Here at Looking Sideways we’re lucky to work with some amazing artists. And as well as inspiring us with their work, they also inspire with their own recommendations as well: like when LS artist Phil Morgan introduced us to artist and illustrator Michael C. Hsiung. Phil and Michael go way back, so we asked Phil for a few words on his friend and collaborator. Here’s what he had to say…
Michael C Hsiung is an illustrator based in Los Feliz, Los Angeles. I first came across his work back in 2007 through his range of graphics for the skate company Enjoi Skateboards. He is a huge fan of Dungeons and Dragons, wizardry, bearded sea creatures and narwhals. As well as skateboarding and bearded beer drinking dudes, all of these influences come across in his imaginative black and white ink drawings. I’m such a fan of his style that I even had one of his illustrations turned into a tattoo.
He’s had his work displayed all over the world, most recently with a solo show at THIS Gallery in LA. I’m really happy to be showing my work at Looking Sideways London next to such a rad artist.
Tell me about yourself. Where you’re from, how you got into art?
I was born in China Town in downtown LA. My Dad was from mainland China, my mum was from Taiwan. They came over in 74, and I grew up in San Fernando Valley, so am fully Californian.
My sister is a painter, but I moved away from that when I was a kid, probably because of her to be honest. I went to college and studied English lit, lived in San Jose, worked, skated. Then when I was in my late 20s, I moved back to LA where my sister, family and friends lived. I quite my job, moved back and started drawing again. Just doing weird shit, showing them to my sister and friends. At the same time, a good friend of mine Mike Stilkee was also working as an artist, and he was just starting to take off. He started taking me to shows – mentored me in a way. He was someone I grew up with skating from when I was about 15 or so. So when I met back up with him in a bar, we started hanging out again with a bunch of other old skate crew friends. And it grew from there.