Friday, December 27, 2013

Fun with Animation

Just messing around with some animation

Squiggly Lip Sync from Chris H. on Vimeo.

Animated gif. If it's not automatically animating, then it probably looks like a weird still drawing...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

West Coast Visit

Just messing around today with a quick doodle while watching football...always like sketching in a style I wouldn't normally, just to stretch the creative muscles. I'm about to go out to Southern California for a week so I guess I was trying to channel some of that sunny, laid back California-ness too that I remember. Haven't been there since 2007, and the first thing I'll want to eat is probably In-N-Out. First though, I'm going to stop into Cleveland for a holiday reunion with my ol' American Greetings friends. Good times.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Red Sox World Series Champions 2013

Compiled a team portrait after the finish of the World Series. Didn't go to any of the games but I did go walk around Kenmore Square and Fenway before the start of Game 6 just to sort of check out the energy, since I'd never been anywhere that has hosted a World Series. There was so much excitement in the air, kind of reminded me of college at UF on the mornings and afternoons before the big games, which at that time were vs. Tennessee or Florida State.

Prints are available if you're interested!

Recently also discovered a cool blog that collects interesting sports-related design run by graphic designer Tim McCarthy called HEYSPORT. Check it out, there's a lot of really good creative design that goes into sports and sports branding that you probably didn't even realize. Also for you basketball afficionados there's DOUBLE SCRIBBLE (ahh, a nice reference to a game from my childhood...thanks Konami) a Tumblr blog that collects basketball illustrations and sketches.

Red Sox World Series Champions, Chris Hsu

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Play Me I'm Yours" in Boston

You see a lot of typical street art installation project (especially ones that involve blank animal statues that are hand painted by local artists and placed around cities) but this one is unique because it is so interactive. For a few weeks about 70 pianos are placed all around the city of Boston, with each one uniquely decorated or painted. So far I've only been able to spot a few and the ones I saw were mostly uprights, except for this grand outside the MFA.

The first time I came up on it I decided to just sit there nearby and observe. I noticed that people were either playing or stopping to listen...but it didn't matter which one they were engaged in, the point was that everyone was engaged, and that was what made this different than your typical street art installations that you tend to see. And I was surprised to find that more random people on the street are able to play piano than you would think. This piano was not too far from the New England Conservatory, so of course you'd get the occasional student prodigy sitting down to play a few tunes, but for the most part it was just average joes and janes of all ages sitting down to play that one or two songs that they knew. People played Fur Elise, and people played Paul McCartney songs...people played and people listened. And people really enjoyed listening too. I mean after all, we see things like guitars, saxes, violins, and drums played on buckets outdoors all the often has anyone ever seen a full sized piano just sitting on a sidewalk?

I did sit down to play a few times since I come to the MFA frequently, though it'd been a while since I'd been around a piano on a regular basis. Played my favorite Chopin nocturne, the one in E flat and played what I still know of Maple Leaf Rag. It's too bad this isn't an annual thing, I doubt anyone would have any complaints if it were.

Been going to Drawing in the Galleries a lot lately, have a lot of sketches I need to scan for my records. Still working on big sheets of paper with the broad side of a pencil...I think this was a 5 minute pose if I remember correctly. As you can see I totally abandoned my first gesture, just didn't get the right feeling, so I started another one right next to it. Turns out they look kind of cool next to each other now.

Usually before a sketch session I'll walk around the museum to get inspired by something. I stumbled into this little exhibit in the American Wing of a show of works by an artist named Lois Mailou Jones, who I'd never heard of. Born in 1905 and trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (back when they actually still taught traditional art) she apparently did all kinds of art ranging from intricate pattern design to oil painting and even commercial book illustration, all of which were on display. Excellent work. There were a couple charcoal portraits she had done long ago hanging in the exhibit, below was my favorite one.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer 2013

We recently wrapped on a project this summer, something we all had a blast working on and can't wait for America to see. I was holding up a picture of what the project was, so for the sake of network confidentiality I covered it up for the time being. We had a great crew too...from left to right: Jeff Beckman, animator; Owen Watson, animator; Matt Wagner, video editor and effects; Chris Hsu, backgrounds and art direction; Zoe Abbett, animator (not pictured: Chad Hanna, storyboards; Julia King; producer, Jordan Scarborough, audio intern.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

MFA Drawing in the Galleries 9.4.13

For this session I tried going on a bigger sheet of paper (18x24) and basically drawing with my arm instead of hands and fingers, and using the side of the pencil. This sheet was all one-minute poses.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Knowing Your Client

Business editorial illustration about getting to know your clients ahead of time before meeting them. As with most business principles, it's easier said than done!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dvorak on a Plane

Why doesn't this kind of stuff ever happen when I'm on a plane? Playing the finale from Dvorak's American string quartet...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

David Beckham Retires

Hard to believe today was the last game of Beckham's 20-year playing career - end of an era no doubt.  It's rare to see an athlete transcend pop culture beyond galactic standards, while actually being a significantly, relevant player.  And when you look at clips of MLS from 2007 before Beck's arrival there were just a handful of amateurish-looking teams playing in paltry college stadiums or vacant, oversized NFL arenas with depressing, faded yardage lines.  It was fun, but not many people took it seriously.  Investors, sponsors, casual American fans, and foreign players just kind of wrote it off as minor league in a major way.  To say Beckham had nothing to do with the rapid growth and global interest in MLS over the next five years would be delusional.

It's fun to be able to say I saw him play live once - when the Galaxy played here in New England back in 2011.  To commemorate his last official professional game, I did this quick portrait today.

David Beckham Illustration by Chris Hsu

Friday, May 17, 2013

Orlando Weekly Cover: May 2013

For the cover illustration in this issue of Orlando Weekly, I was asked to bring to life a simple concept: a headshot of a really excited guy with paint splattered on one side of his face and a mini golf course on the other. There's really a whole slew of ways one could go about illustrating that, so as you might imagine I had some fun with this one.

"FRINGE" refers to The Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival which is a "14-day-festival that is founded on the concept of offering 100% unjuried, 100% uncensored, 100% accessible theatre, music, dance, and art to all types and ages where 100% of the box office ticket sales go directly back to the artists within The Fringe. The Orlando Fringe is the longest running Fringe Festival in the United States, celebrating 22 years as “Orlando’s most unique cultural experience”.

Orlando Weekly Cover by Chris Hsu

(special thanks to Nathan F'in Smith for snapping this pic for me down in Orlando)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

NBA Playoffs 2013

Some drawings while watching the playoffs...stay tuned, I'm probably going to do some other teams.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Marathon Week

Wow, what a week. We got 'em at 67 Franklin Street! So strange to see Watertown in the national news like this........

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring 2013

Spring is in the air, which means NBA playoffs are impending (c'mon Celtics), NCAA March Madness is over (what happened Gators??), Major League Soccer is in full swing (pick up the pace Revs!), and baseball has begun. I follow too many sports already to be able to get into regular season baseball - but I've always been drawn to the look and culture of baseball. Here I was just experimenting with a suuuper editorial style that I never really work in and just did a self-portrait as an old timey baseball player for the subject matter.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Clint Dempsey: USA vs. Costa Rica

In one of the strangest soccer matches I think I've ever seen, the USA played Costa Rica last night in Denver in a World Cup Qualifier in a freakin' BLIZZARD.  It wasn't so bad at the beginning but the it just kept snowing and snowing and snowing with no end in sight to the point where a lot of the players were sporting inadvertent snow afros.  Fortunately Dempsey scored early off an Altidore shot rebound before it got ridiculous because by the second half it looked like the ball was barely even rolling across the field. I did up this little sketch today to commemorate the game.

Clint Dempsey Illustration by Chris Hsu

Thursday, March 14, 2013

RISD Portfolio Review 2013

Clambake headed down to Providence today to RISD for the school's annual student portfolio review. Too bad no one wanted to talk to us!!

No, just kidding...clearly those are staged photos of Carl pretending that we're being completely neglected. In fact we had a packed day of meeting with a bunch of great students. RISD moved it into the Rhode Island Convention Center this year so it was way more spacious than last year's review. As usual, thanks to all the students who took the time to come sign up at our table and show us your know who you are!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

MassArt Internship Fair 2013

Took part in the Massachusetts College of Art & Design's internship fair today along with Carl Adams on behalf of Clambake.  It was a fun, informal setup and a good turnout for all sides.  Thanks to all the students that came by to say hi!

Afterwards I stopped into the MFA (conveniently next door to MassArt) and waited for the Drawing in the Galleries session to start later on in the evening. Had a few hours to kill before it started so I finally checked out the really cool old postcards exhibition that's going on at the MFA.  Below that are some highlights from a MFA session from a few weeks ago that I never got to posting.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Drawing in the Galleries 2/20/13

Some highlights from my MFA "Drawing in the Galleries" session last night. Mostly 5 or 10 minute poses.

Friday, January 11, 2013

George Bellows at the Metropolitan Museum

The show so nice I went to see it twice.

While spending the holidays in the greater NY area, I learned that the Met has been hosting a special exhibition dedicated to the works of George Bellows, one of my favorite painters. I was especially excited to see this since Bellows isn't your typical museum headliner, certainly not the kind of name they're going to hang on a banner out front to attract the casual visitor. As you can see those honors went to Matisse, who I'm a big fan of, and Warhol (meh...) Pop art - once you've seen it once you've seen all you need to see. But let's get back to Bellows...

The first time I really noticed a Bellows painting was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art a few years ago...a painting called "Cliff Dwellers" that immediately drew me in with it's amorphous, gestural figures, dynamic composition, engaging color palette, and narrative quality amongst many other factors. I had seen plenty of old paintings before that showed old, gritty urban life but something about this one seemed different. In person I admired the super textural quality of the surface and seemingly brisk swiftness of every single stroke. Didn't know much about the artist...assumed he was probably American based on the name and figured he worked in the early 1900s based on the subject matter.

Of course our Telfair Museum in Savannah has this great Bellows snow landscape in their permanent collection, but I never made the connection for a while for some reason that they were painted by the same person. I just remember always going by it and thinking, "Wow, this is a really cool painting" but there was so much sophistication to it that I just wasn't ready to see yet as a budding art student.
Last December I was in Cleveland visiting my ol' American Greetings friends and went to the Cleveland Museum of Art. While browsing around the gallery of American paintings I saw Stag at Sharkey's from a distance and exclaimed to my wife, "Hey! It's THAT painting!" I must've missed it somehow in my one and only previous visit to the museum while living in Cleveland. It's always exciting to see a well known painting for the first time in person, it's like spotting a celebrity.

Back to the present day...the Bellows show at the Met was great to finally see. As I mentioned before, he's one of those artists you really have to see in person to appreciate as you get up close and try to decipher the types of artistic decisions he was making in the span of a painting. I found myself most drawn to many of the landscapes on display, especially the ones of NY Penn Station under construction and some cityscapes...very engaging. His energetic brushwork really lends itself to bringing these environments to living, breathing, life. Also on display were some really powerful war paintings which I had never seen before.

And in a sort of "full circle" kind of moment all three of the paintings I had seen of his before and admired were collected together and on display as part of this show too. It's always enlightening when you can see an artist's body of work together, it gives you a better sense of what their overall vision of the world was.