Kia Ora, I‘m Rachel Lee, I am a South Korea born kiwi artist who specialise in marine life. In another word I draw fish everyday. I get asked this question quite often ‘how did you get in to this type of art?’ Like everything else there is a little story behind it, and I am happy share it with you about myself and my profession.
I have immigrated from South Korea to
Aotearoa about 22 years ago with my family. I was a high school student who was unable to speak English, and with my personality being extremely introvert, talking to others was a next level. I was as quiet as a mouse at school, not good at any sports, I didn’t stand out at all. Instead, I read comic books at lunch time, always enjoyed drawing characters. Through out this time, I found my passion for Art, and that was the beginning.
I was lucky enough to leave high school earlier, and enrolled myself in Elam school of fine arts. Once I graduated Elam, I worked as freelancer for a short time doing general illustration jobs. However, this was not enough, like I mentioned earlier, I always liked comic books and drawing Characters, I asked myself “is there a job relates to this?” Next minute, I was on the plane back to South Korea where IT industry was bigger. I eventually got a job at a video game company, which was my ultimate goal, designing game characters. After working few years in Korea, I met my current husband Sean. With him living in NZ, it was destined one of us had to move to Korea or New Zealand. Yes I made my move back to NZ, I haven’t look back since. We now have three daughters together, living in Hamilton.
As you can imagine, me being a freelancer artist freshly arrived back in the country, and having a young family, it means financial stress. Through this tough time, Sean has never complained, and always supported me. I couldn’t have got back on my feet without his support and all other people who believed in me.
Why am I drawing fish? To be completely honest, I don’t even know how to tie a Uni knot, bet you can tell I am not a fisher man nor an outdoor person. On the other hand, Sean is addicted to fishing & diving, he always tells me about the marine life as if there is another world. One day he asked me “can you draw me a snapper” I started doodle drawing one… and that’s when I got hooked! There are so many species to draw, and each of them have their own beauty like the game characters.