Dog Whisperer. Filmmaker. Empath. Survivor.
Sony Artisan Ben Moon is a visual storyteller whose captivating stills and video have been featured in ads for top adventure and music companies, including Patagonia, Brooks, Yeti, and Epic Records; and publications, including GQ, The New York Times, and National Geographic. Early in his career, he focused on climbing and surfing, capturing the spirit and joy of the wilderness spots where he chose to play himself. Recently, he’s shifted the balance over to film to share the nuanced human stories that have the power to touch us and connect us to each other.
Ben’s breakout short film Denali is a love letter to the dog that roamed rocky cliffs alongside him, waited at the bottom of countless walls while Ben climbed with his buddies, lived with him in his car for a time, and laid by his side in the hospital bed, through his years-long battle with colorectal cancer. The 8-minute film chronicles one perfect afternoon as the film’s namesake neared the end of his life. Denali swept the festival circuit, then went viral, receiving more than 17 million views and countless shares, catapulting Ben into the film world and leaving viewers hungry for more.
Ben recently expanded this story into a personal memoir called Denali: A Man, a Dog, and the Friendship of a Lifetime (Penguin Books, 2020). The book dives deeper into Ben’s navigation of adolescence and early adulthood as an empath, his coming of age as a visual artist, his fierce battle with cancer and the even more difficult journey he took after surgery and chemo, learning how to manage his new reality and work his way back to climbing, surfing, and living life on his own terms as an athlete and an artist. The memoir shot to number one in its category in the first week.
On stage, Ben shares his journey as an artist and a man, along with how he finds solace in the gift that a non-human companion gives us; the daily practice of unconditional love.
Navigating life as an empath
Being a caregiver
Human and non-human companionship
Finding your muse
Grit and determination in life and in art
The art of portraiture
Balancing EQ and IQ in a creative life
Photos: courtesy Ben Moon