Illustrator Crush: Rik Lee + Following people who inspire you

I have followed Rik Lee for quite a while now. During my early days on Instagram, I came across his work while looking for inspirational people to follow. Since then, his work has grown to fill a soft spot in my heart. There’s something about his illustrations that balances perfectly between meticulously detailed and deliciously minimal. It’s that blasé perfection that illustrators I loathe am crazy jealous of achieve with minimal effort. While Rik leaves no elements lazily blank, he allows the eye to fill in details in areas that do not require as much “finishing.” Basically, his work teaches an important lesson in gauging “done-ness” in artwork. He never over-works his illustrations, and they are all the better for it.

His almost daily posts of sketches and works-in-progress just get my creative itch going. Seeing his work grace my Instagram feed acts like a creative kick-in-the-butt. Like while I’ve been sitting on the couch nursing my morning coffee, people are out there creating amazing things. On this note, I can’t stress enough surrounding yourself with a constant and changing stream of inspiration. Coincidentally, I find most of my inspirations via Instagram. I’m not knocking Pinterest, but Instagram is a way better way to get to know and follow an artist or designer or a person you admire as they grow. Sometimes Pinterest can be a hodgepodge of jumbled content, often with mixed-up or missing source information. Following an artist on Instagram means that you can pretty well trust the work they are making is coming directly from them. Then if you’re anything like me, you can follow them on quite literally every social media platform ever invented, and you get occasional insights into their everyday life – if that’s something you’re into. (Promise I’m not a stalker, I’m just like mildly obsessed with you and your work.) Rik Lee lives in Bali, so sometimes he’ll post jaw-dropping pictures of beaches and sunsets and magazine-worthy backyard pools with captions like “the garden today” or “waking up to this view.”(Be right back, booking my one-way ticket to Bali, currently.)

The view from my studio. Another half hour of work and then I'm jumping in the pool. 

A post shared by Rik Lee (@rikleeillustration) on

A lot of Rik’s illustrations have a sort of classic tattoo look to them, and most of them are self-contained – rather than sprawling – images, which makes them ideal to become actual tattoos. He also sells his illustrations as art prints, or on just about every kind of merch you could want in his online store: I have one of his prints currently on my running (and huge) wish list.

All images I have used for this blog post came from either Rik Lee’s Instagram, which you can follow here, or his online store at

Stay posted for a re-visit of my Bali photos, because all this Bali talk is getting me nostalgic.

And. If you haven’t already, follow me on Bloglovin’ to stay up with my posts and follow all your other favorite blogs all in one place!

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