When New York-based Creative Director Ben Rubin started an unusual hobby and fuses his imagination into real-life scenarios inside a subway, Subway Doodle is now cashing in on the project’s accidental rise in popularity.
In a fast-paced environment like New York, most people spend a lot of time in subways. Whether you have a personal trip, client work, or regular business hours, the challenge in New York is where to park your car and how to deal with traffic. Often times, the locals in New York find subway as a very efficient public transport. It’s certainly have been a part of their lives that continues to age and gets boring like living things. In fact, a subway is just a rapid transit and it’s best to leave it like that. But sometimes, there’s more to it.
I will do Subway Doodle until it’s not fun anymore. But to keep it interesting it will need to continue to evolve.
No words can describe how Ben feels while traveling. For him, there isn’t something special with traveling subways in New York, but he admits to spend a lot of time in subways. “It is a big part of my life. It is only natural that it would have a big influence on my work,” he explains. Equipped with creativity and digital device, Ben is not your everyday doodler. While traveling, he captures the everyday scenes in subways, such as people who are sleeping, reading books, talking to someone, staring on their personal phones, and many more.
Using the pictures of commuters as his canvas, he captures the life and culture of New York subways throught his art. From there, he added a creative touch on his dull photos to inject a bit of art and humor.
Subway Doodle is a fun idea
With no typical commute, Ben runs around the city for client meetings. He developed a creative routine by drawing monsters and doodles next to any commuters. Without clues and flashes, he captures photo of any unwanted strangers. In addition, many of the people featured in the doodles are his friends and family, but the growing popularity of his project makes him to be more cautious when posting his doodles. “When Subway Doodle had a small audience I didn’t worry about posting pictures of strangers. But since my work has gained more attention, I am now very careful about using someone’s image without their permission,” he explains. Sometimes, he alters the photo so that even their own mother wouldn’t recognize them. To date, none of the featured strangers have complained about their appearance on Subway Doodle.
When film director Yeon Sang-ho made Train to Busan a successful movie, the main root is because of its great story to tell. The compelling zombie apocalypse story filled with Asian drama becomes a worldwide hit. Coming from the West, Subway Doodle is also an online art craze because of its compelling visuals. For Ben, he illustrates as long as it is interesting. “Sometimes my doodles illustrate a common subway experience that a lot of riders can relate to. But sometimes I’m just drawing for the sake of drawing. I’m not trying to say anything. It’s interesting how some people find something relatable in the doodles that weren’t intended to express anything at all.
With success stories from the backbone of Subway Doodles, Ben hinted a probable opportunity to provide another story to tell. “I am currently working on the next phase of Subway Doodle. Stay tuned!”