Ben Ciccati’s tenure at the Santa Barbara Independent began in 2006, when he started delivering our newspapers around town, and got more serious when he became a staff designer for about a decade, leaving in 2018 as art director. But he still draws for us and has been illustrating our SBIFF covers for the past half-dozen years, usually two per festival focused on one of the visiting celebrities. He tells us about this week’s edition, which reflects the pandemic pivot of SBIFF and not a specific actor.
What’s special about this year’s cover? It’s different because I didn’t have to nail a celebrity likeness, low pressure — so kind of a “yard-time” edition for me. I did two versions and characterized my dad into one of them, which is very funny to me. And if I can’t entertain myself, how can I entertain others?
What have you been up to since leaving our staff? The usual endless stream of art projects, paintings, and I did a kids’ book. Usually I’m messing around in the wood shop. I customized the inside of my VW van in case I need someplace to hide from wild animals. Also, I got really into having outdoor movies with my marvelous neighbors each weekend. Life’s good!