artist of the week: Michael C. Hsiung
We recently stumbled upon Michael's sketches and knew we had to hit him up for an interview. Super unique style and a fun vibe to his work. We had the pleasure of getting in contact with him to get a sense of who he is and what his art is all about.
Where did you grow up?
My parents and sister emigrated from China and Taiwan, but I grew up in the San Fernando valley pretty much, born in Chinatown downtown LA, raised in Northridge :).
When did you get into art and why?
Growing up drawing and coloring was pretty much something my sister and I always did. Pearl showed natural talent as an artist, so I was always interested in art, comics, and anything of that nature. How I got into it is a lot different though. After graduating high school, I pretty got into skateboarding and attended San Jose State University, where I pursued an English Literature major with a concentration in Career Writing.
I actually didn’t start drawing again until I had moved back to LA in 2006, just trying to re-figure out my life, find a place to live, and a job. It was pretty much in between this time hanging out with my sister and friends who were into art, checked out art shows, and made art. Naturally, I started drawing myself, keeping a journal style thing. It wasn’t until much later that I started participating in group shows, getting projects and creating art more regularly. At some point, I had gotten laid off as an assistant grant writer at a museum and that was when I decided to devote myself to creating art and trying to make it work. It’s been almost 9 years since that time and I’m still trying to make it work.
What would you say are some big influences to your creative process?
Books, mythology, historical clothing, day dreams are all huge influences to my creative process. All my drawings are at times glimpses into how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking about, or directly from something I see, read, and/or am interested in.
How do you take your coffee?
Straight black, mainly because when I was in college I always either ran out of sugar or creamer, so I ended up keeping it simple.
Walk us through a day in the life of Michael C. Hsiung.
Wake up early, mail stuff to post office, drink black coffee, answer emails, sketch, draw, make dinner for wife, chill out, read, sleep. Repeat. Weekends, I like to have some beers w/ friends if I can afford it.
Any future projects in the works?
I’ve got a graphic coming out for a skateboard as well as showing some art in October at Artists Republic in Laguna Beach. In between all that I’ve got some group shows and helping to curate a show for early October as well.
How would you describe your style/what do you seek to express with your work.
I generally tell people it’s illustrative, narrative, and character based, and that I draw mermen, pudgy people, and centaurs.