Thursday, October 30, 2014

Folio Weekly: October 2014

Cover illustration (and some interior spots) for Folio Weekly, Oct 29 - Nov 4 issue, featuring Charlie Crist and Rick Scott.  Design and art direction by Shan Stumpf.

folio weekly chris hsu illustration

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Peter's Hill: Watercolor Study

Small watercolor study from Peter's Hill yesterday afternoon. High 70s...very unusual for New England in mid October.  Later in the evening headed over to the MFA for some figure drawing.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Peter's Hill, Arboretum

One hour oil study from the base of Peter's Hill and looking upwards on one quiet evening. 5"x7"

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Three Ridiculous Wishes

"Three Ridiculous Wishes" is a French fairytale from the late 1600s by Charles Perrault, as well as the basis for a recent assignment with the Cobblestone group. Long story short, a down-on-his-luck woodcutter is granted three wishes by Zeus (aka Jupiter) and ends up using them inadvertently and foolishly while arguing with his wife at home about the mere existence of these wishes. On the second wish he accidentally wishes for a stifling sausage or black pudding upon his wife's nose (depending on the version) and when all hell breaks loose he finally concedes that he must use his third and final wish to restore his wife back to normal.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Food Illustrations Compilation

Over many issues of My Table Magazine I've been doing a spot illustration for the "Tasting the Town" segment where the author visits five different establishments to order the same thing and write about it. I compiled all the illustrations together and thought they looked pretty interesting side by side - almost postage stamp-like even - and so here they are along with last month's topic "pretzels."

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ruffles #Roughlife Shorts

Worked on a set of animated commercials for Ruffles in their #Roughlife campaign.  I heard they aired a lot during ESPN's World Cup live streams.  (Animation artists: Lauren Ashizawa, Jen McMahon, Matt Wagner, Chris Hsu, Clambake Animation)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Excedrin Video Series

Worked with a great team at Weber Shandwick in their Boston office to create this video series for Excedrin, which highlights some easy "fast fixes" to make your life less cluttered or stressful. The videos can be found on the Excedrin website, and through the Youtube links below. We did a combination of marker drawing and stop motion effects, and yep, that's my hand...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Background Designs for Comedy Central

TripTank is a new animated anthology show on Comedy Central that combines an array of comedy writers, top notch voice talent, and diverse group of art styles into a half hour of animated sketch humor and weirdness. The team at Clambake Animation took on one of these animated skits "Dick Genie" written by Natalie Hazen and starring Kumail Nanjiani as Genie. For the background art I looked to bring to life a rich, fictional world for our characters to exist in, while at the same time trying to help elevate the story and humor. The background pictured below is the sleazy school janitor's closet where Billy and Genie have an encounter to discuss their plans.

Dick Genie Background Art by Chris Hsu.  Comedy Central TripTank

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Passenger Pigeon

Partly inspired from seeing the Audobon exhibit at the MFA a few times, and mostly inspired from seeing a Passenger Pigeon specimen yesterday at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, I took a stab at a science-style illustration of the famed extinct bird.

Passenger Pigeon Illustration, Chris Hsu

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Frontier Kids: Appleseeds Magazine

Had a lot of fun with this illustration so I decided to share it here. In the March issue of Appleseeds magazine the assignment called for a vertical full spread illustration to accompany some informational copy about what life was like for kids on the western frontier and what kind of chores it would have involved. We decided the image should of course depict many of the chores for boys and girls mentioned in the text (chopping wood, tending to animals/gardens, chasing vermin, etc.) as well as be something that would work in a long vertical format.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious affinity for the era of American westward expansion. Really, I have an affinity for any era, but the old West stands out to me because of the visuals - it was untamed rolling landscapes of plains, mountains, grasslands, lakes, forests, and deserts engulfing the tiny people and families who endured the hardships in hopes of new beginnings. For this illustration, I wanted to go the opposite, meaning make the kids seem bigger than life against the landscape as if they're overcoming it rather than being defeated by it. Of course once you think about larger than life figures on the western frontier, you immediately think of Thomas Hart Benton, right??

I used Benton as inspiration for this assignment, especially in the way that he composed his murals around the hard right angles of architecture (see image below.) I knew I had to deal with a rectangular box of some sort in the middle of my composition, so it just made sense. From there it was just about adding a modern children's illustration touch to it to help bring to life the text.

Kids on the Frontier Illustration, Chris Hsu
Kids on the Frontier

Design and layout by Appleseeds Magazine

Thomas Hart Benton

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Animated Gif Test

File this under "Just Wanted To See What It'd Look Like"...

Pulled out an existing illustration and took it into photoshop's animation feature to see what would happen with some subtle movement to it (eye blinks, shadow flickering, sprinkling of the flakes, etc.)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Charles Goodyear

Here's a cropped portion of an upcoming illustration of Charles Goodyear accidentally discovering the process of vulcanization. Experimented with using more crosshatching on this one than I normally would to give it that look that art reproductions had during the time of the Industrial Revolution.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Habitat Skateboards: Stained Glass Series

I've always been a big fan of skateboard art, even going all the way back to the ol' famous Tony Hawk bird skull deck from the 80s. I remember being younger and looking at them and really liking the art, though I wasn't sure why. Even as I'm older now and have a trained eye for art and design I appreciate even more the quality of illustration that went into many of those old decks.

Fast forward to the modern day...I still love skateboard art and design. I recently stumbled upon this deck series by Habitat - whose designs I'd always admired for their palettes, vector work, and attention to detail - but this stained glass series really stood out to me. Looking further into it, I realized it was actually made in stained glass by an artist named Jessie Cundiff and her crew of glass artists, then photographed for use on the board format. Really engaging use of shape and color, and a great example of old world techniques merging with modern technology. In my opinion they look even better together as a series. I look forward to one day hanging these up side by side in my studio.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ken Griffey Upper Deck Rookie Card

Ahhh, the nostalgia of baseball card collecting. I remember when Upper Deck first came out it was considered high end because it had the fancy hologram on the card. And remember how everyone thought seeing young Ken Griffey Jr.'s smily face appear from behind that foil cover would be the key to their retirement??  It was like winning a mini lotto.  If there's one thing we can learn from the 90s, it's that anything that claims to be a collector's item will never actually ever be a collector's item in the decades that follow. Yes, that means you too, comic books with the chromium variant covers....