You may have seen some humorous black and white drawings by Malaysian artist Adib Afdzal being passed around on the internet to help promote his illustration business on Shopee. He has since gone so viral that he no longer takes new requests at the moment, but I managed to purchase the opportunity to have him draw me before the offer “sold out”—and it was one of the coolest experiences I could have gotten from the e-commerce site.
Adib Afdzal started promoting his drawing business on Twitter, where you could pay just RM0.50 for a simple black and white portrait of you—done a unique art style that some might call “bad”, but others might call brilliant. But word travelled around fast and it even managed to get the attention of people on TikTok.
After finding out about Adib’s unique art offered at such a cheap price through TikTok earlier this week, I went ahead and checked out his Shopee page. After reading through the instructions on his page‘s description, I placed an order, paid RM0.50, and sent him my email address and my picture via the Shopee Chat box.
Adib noted that I could insert a photo with a maximum of three faces per picture, and that the portrait will be given in a JPEG file through either Shopee Chat or email within one to three days. To my surprise, I was sent my own portrait just a few hours after I made my order.
I sent that photo of myself to him because I had hoped that he would have fun with it. And, boy, did it exceed my expectations. He didn’t exactly get my confused expression, but he did make me look unbelievably derp-y—and it truly is something so special. He even made the effort to draw my dangly earrings.
He has also drawn some other portraits, including the Malaysian Prime Minister and Datuk Lee Chong Wei. The portraits are all done in the similar derp-y style, and you can also see some other portraits posted by satisfied buyers in the reviews section.
“A day before I started selling on Shopee, I came across this seller who was selling motivational quotes… I was editing a poster at that time for my company using Photoshop and I thought to myself, why not just sell my art on Shopee,” said Adib.
He also continued saying that he uses just a mouse to draw his portraits, and that he first started his business about a week ago. But business only started picking up fast after TikTok gave him the boost.
“I was shocked at first, but I was touched as there were people who complimented my work. I am blessed that I get to entertain them, especially during these hard times,” he continued.
According to the page, he has already sold 318 portraits, which means that he’s made around RM150+. Besides RM0.50 commissions, he also offers colour portraits for RM0.80, but the option didn’t appear for me when I tried to buy it.
Adib has said on his Twitter that it sells out fast even once he’s “restocked”. He can also only do his commissions after 6pm every day.
You can check out his Shopee page. You can also keep updated for his next “restock” through his Twitter and Instagram, but it looks like he’ll be pretty overwhelmed with requests so I suggest that you wait until the hype died down a little if you are interested in getting your portrait done.
And this might be a little controversial, but I hope he raises his price—even just a little—in the near future. His work is too extraordinary for just a mere RM0.50.