September 3, 2013


PANDA MEI Graphic Artist / Lead Vocalist of “The Wheels”

What do you use black markers for in your day-to-day activities ?

I use black markers on a range of art and design projects from daily illustration work and drawing large sized pictures on walls to customizing shoes and vinyl toys.

I also use black markers to write song set lists for our live shows when performing with “The Wheels”, and signing CD’s and T-Shirts for our fans at the shows.

What black markers do you prefer to use when producing creative work ?

I usually use Pilot Twin Marker 1mm-0.5mm for illustration work. I often scan in the outlines and do the colour-ups digitally when creating client work.

I use Sakura Permapaque 3mm-5mm and a range of Jumbo markers with 30mm nib size for creating large scale work, like the mural work installation I created with Vans China. I start off with smaller lines using the Pilot Twin, make larger outline marks with the Sakura, then large block fills with a big-nib 30 MM.

What black markers do you find yourself using when you’re with your band “The Wheels” ?

I also use Pilot Twin Marker 1mm-0.5mm to write our song set lists for live performances, and when I am coming up with lyrics and working on songs in my notebook.

I use Sakura Permapaque 3mm-5mm to autograph merchandise at our shows. I’m always drawing our band logo on the walls of each backstage venue we perform at. I also tend to draw “The Wheels” logo in black marker while walking through the streets of each city we tour, from Chongqing to Taipei.

Where is the best place in Chongqing to find markers ?

There are a few art shops in the area I buy markers at, but I really like it when i’m travelling on band tours or while working on design projects in different cities.

There is much more marker selection in other places I visit, and it is always fun to explore and find new black markers.

Do you remember the first black marker you first started drawing with ?

I forget the name of the first black marker I ever used, but I was about 10 years old when I received it as a gift from my uncle.

At the time it was more expensive that any other black markers you could get. There were two Japanese characters on it that I could read – “Big” and “Small”. It was a twin heads marker.

Growing up I liked drawing robots. Hero robots saving earth and some war angry robots. When I was in middle school I liked to draw aliens. I would make something like a book of alien profiles, with close-up head images and body images.

What characteristics and features would a custom “Panda Mei” marker have ?

The “PM” marker would be metal body Twin-Head marker. Bullet tip nib with 1mm and 5mm size.

The drawing lines would dry quickly, but the marker itself wouldn’t dry out if I leave the cap off for a long time.

The ink quality would be dark enough so that overlapping lines have the same consistent black tone.

Any special projects that you’re developing that we should keep an eye out for in the year ahead ?

I’m focusing on one special project for this year ; creating a group of vinyl figures for Vans China.

I’m starting with drawing and developing all the characters with black marker, than working on the sculpt to create the three-dimensional model. Really excited to work through the process and see how it develops.