A Visual Journey
Benjamin Wei Yi Mark is a self taught Canadian artist working with traditional and digital mediums of drawing. Ben was born in Calgary, Alberta and presently resides there. Currently, Ben is in the pursuit of two dreams: working as a freelance artist and a commercial pilot. He is working as a Ramp Agent for North Cariboo Air to help fuel both dreams.
Ben first became interested in art as a child when he began to draw anything that could fly; giving flight to both dreams of being a pilot and an artist. Although Ben has been mostly self-taught, he has received instruction from various private teachers and majored in music and art in the Performing Visual Arts program at Central Memorial High School.
As a teenager Ben was heavily influenced by the works of various artists such as: Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, John Romita Jr., Mark Bagley and Brian Micheal Bendis, by carrying as many of their works as he could carry from the public library. Today Ben is influenced by the artists such as: Frank Cho, Dave Stevens, J Scott Campbell, and Mark Brooks.
Ben's artistic direction is to blend realism with a comic book style to create a personal style in storytelling and pin-ups. After finishing his first year as a freelance artist, Ben is going full throttle into his second year with creating new art work and attending more conventions in artist alley.
Thoughts on the continuing journey
When I was 4 years old i had a speech impediment that made it difficult for me to speak to my family and those around me. My mother taught me how to express myself through music and art, and the skill of being creative as a form of expression has stuck with me since i was a child.
Creativity as a form of self expression is what has always been the connecting factor between me and my art. Telling stories has always been my inspiration in creating art. What i love most about being an artist is when i draw a portrait of someone, every line and shape of their face gives an impressionistic picture of their story without ever having met them.
Today, my method of creating art is with the use of a Bic Ballpoint pen, where i use the technique of cross hatching to create a 3D image and give my comic book art a sense of hyper realism. The Bic pen is what makes my art unique and the tool itself lends to me a feel of inking with a regular pencil. I find that experimenting with other mediums often fuels a spark in creativity creativity that can form an artistic style.
The ballpoint technique has become such an integral part of my artistic style, which will be constantly growing and changing as i grow as an artist. In order to continue growing, I want to learn how to incorporate my ballpoint pen style with a more traditional painting techniques in order to use color in a more traditional manner rather than digital.
Are You Watching Closely?
Some more questions about Wei Yi Art
Wei Yi Art?
Why the name Wei Yi Art? My full name is Benjamin Wei Yi Mark, i am half Chinese and half Caucasian. There are two reasons as to why i use Wei Yi for the name of my art. My Chinese name Wei Yi is less common in North America and therefore would stand out more. The Second reason is because my Mother is a huge influence on my art. When i was a 5 years old she would sit with me and a notebook and teach me how to use a pencil, how to draw different shapes and how to write. Wei Yi Art is my way of honoring my mother.
How do you pronounce it?
It's a lot easier than you think! simply say the Wei like you're saying "go that way", and pronounce the Yi like you're a pirate saying "Yee matee"... I thought it was a funny joke.
How long does a piece take you?
Given that time is a precious resource, my focus is often split between my flying, my wife and family and art. Pieces generally take me a minimum of 1 month to complete. If the piece is extremely complex it can take up to a minimum of 3 months.
What is my process?
There are 3 stages in my process for the creation of any of my art. Pencils is the first stage, where i usually take a lot of time insuring that the anatomy and perspective is correct. Stage 2 is inks, this is generally where i spend most of my time. Working with Ballpoint pen is very detail oriented and takes a steady hand. The final stage is where i color digitally through Procreate. This is generally the quickest stage, but i am working towards coloring in a more traditional manner in the future.
WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS.
It may be small, but its functional with a little bit of style! Always adding to my studio and updating my tools and tech!