE: Portis Wasp, The Instagram-Famous Scottish Artist And Writer, Is The Man Behind Bench’s Latest Campaign
They say a picture is worth a thousand words—now, imagine an image beautiful as it is, rendered to exist in a fantasy, fairy tale-like world. There are far more stories that can be deduced and emotions that can be conveyed. The power of a still image to stir and move people then becomes stronger and bolder, taking on a whole new meaning and interpretation.
Thinking out of the box and pushing the creative envelope, top local fashion brand Bench’s latest campaign for their “Overhauled Jeans” (OJ) denim line was presented with a take as fresh as the very pieces that are being promoted. The Bench OJ line was first launched in 2007, and a decade later, the brand introduced the OJ Daily Ware collection of cool and comfy everyday denim pieces that are available in four fits: relaxed, straight, slim, and skinny.
Sneak Peek of my new campaign for @benchtm which is now out all over the Philippines! To see my work on massive billboards is so BEYOND so I can't wait to share more from the campaign over the next couple of weeks! @maymay and @edward_barber are just two of many Filipino stars featured in the campaign. #OJDailyWare #BENCHEveryday Photography @patrickdiokno Collages @portiswasp1
With denim being a closet staple—an essential fashion item that has been the subject of countless ad campaigns and photo shoots—how else can you make it appealing to consumers? Having reinvented denim to suit the modern times and, at the same time, stay true to its classic aesthetic, Bench sure knows that the way to go is to inject a whole lot of fun, creativity, and imagination to their campaign approach.
With the campaign taking over the metro via a number of billboards, there’s an element that stands out along with the celebrities who represent the brand: the whimsical, animated, out-of-this-world setting in which they model Bench’s latest collection of casual outfits and intimate apparel.
Photos courtesy of Bench
The man behind the photographs-turned-collage artworks is Scottish artist and writer Portis Wasp (@portiswasp1) who had previously worked on Bench's series of photographs of the handsome model, Italian engineer and former Math lecturer, Pietro Boselli.
Portis Wasp, who became famous on Instagram for his “playful Disney-meets-daring” collage aesthetic, has had collaborations with international magazines that commissioned him to work on the photographs of Hollywood celebrities and top models like Kylie Jenner for Love, Paris Hilton for ODDA, Kristen Stewart for Interview, Katy Perry for Wonderland, Chrissy Teigen for W, Kate Moss for Playboy, Emily Ratajkowski for British GQ, Dakota Johnson for Another, Gigi Hadid for Vanity Fair, Beyonce for Beat, Kendall Jenner for Love, Rita Ora for Lui, Ashley Graham for Maxim, Bella Hadid for W Korea, Joan Smalls for Numero, Kim Kardashian for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Kris Jenner for Hollywood Reporter, Gigi Hadid for Vogue Korea, among so many others.
His Instagram account, which started in 2014, houses years’ worth of exciting projects that predominantly feature naked or scantily-clad men and women with their Disney character friends.
In an exclusive interview with Metro.Style, Portis Wasp talks about himself, his work, and his collaboration with Bench. Also featured below are five of his favorite collage artworks:
How and when did you discover your penchant for art?
I was always a creative child, but it wasn’t until recently that I began to pursue a career as an artist.
How did your first artwork look like?
The first collage I made for my Instagram was done using pictures of male models from an editorial by photography duo Chuando & Frey. I actually looked at it yesterday, and I’m happy to say I still like it.
Did you get any formal training on art?
Apart from studying drama for a year, I have no formal training in art. Films, music, TV, art, fashion and photography have trained me to be the artist I am.
Prior to being an artist, what were you up to?
I led a very different life, working for a software company. I then decided to leave that job and pursue a career in journalism which led to me interviewing lots of celebrities and well known artists for the likes of MTV, ASOS and Teen Vogue. This was before I decided to start making collages.
What are your other hobbies and interests?
I love films, music, books and food! I also played table tennis competitively for many years, but I only play occasionally for fun nowadays.
What inspires you most?
I’ve loved American pop culture from an early age, so everything from music to films, photography to celebrity culture influences my work.
How did you discover your signature Disney style?
I was working with a photographer I know well called Scott Teitler, not long after I started making collages, and he had come across a cute illustration of a guy doing naked yoga alongside a bunny rabbit. He asked if I could maybe do a similar style using one of his images so I made a collage which combined his photography with Disney imagery.
What were your early memories of Disney films or characters?
My earliest memories of Disney is going to the movie theatre to watch Disney films with my family and my parents always falling asleep during the films!
How did the collaboration with Bench come about?
Bench reached out to me and said they were a fan of my collages, and asked if I would like to collaborate with them. It was really straight-forward and such a fun collaboration to work on. I love the Bench team!
How long did it take you to complete all the artworks?
Not very long. Thankfully, the stars featured in the campaign looked amazing in their photos so it wasn’t a difficult task making them look good.
Did you have to research about each and every celebrity, to tailor-fit the artwork for them? How was the creative process like?
I didn’t for this project. I wanted the campaign to feel like all of the stars were living in the same world so I mostly concentrated on making a set of images which complemented each other.
Photos courtesy of Bench and Portis Wasp