Hi! I'm Rachta Lin. I do detailed character sketches for Dota2, Fallout, Left4Dead and more! Ask Me Anything!
Hello everyone! My name is Rachta Lin, I'm a full time artist that specialises in geek culture, manga and animation.
As a child I've always had a deep fascination with manga and animation, and this sparked off the creative flames within me. Doodles of my family soon became sketches of my favourite childhood heroine. Constantly catching up on manga and animations, it wasn't long before the geek culture bug finally bit me.
Ever since then I've always strived to share my love of geek culture through my drawings and love for creating, and have recently quit my job to do pursue my dreams full time! The ability to create is within all of us, that is why it is my utmost happiness to be able to bring fun and color into my fans and the community's lives.
When I’m not drawing, you will almost always find me hanging out with friends reading manga and playing games. Some of my favourite games include Left4Dead 1 & 2, Dota 2, the Fallout series, Final Fantasy 8 and Telltale Game’s The Wolf Amongst Us & Game of Thrones.
Connect with me by sharing with me your favourite characters and moments, and how you spend your time having fun! ‘Like’ my Facebook, follow my Tumblr or support me on Patreon! It’s been a blast creating for my fans, and I look forward to sharing my passion with everyone!
For this AMA you can ask me questions like:
Ask me anything and I'll try to answer!
NOTE from community manager: This AMA session is scheduled to go live this coming Thursday 3rd September from 8pm to 10pm! If you have any questions you can post them first and Rachta will answer them once the AMA begins. Remember to subscribe to this thread by clicking the button below so you will get updates on answers! It's a community discussion so please be nice! Rude/tasteless/vulgar comments will be moderated/deleted.
EDIT: This AMA has officially ended, a huge thank you to everyone for your support! I believe we've learnt quite abit from Rachta today :) If you have more questions you can still post them and it will get answered over time. Do watch out for more AMAs from Grouphunt in the future. Have a great upcoming weekend!
Hi Rachta, thanks for hosting this AMA! I'll kick off with some questions:
Hi John! The same goes to you too! Thank you for having me on your awesome platform! ^^
For someone just starting out, I would recommend something that are affordable, with reasonable quality to try out and practice without spending a fortune. Anything that you feel comfortable with should do. The products I use for my drawing are generally easy to find in the market and what I've been using since my school days. The brand is pretty much a personal choice and each person may have their own preference.
That's cool! The affordable/quality factor definitely speaks out to me, and practice is probably the most important thing of all.
I personally started trying to learn digital painting after my sister-in-law gave me a Wacom Bamboo late last year - its a real upgrade to drawing using the mouse, hahaha :)
in case there are any fans or users who might be curious - what are the products that you use for drawing, and feel comfortable with?
Haha yep! There's a period of time that I use mouse for drawing. That was a real challenge! A digital drawing tablet sure is a life-saver!
I do both traditional and digital art, and the best products are the ones you are comfortable with. For digital art, you'll want to invest in a good digital drawing tablet. I personally like medium sized ones if it does not come with a screen, as drawing on too big a tablet is tiring for the hand. For traditional art, I would recommend drawing on at least 150gsm matte paper with a smooth texture as the added paper weight helps keep the paper for longer. Thinner paper doesn't last as long and crumple too easily. I personally use a mechanical pencil with 2B lead, but any pencil works. Inking is done with a pigment ink pen for me, but I do keep some of different head sizes. For larger areas, I use a marker with a pointy tip, and colored markers and color pencils (of various shades) for coloring. Mistakes are bound to happen, so do not overlook the importance of a good quality eraser that neither leaves black markings nor tears the paper. Art is a time consuming but rewarding hobby & career. You will be spending a lot of time on it - so be comfortable with the equipment you use. =)
It depends on the piece, but my usual black/white single character piece usually takes me 3-4 hours to complete from start to finish. Colored piece takes longer. drawing chibi character takes less time. And the more characters I need to draw, the more time it takes to get done.
What's the most memorable commissioned piece you've done, and why?
Oh, and who's your favourite Dota 2 hero?
Hi Jonathan! Glad to have you here with me! :D
My most memorable commission is a LEFT4DEAD tournament poster in Singapore many years back. It was one of my first commercial illustration projects and I had a lot of fun drawing it!
And my fav DoTA2 hero is Windranger! She's so fun to play! :3
Hello Rachta! Rainbow Dash here from Cloudonium! I've been prancing around in excitement, always clapping my hooves in anticipation of your next artwork! There are some questions stuck in my mane...
I gotta go now! Need to clear the skies for the Annual Ponyville Dance Off! Cya tomorrow!
OMG Rainbow Dash is here!? Did you know I love your show!? O_O! Friendship is magic and all that. <3
Let me gather myself first before I can answer your question properly (hahaha).
Keep drawing and never give up! And I believe you can use your mouth to draw. http://iambrony.dget.cc/mlp/gif/114005__UNOPT__apple-bloom.gif
Definitely! Drawing is creating something out of nothing. Of course it's magic! ;)
I think it would be a paint brush with stars surrounding it! (Sorry I just have a thing for stars and stuff)
My infinite passion for art! <3
That sounds very tempting to draw. Just keep looking at my fanpage and one day you might just see that ;)
I was drawn to your work and thought you are great talent yourself. I have a few questions in mind:
1) When did you first started? 2) People always say that left handed people are naturally more creative.. do you agree? haha 3) What are your inspiration for your work? 4) Of all the work that you have done, which is your favourite of all time? can we get a chance to take a look at that piece? :)
Thank you!! :D
Hehe thanks a lot Quanlong! :D It's such an honor to have you here!
It depends on what you mean as the starting point! My interest in art started at a very young age. I believe I was only around 3-4 years old when it occurs to me, while watching a Japanese anime, that I want to become an artist. (hahaha)
Ohhh nice - what are some of your favourite Japanese animes?
Do you take inspiration from Studio Ghibli then? I seriously love their art style, haha
Hey jamiechee and ratcha - I love studio ghibli I too! I haven't watched too many of their films (princess monoke and spirited away) but absolutely love their imaginative style. Any recommendations on what I should watch next?
Haha I have a lot of anime that I like! But if I have to pick a few favorite, they would be Code Geass, Parasyte, Attack on Titan, and Death Note. :D I also love the 2011 Hunter X Hunter, and almost everything made by Ghibli.
As I said, I love Ghibli animations, and they truly have wonderful and unique art style! (such as the Tale of the Princess Kaguya!) Although the main inspiration I took from them is mostly the story and the meaning behind every anime they do. They all send such a strong, profound message that resonate with me and makes me think. :D
Haha yes I love Code Geass too!! It's pretty similar to Death Note in a way :P My other favourite is Rurouni Kenshin :)
Last question from me - Do you also try to inject story and meaning behind your artwork?
Yea I know right? Haha maybe that's why I love them both. I like anime that makes me think. :D Rurouni Kenshin is such a classic! Although I prefer the manga version more. It's been a while since I last read them. Who's your favorite character? :D
Oh I love story. In fact, they are essential to all artworks I draw. Each character's back story, personality, how they relate to others etc is an essense of who they are, and will reflect in their posture, facial expression, body language, and the emotional tone of the artwork. That's why I always try to add a hint of story in my artworks based on all these. I feel that it makes the artwork feels more complete. I wouldn't feel as satisfied if I draw without a clear knowledge of who my character is in mind.
2) People always say that left handed people are naturally more creative.. do you agree? haha
Haha yea that's a popular saying, and I'm no scientist to confirm that statement (lol). But I believe everyone has the capability to be creative no matter what their hand preference is. :)
3) What are your inspiration for your work?
I know it might sound cheesy, but my inspiration comes from everywhere. Part of being an artist is that you are a life observer, and you turn visual inspiration around you into an art piece based on your personal interpretation.
4) Of all the work that you have done, which is your favourite of all time? can we get a chance to take a look at that piece? :)
Haha what can I say.. I love all the artworks I've done! The recent one that I've just finished is a Life is Strange fan art that I feel quite proud of (lol). I did a live stream of myself drawing the piece, but I haven't had a chance to post the work online yet. You can follow my Facebook fan page to get an update on the artwork! ;)
Always fascinated by people leaving the corporate world to pursue their own passions. So I've got a couple of questions
Godspeed and Fight on, shaun.
Thank you for dropping by to spend time here with me today! ^^ So let's start with question no.1!
I have wanted to do this since forever. Drawing has always been my passion and it’s the only thing I ever want to do, just that I had never truly acted on it because of other commitment. Upon reaching a certain point in my corporate life, I realized that this kind of life no longer fulfilled me and challenged me. That’s when I knew that it’s time to move on to truly doing what I love.
Good evening everyone! Let's give a big shout out to Grouphunt for hosting this AMA session where you can ask all the burning questions you have! My name is Rachta, and I have been drawing since young. At the risk of sounding older than I actually am, I have been drawing for around 25 years. I'm a Virgo, and I just celebrated my birthday yesterday ^_^
I love anime, manga and games (crazy over Game of Thrones too! GO HOUSE STARK!) so do chat with me about all the fun and entertaining stuff that you enjoy! Anything under the sun! Really!
Have fun chatting! I've got my drinks and chips ready! <3
Thanks Rachta! Happy belated birthday! On behalf of the Grouphunt team - really glad you could help us out for this session, appreciate it! :)
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAYY! haha
Its amazing how you have accumulated 25 years worth of experience!! What do you think its important for an artist to be good at what he/she does and what do you think you wanna further your improvement on?
I notice that you wrote that you quit your full time job and pursuing a career on your own.. Can you share more about what you will be doing?
Thank you Quanlong! All those years just whizzed by!
I think that art is a journey of self-discovery, and that each artist will have their own goal to achieve. I personally want to possess solid technical skills and I'm currently working to further improve my coloring and lighting compositions :)
My friends and I have always had a keen interest in entrepreneurship. I left my full time job to pursue art and explore a couple of business opportunities. The creative community is always in my mind - one of my new ventures is to create a platform to help aspiring and established artists gain recognition for their works and hopefully, allow them to generate cash flow to fuel their creative passion!
Thank you for replying and sharing your views on how to become a great artist.
Very interesting business concept! I find that you have a very interesting talent and a great heart to know only make a business out of your talent, but also to do it with a great cause:) I have an aspiration to start my own business as well.. what do you think its the most important hallmarks of being a successful entrepreneur?
Thank you for the compliments! I do what my fans love, and it helps guide me in the right path :)
Being an entrepreneur is not easy. You are often questioned by others and also end up working longer hours as compared to being employed. Resilience is key! You need to stay focused and be resilient, never giving up, even if you've failed. Simply learn from your mistakes and keep trying. Lastly, focus on what making something that people love, and be the best at it! <3
Hey guys a little late to the party but better late than never! Ratcha, I'm interested to know how you would sum up your experience going full time into your passion? It's a step not everyone can identify with :)
Heya Joel! No worries on that haha! Always love to answer your questions! :D
The experience is rather... liberating! (haha) For the longest time, I had been nursing this dream inside my heart, although I didn't fully take action to pursue it. I was in this secured corporate job and everything seemed to be doing fine. I think most people can identify with this situation well. When I finally gathered the courage and determination to do what I've always wanted to do all my life, it felt very exhilarating. The magnitude of leaving a known security into the unknown can be quite scary, but I feel more energized and happy than anything else, so it kinda balance each other out (hahaha). I just need to have faith that the experience I've gained all these years and the determination that I have will help carry me through this.
Hi Rachta, thanks for doing this AMA!
I saw your profile on Facebook - love the drawings, especially the Dota ones! Noticed that you started colouring recently, does this mean we can look forward to more color artwork from you in the future?
Thank you! I'm so glad that you love the drawings!
It is highly likely! I do create what my fans want to see - so comment, like and share the ones you love! That way I'll know that it's well liked and I will focus more of my time to make more of those! ^_^
Here are some questions for you. They are rather personal:
-What happened or what made you make the decision to quit your day job and fully commit to art? -How does your spouse, family and friends react/feel about you going full-time on art? -How has life changed when you go full-time on art? Has in been tough financially, or you're doing well, getting sponsorship/commissions, etc. How is the community and industry treating you?
Thanks for reading the questions!
Hiya Cheryl! Thanks a lot gal for dropping by! :3 No worries I would love to answer.
-What happened or what made you make the decision to quit your day job and fully commit to art?
Art and illustration, especially manga, anime, and game art, are something I truly enjoyed doing the most. It's my passion. I would say that I've always wanted to do this, and when a corporate life no longer fulfilled me, I decided to finally move on to truly doing what I love. :)
-How does your spouse, family and friends react/feel about you going full-time on art?
My spouse is fully supportive of the idea! I'm so lucky to have him in my life. :) My family was resistant to the idea at first, but after I explained to them what I want to do and achieve, they come to understand and is now supportive as well. My brothers are cool with it from the start (gotta love them!). Each of my friends has varied, different opinion but most wish me well. It makes me feel all fuzzy inside (hahaha).
Did you go to arts school? Would you be able to recommend if someone who wants to pursue a career in the arts to go to arts school? This was asked simply because in Singapore, there is a lot of focus on 'qualifications' - however, in the arts it seems to be a bit more of a grey area =D
We've seen mostly black and white artwork from you; was there a preference for this? Why, or why not?
Thank you for your kind attention!
Hihi Maya! Thanks a lot for coming by! :D
I did go to arts school, but I would like to say that in the art industry, I personally think qualification is always secondary to your portfolio. True, going to arts school does help, but that's because you are in an environment that pushes you to practice arts for a continuous 4 years, which you can also achieve by yourself outside of school with hard work, discipline, and proper direction. For the people who have passion in art with no qualification, I encourage you not to give up on your dream. :)
It's mainly because black and white artwork is what I started off with. I love reading Japanese manga since I was young and manga is a big influence and inspiration in developing my artistic skill. I feel that I have a personal affinity to this style. It's also quite timeless and can go well with many other styles (should you wanna use it as a house deco!), and such a great fun to draw all those little details in the artwork!