Let the Invasion Begin
Space Invaded is a series dedicated to exploring the workspaces of our favorite creators and providing a behind-the-scenes look at what inspires them daily. Today we’ll be exploring the workspace of Keung Lee, creator of and artist for Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb, a smash-hit manga-styled action comic that funded on Indiegogo and will soon be shipping to backers. Keung is also lending his talents to Professor Geek’s Tales from the Stacks and ThatUmbrellaGuy’s book The Littlest Umbrella.
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Welcome to the Studio
Behold its natural and chaotic state. In all honesty, it’s a bit more cluttered than usual. I thought about cleaning but ultimately decided this was more interesting; a raw insider look into the work place. And I’ll admit, more often than not it’s pretty messy but, somehow, I’m able to find everything in its proper place. It’s after a good cleaning when I suddenly have difficulty finding anything.
My best friends growing up were all artists, mainly aspiring illustrators and musicians. We all had musical instruments, drawing pads and video game consoles in our rooms. Come to think of it, we all had messy rooms too. But it was fun seeing other creators in their natural habitat, and it’s one of the things I look forward to the most whenever I crack open an art magazine; I immediately look for the inside the studio article.
I pin up my current works to the wall for a number of reasons. It helps me maintain consistency throughout a project, but also provides a convenient full view of the work in its entirety. When you’re producing art, you need to take a step back every so often so you can observe the bigger picture. It’s very easy to become too obsessed with the minor details and “the wall” is an excellent countermeasure.
I spend the vast majority of my day (and nights) parked in a corner of the room, surrounded by computers, monitors, books and art tools. -Keung Lee
Downtime and distractionWhen I need a break there are plenty of books to keep me occupied, but I’m prone to do a bit of gaming in-between work sessions. I’m thoroughly enjoying the latest Fire Emblem installment, and I recently put together a ¾ scale arcade cabinet that’s powered by RetroPie, so I have plenty of games to keep me entertained. The arcade is consuming a good amount of real estate in the limited space that I have but it’s totally worth it! No regrets!!
Gradually, I’ve been consolidating the ebb and flow of the workspace by reducing the amount of distraction that’s present. All game consoles, sans the Playstation 4 and the Switch, are shelved or packed away. Tabletop games, miniatures and dungeon tiles have been set aside indefinitely and I’m in the process of getting everything out of the studio. I need to make space for the fulfillment stage of Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb #1.
So what’s next?
I currently have 14 boxes occupying the entire surface of my work table, filled with 36,000 cards. That’s a lot of cardstock, and I still have over 3,000 comic books coming by the end of the month. I’m extremely busy for the remainder of 2019, working on Tales from the Stacks with Professor Geek, The Case of the Littlest Umbrella with ThatUmbrellaGuy, and trying to get my campaign content ready for the launch of Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb #2 in October.
Like I said, extremely busy but I couldn’t be happier.
We’d like to thank Keung for sharing a number of photos from his studio.
As part of the process of sharing their workspace, we like to ask each creator to give us a list of some of their favorite tools, software, games, etc. The following are links to the recommended items. Note: Some items may use “Affiliate links” which means INciter will receive a small commission for referring you to the products.
Top 5 things in the studio that fuel my creativity.
Books. One word but it encompasses so much content. Art books, how to books, manga, magazines, novels, etc. About a fourth of my library is from back before I had access to the internet and I’m still adding to, referencing and drawing inspiration from print.
Trading Cards. I have a shelf stocked full of 3-ring binders, all filled to the brim with trading cards. I actually have to go purchase a few more to accommodate some new additions to the collection, and that’s not even counting my TCG, Carddass and King of Pro-Wrestling cards.
Video Games. I have an arcade cabinet! Even more so than comics and movies, video games was what really prodded my creative mind and influenced my artistic output.
Social Media. My Twitter feed is comprised almost entirely of art, beautiful (and mostly thicc) women, adorable bunnies and professional wrestling. When I’ve been offline all day working and I finally get around to catching up to my Twitter feed, I scroll and mostly just pay attention to images and animated gifs. I don’t even bother with Notifications anymore, as it would be a part-time job just to keep up with that.
Models. I’ve collected more than a handful of bishoujo statues. I started collecting them because the mock-ups are done by Shunya Yamashita, an illustrator I admire and have followed for years. The statues also provide great reference for form and cast shadows. And while we’re on the topic of models, there’s Saaya Irie, of course! Anyone who’s seen my art board knows I have three cards mounted to it of Saaya and, hell, I even named my comic character after her. She’s my muse and I aspire to capture, if just, a fraction of that beauty in my art.