Cut-out Reality by Mike Lee

Mike Lee was born in Placentia, California and is currently based in New York City. He majored in Digital Media at Otis College of Art and Design and graduated in 2006.  Fortunate enough to find a job in his field right out of school, Mike has been working in the feature film and commercial illustration industry for almost ten years now.  In that time He has been involved in exciting professional projects, but always felt a need to create his own personal artwork. The result is a fantastic blend of detail, simplicity, precise planning and dream-like scenarios.

Interview with Mike Lee on Pocko

To me, simplifying is keeping only what is necessary and discarding the rest

What inspired you to nurture this very particular style of yours? your approach to detail and choice of B&W tonalities is unique, creating an almost dream-like texture to your work..!

In my drawings, I try to balance simplicity and detail.  I reduce my subjects to their most basic forms, but render them with the same amount of precision and realism as in a traditional life drawing.  As for my choice of medium, I turned back to the basics of pencil on paper.  The minimal pallet and meditative quality of the process probably account for the dream-like quality you mentioned.  It’s also a departure from the vivid and saturated digital work I’m often engaged in.

I reduce my subjects to their most basic forms, but render them with the same amount of precision and realism as in a traditional life drawing

Your sketching techniques, especially in doing portraits, almost reminds me of impressionist art. are there any particular artists that inspire you?

My influences are pretty varied, but among my current favorite artists are Yoshitomo Nara, Marcel Dzama, Margaret Kilgalllen, Os Gemeos, Justin Mortimer, Vincent Desidario, Geoff McFetridge and Chris Ware.

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