Our SBIFF Cover Illustration Master

Ben Ciccati’s Latest Film Fest Design Encapsulates the Pandemic Pivot

Credit: Courtesy

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!


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