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Questions about Rik Lee

Frequently asked questions for artist Rik Lee



1. What materials do you use to create your art?

I use a range of materials. All my line work and shading is hand drawn in pencil or marker pen / sharpie. From here my technique varies depending on the style of the piece.
Sometimes I’ll scan the illustration and manipulate it in Photoshop, adding colour etc. Sometimes I’ll continue working by hand, colouring it with pencils, markers, gauche or watercolours. And sometimes, I'll just leave the piece as a simple pencil drawing on paper. I just go with whatever materials I feel will work best (and I'm confident using) for each piece.


2. What brands / type of pencils and paper do you use?

I use Faber Castell “Polychromos” pencils and Copic markers.

I draw on a variety of papers, but my favourite is Archers smooth watercolour paper. Recently I have been working with a beautifully, textured handmade, recycled paper. I get this locally in Bali, where I am based. All other items that I have listed are widely available.


3. What’s with you drawing in red pencil all the time?

Originally I started using red pencil so I could get the basic lines of a drawing down. Then I could trace over the lines I wanted to keep in a darker tone. Lots of artists use this technique. Thing is, of all the pencils I use (Faber Castell “Polychromos”) the red is my favourite. What I mean is, the lead of all coloured pencils differs slightly. I find that the red is soft and perfect to draw with. The blacks and greys are kinda scratchy and not so good. Therefore, I began to draw almost exclusively in red. It comes down to personal preference. Like all my techniques, I have discovered them through trial and error (often a lot of the latter). I suggest you do the same. Mess around, and find out what works for you. Every artist is different and every artist will prefer different materials. While I may like the red pencil, another person may prefer blue or green. Try them out and decide for yourself :)


4. Did you study art / illustration?

I have no formal education in either. All my drawing is self-taught. Lots of practice and once again, a lot of trial and error (and error and error and error)


5. Do you mind if people get your art works tattooed?

Generally I’m cool with it. I’m flattered that someone likes one of my drawings so much they’d consider getting it tattooed. I do, however, prefer if you ask first. In some cases, I’ll create a work for a specific commercial purpose (a T-shirt print for example) and if you don’t want to see someone wearing a shirt with the same image that’s tattooed to your arm, this can easily be avoided by asking first. 

My old commission pieces are an exception. In this case a client has commissioned me to design a personalised tattoo for them. So it sucks when someone else rips it from online and gets it themselves.

I generally ask that if and when possible you purchase the piece you plan to get tattooed as an art print from my online shop. This way you can take a hard copy in for your tattooer to trace the stencil from ensuring they capture all the detail and you get the best quality tattoo. Much better then having them trace from a low-res screen shot. Obviously you also get a signed, art print to keep and I get a little compensation for my hard work too.


6. But I really, really want one of your old commission pieces tattooed...

If you’re desperate to get one of my commission pieces tattooed, I suggest you take that particular work to a quality tattooer and ask them to re-design you a new, personalised tattoo inspired by my illustration. That way your tattooer gets to tattoo their own work, which is usually preferable to them, plus you get a unique tattoo:)


If you have any more questions regarding getting my work tattooed, please don’t hesitate to email me through the contact link on this site.


8. Could you design a tattoo for me?

Unfortunately I'm too busy to accept tattoo commissions and have no plans to take any on again in the near future. I apologise for the inconvenience.


9. Can you draw me? My boyfriend? My girlfriend? My cat? My dog? My boyfriends cat? My cats boyfriend? One Direction? Rihanna? .......
No. Once again, I apologise for the inconvenience but I just do not have time to take on personal commissions / requests.

However, I do occassionally take on portrait commissions. Please refer to the shop section of my site to order.


10. Is illustration your job?


Any other questions feel free to ask me here or email me.
I do my best to answer all the questions I receive. Thanks!

XX Rik Lee