Today we’d like to introduce you to BIOWORKZ a.k.a. Ben Kwok.
BIOWORKZ, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Born in Taipei, raised in Los Angeles. I’m a first generation immigrant from humble beginnings. Been a lover of animals and art ever since I could remember. So, what could be better than drawing animals for a living? Lived in Alhambra, CA most of my life. Graduated from Cal State University Long Beach with a BFA degree in Illustration. I knew I wanted to do something art related when I graduated but was still lost. Ended up in the apparel industry creating t-shirt graphics. After 11 years of working with some of the top brands in the industry, I had to quit and pursue my passion as an artist instead of a graphic artist. My goal is to create artwork I want without any compromise, without having to answer to an art director. I want to create art for art sake and not be bothered with revisions and critiques on a regular basis.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
“Ornation” is the word I coined for describing the process of creating ornate artwork. I like to draw animals that are ornately decorated with various patterns inspired by mandalas and sacred geometry. Most of the time, the patterns are whatever I see fit to help complement the form of the animal I’m drawing.
I create the artwork I create because I have to. It’s my purpose in life to draw ornate animals and objects. I’m not necessarily the creator of these images because they come out of nowhere most of the time. But I feel like I’m an instrument in which these images are born out of.
I usually start with a general idea like a bird. Then, I would narrow it down to what kind of bird. I use Pinterest a lot for inspiration. I would digitally sketch the artwork and transfer it to an illustration board when I’m ready to ink it.
I want my artwork to be easily recognizable as an animal, and when the viewer looks closer, they will be pulled in by all the ornate details. Hopefully, they get a sense of how complex the piece is and how much dedication it takes to create one of these illustrations.
You should know that most of my artwork takes a minimum of 16 hours to complete. Most of them are 24-36 hours depending on size and I’ve had a few pieces that took over 100 hours. I do this because I absolutely love what I do.
People should also know that I regularly auction off original sketches, artwork, prints, etc., on my Facebook group “BIOWORKZ EXCHANGE”. https://www.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
Art is a passion and I feel like if you’re a true artist, you’re going to create artwork no matter what. If you want to make a living as an artist, you better master your craft. You better be the best artist you can be. There are lots of talented people out there and you’ll be competing with these same people, so you better be great at what you do or suffer trying to make a living. Everyone can be an artist, but not everyone can be a professional artist. If you’re struggling financially, it’s probably because your artwork isn’t good enough or you haven’t found the right market. I don’t have the answers. I just knew I had to create art for a living because it was the only thing I love doing so, it was my only option and I made the most of it.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
The best and most updated way to see my work is on Instagram (@BIOWORKZ) or my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/
You can see some of my work on my website: bioworkz.com.
People can support my work by following me on social media or purchasing something from my website. I have lots of merch from $2.50-$1500.00. There’s something for everyone.
My friend Mei, hence the tag “@mei_elizabeth”