November 13, 2022
by David Bredan
The aBlogtoWatch team is excited to have Ben Li, alias @Inkdial, join Tamás Fehér, of @darksideofthewatch, as one of our featured horological artists. The aBlogtoWatch Store now stocks and ships Ben’s powerful and colorful prints on some of the best-loved watches out there, beautifully complementing Tamás’s strikingly accurate and methodical collection of hand-drawn watch art. We have chosen them because they both give us — and hopefully you too — a new way to appreciate wristwatches, watchmaking, and watch design on a larger-than-life scale. Let us now introduce Ben to you with a quick Q&A.aBlogtoWatch: What brings you to aBlogtoWatch and the aBlogtoWatch Store?
Ben Li, @Inkdial: I have been following aBlogtoWatch ever since I started getting into watches. I am a fan of the fun and variety of the watches you cover, and it is an honor to be able to collaborate together with this amazing team. I also trust your experience and expertise to deliver my work to your audience as a store that already caters to watch lovers the world over.
aBlogtoWatch: How did you become a horological artist and what kinds of artistic and technical skills are implemented in each of your works?
I started drawing watches during the start of the lockdown in the UK in 2020. It was a way for me to practice my drawing skills and it helped me relax during trying times. I found, in the process of drawing watches, I was able to further develop my sense of composition, texture, and coloring skills. I also incorporated elements from my previous graphic and media-design professions.
aBlogtoWatch: Are you a full-time watch artist? If so, what’s a day in your professional life like?
From what just started off as a fun hobby, I am very proud to say I am now a full-time watch artist!
Now a day in my professional life includes communicating with clients, accounting, project planning, working on artwork, packaging, and preparing them to be sent to their new owners – something I’ll trust you guys at aBlogtoWatch to do from now on. I guess I am my own PR persob, accountant, and manager all at the same time.
aBlogtoWatch: We know you’ve had some cool collabs with some major brands. Care to share a few words about these experiences?
I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with some incredible brands during this journey, including IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Casio, Brabus, Watches of Switzerland, and more. I get to illustrate as well as take part in some of the development processes of their upcoming collections and projects, which truly is an incredible experience for a watch lover like myself. It was also insightful to be able to meet the teams behind these brands that share my enthusiasm and interest in horology and art. My most recent collab was with IWC, where I had the pleasure of performing a live drawing at the brand’s new flagship boutique opening at the Dubai Mall.
aBlogtoWatch: What is the hardest part of creating your watch illustrations?
The hardest part would definitely be achieving the unique color and texture of some watch designs. For example, the texture of case and movement materials, the patina and wear of vintage pieces, or the true effects of precious stones. I primarily use marker pens for my pieces, so some mistakes are irreversible and will mean having to end up discarding them and starting over again. This will probably be an area I wish to improve, but every time I get the results, it brings a sense of achievement and joy.
aBlogtoWatch: What kinds of watches do you find most inspiring? What is the story of a particular piece that is your current favorite?
As a watch artist, I find watches that use different materials and color combinations most inspiring. I think these are fun but also challenging references to illustrate. My current favorite is the Grand Seiko Masterpiece line (SBGD205, SBGD207, and SBGD209) for its level of detail and design is incredible, and the colorful precious stones also remind me of my previous profession at the design studio working with pieces of jewelry where I had the first introduction to watches.
aBlogtoWatch: What can we expect from you in the future?
I would love to keep doing what I am doing and bring continuous additions of new artwork to the aBlogtoWatch Store and your audience. I would love to write my very first book, an archive of all the different brands and watches I have worked on. I am also hoping to one day design my own watch or collaborate on a watch design.
Browse the gallery below and head to the aBlogtoWatch Store now to order your Inkdial horological artwork. Our horological drawing prints are sold in popular sizes, making them super-easy to place in common frame sizes that you can source in any home decor store.
Most prints are available in five sizes and all are shipped with FedEx International Priority right to your front door at a flat fee of $15 virtually anywhere in the world:
Browse all prints, and get yours here.