a)My name is Michael C. Hsiung. I’m a thirty year old Chinese boy. I have a moustache and like to draw.
q) Where do you live and work?
a)I live in Korea Town, Los Angeles and work at a museum as a grant writer’s assistant.
q) How did you get started? How have you realized you wanted to become an artist?
a)Well, I’ve always been drawing stuff since I was a kid with my sister, but it wasn’t until the last year that I found myself becoming more serious about my art and becoming an artist. Prior to this, I was miserable and working as a background investigator in San Jose, CA. It wasn’t till I quit my job and moved to Los Angeles that I even started drawing again. Then it all sort of happened. I found myself doing it more and more.
q) What materials do you use and why?
a)I use Micron pens, mostly black and red, as well as a blue sketching pencil because they allow me to draw mermen and obese men with greater detail and fluidity than other utensils.
q) Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related
a)My sister Pearl.
q) How do you dream up with your wacky ideas? What is your creation process?
a)Sometimes I have the idea already in my head-like mermen. I was drawing fantastical creatures and mermen were the natural progression for me. With other drawings I start more organically…by just sketching shapes and then eventually filling those in. Those drawings sort of form themselves.
q) What haven’t you done yet that you definitely want to try someday?
a)Etching, wood carving, lasers…pretty much everything.
q) Are there any contemporary artists that you love?
a)Yes, I really like contemporary artists Pearl Hsiung and Mike Stilkey.
q) How long does it take for you to finish a piece?
a)Depends. Sometimes I can draw something in 45 minutes and sometimes I’ll have something partially drawn which I’ll be unable to finish for days. It depends if the drawing is “making sense” to me I guess. Sometimes I can finish them and sometimes it takes a while for me to figure out the missing piece.
q) What music, if any, do you like to have on while you're working?
a)I love to listen to music while I draw and sketch. I’ve got an old turntable that I like to play old moog records on. In my stereo I have cds by local musicians. Right now I’ve got my friend Deepakalypse’s cd on repeat. It’s really good.
q) Do you do many art shows?
a)I’ve done a handful of art shows at the Hive Gallery and Studios in downtown Los Angeles and Echo Curio Gallery in Echo Park. I’ve got a collaborative show planned at Gallery Revisited in June 2008.
q) Tell us about a recent dream you had.
a)I just recently had a dream where I had four cavities in my mouth from eating so many chocolates. I had to go to the dentist and I was pretty much screaming for my life. I think I need to start flossing more.
q) What are you doing when you are not creating?
a)When I’m not creating stuff, I’m hanging out with my friends, thrift store shopping, reading, record collecting, drinking or watching movies.
q) Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your work when it is sold?
a)I actually do get attached to my works. It’s strange, but sometimes I miss some more than others, especially if they are drawn and then sold in a fairly short period of time. It happened with the piece “The Man Wrestling the Giant Worm In Cronos.” I still miss it.
q)What new projects or exhibits are in your future?
a)In June 2008, I’m working on with my friend Kathleen Brzezinski on a book of drawings and stories for a 2008 show at Gallery Revisited.
q) What is your favourite art related web site?
a)Ourartsite.com – it’s a new site with great art and blogs.
q) What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?
a)Well, once when I was sitting on the lawn at the school I attended, I saw an eagle scoop up a squirrel from a tree and take off, but the squirrel started to struggle a bit. So the eagle dropped it from great heights ¬-- and the squirrel hit the roof, slid down the pavement, got up, shook it head and ran away. I was dumbfounded that it was so resilent.
q) What is the strangest thing you have ever done?
a)When I was living in an apartment, my roommate Brian and I were pretty much starving. We opened our refrigerator and saw two things – a beer and some top ramen instant noodles. We did what anyone would do. We boiled the noodles in the beer. It was disgusting.
q) any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?
a)Draw, draw, draw and have fun doing it. If you make a mistake in your piece, I would leave it in.