Monday, April 6, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: MrBenWu

Ben Wu may just be a pen name, but it suits the artist perfectly: a fusion of East Meets West. "I'm a 31 year old white guy in love with all things Asian," he jokes, "and I live in the rural depths of Tennessee, dangling somewhere just southeast of the Bible Belt." He already has three "traditionally" printed books (The Macabre Alphabet, An Ivory Chopstick, and Very Naughty Figs) as well as "some privately printed and bound volumes that I sell exclusively on Etsy or just to friends/fans." He has also done illustration work for several websites, including and "My first art-love was medieval art," he admits. "Strangely enough that lead me to Aubrey Beardsley. Which lead me to Edward Gorey. That is where the bones of my art technique came from." Around the age of 20 he "fell head over hills in love with China (and Japan to a lesser extent), not just the art, but the culture." He explains, "Chinese art, calligraphy, Peking opera, Chinese classical novels and philosophy all play a part in my life and my art." His love of Asian cultures in showcased beautifully in his intricate drawings. "I rely heavily on cross-hatching," he says of the process, "and I love to fill every inch of the page with something: weird details, hidden names, and faces." He started his artistic pursuits at the tender age of 4 while in the hospital with cancer. "I'd draw dinosaurs on my father's Styrofoam coffee cups," he admits. "From then on, I never stopped doodling on any scrap of paper that I can find." While his art has been a good source of income he is eager to find something outside his own creations. "I have spent the last ten years working on my books and my art in seclusion. Now, I want to get out and reintroduce myself to the world. I've sort of missed it." Etsy has been a great place for him to meet fellow artists - and buy handmade. When asked if he had any advice to share, he joked, "No matter what group of people I'm addressing (be it prostitutes or preachers) my advice is always the same: be persistent. If you don't get any nibbles on your hook, change your bait." Please check him out on Etsy: and on his website: He also has a LiveJournal for his Studio of Little Consequence, which he maintains mostly for friends, but adds, :However if anyone wants to add me (and bear the horrors of my personal ramblings), I will usually add them back."

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs


M.M.E. said...

Great site and wonderful artist. I will certainly have to check him out, as a fellow pen and ink artist. I encourage you to check out my work at

Anonymous said...

Ben Wu is one of my favourite artists, I hope more people get the word out about his work. -Perseus LePage

fabunobo said...

Love it! Stunning!