“These artists know me, they know my family, so if I ask them to make something they make it so that it fits into my world,” Bennett says. He chooses artists who share his playful vision, and often works with them to commission custom pieces for his home, including portraits of his wife and daughter. “I don’t have any art from strangers, really, except for a Dr. Seuss limited-edition print,” he adds. The collection spans giant wood popsicles by the Sour Grapes collective, paintings of figures wrapped like mummies by Blue the Great, and a portrait of a baby Jett in the bathtub by Carlos Donjuan.
Despite his commitment to supporting artists, Bennett still pursues his own work, with creative friends, in a dedicated space for art, photography, and music that he’s named the Imagination Lounge. “We have props and a costume closet. Some days I might just wear a costume the whole day, go grocery shopping in it, wear it to whatever I’m doing that day,” he says. And while he’s assumed the pseudonym of Marty for his children’s books, he’s by no means pulled in opposite directions between his life on the field and his creative life. “I’ve found that there’s no separation between the two—creativity and football. If there was, I would be cutting myself in half, and nobody wants to live as half the person that they are,” he says. “When I’m creating and playing ball, that’s when I feel most like me.”