Vic Lee is an illustrator/ artist with a studio in Clerkenwell, London. A former graphic designer, postman, decorator and ship deckmate, having travelled the width and breadth of this colourful globe on a luxury cruise liner, Vic has a penchant for the pen and is also a dab hand at renovating scooters and houses. A lover of Maltese pastizzis and baked alaskas.
How did you get into illustration?
I got into illustration through being a child. My Pop was an exceptional maker in 3d modelling right up to his 70's and I think he must have passed on some form of creative gene. My earliest sketches were probably when I was about 8. I remember drawing how the brain worked, mini people hoisting thoughts around over various levels. I still believe that's how it works.
What Brompton project(s) have you been involved in?
I originally worked with Brompton through Will (head of Design at Brompton Bicycle) on the S Bag flap. I was asked to create a unique London design incorporating some Brompton history using my storytelling style and over stylised embellishments. I then hand drew a couple of frames for the Brompton World Championships. Great to do, though challenging having to rotate my wrist in all mannerisms on a rounded tube!
This led onto the Brompton 500 limited edition bikes, bags and prints. Great project!
What was involved?
The hardest part of this project was working out the designs to fit onto a curved frame. On a normal bike the frames are straight, nice and easy, on a Brompton, the curve would react with the vinyl, so back and forth, printing out dummy designs and seeing how they sat on the frame. The designs were drawn flat on paper scanned and applied to vinyls for application onto the frame. Initially the design went across most of the frame, but just would not work. So working closely with the design team at Brompton, I re illustrated the designs. We came to a happy compromise by illustrating the logo and elements that are used on Bromptons to encompass the hand drawn style.
How did it turn out?
Initial designs were on a white frame, but changing to the black made more sense. The finished bike look has an element of bad guy about it, which I like a lot, using the best components gave the bike a real presence too. And with the black bag with the print on and a limited edition print to match the bike number was a touch. I keep mine firmly clean and on display in my studio! I have another Vic Lee Brompton which is my alternate ride, so I can turf around London on that one!
Other than Brompton, what else have you been working on?
After the Brompton job, things got busy! I recently finished some big commissions for a major high street brand, and was commissioned to create some HUGE story telling pieces for clients, the biggest being 18 metres long so far! That's over in Wood Street in E17. It's a monster! Personally I am working on new prints for my Londonereas series and on a stylised slick nature series. And as I travel, my illustrated diaries come to life too. I hope I am taking the everyday and making it just so much more pleasurable to indulge in.
Where can we go to find out more about you?
You can find me all over but mostly in my studio in Clerkenwell propping up a coffee and Danish, not literally just in pastry format and of course through the wondernet at www.viclee.co.uk. I also partake in social time wasting at Twitter : Vicleeprints and of course FB Vic Lee Prints of London.