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Art & Life with Jeremy Hsu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Hsu.

Jeremy, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I owe my father my love for illustration. He’s truly a remarkable artist and hands-on creative who taught me how to sketch, story-tell and open up my imagination. I worked in the children’s section of my local library when I was a teenager and was constantly exposed to illustrators with a playful eye. I was especially intrigued by the works of Bill Peet, Scott Goto, and Shel Silverstein and I can’t say I fully understood the power of illustration until I witnessed how kids decided on what books they wanted to bring home with them on any given day. During that time, I picked up private oil painting lessons with an incredible artist, mentor and friend – Susan Sheets. She taught me how to study color, the psychology behind composition, and the interpersonal qualities required in a creative pursuit. I studied Public Relations at The University of Texas at Austin and in my final year, I realized I had lost touch with a creative outlet. I studied graphic design as a hobby and applied my pencil and paper illustrations into a digital space. I quickly discovered the opportunities behind an artistic hand accompanied with public interest and elevated my craft into tangible products at Pensole Footwear Design Academy in Portland, OR a few months after graduation. I continue to use my illustrations as a medium to keep my creativity sharp and a platform for business endeavors.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m an illustrator and designer. As a first generation Chinese-Texan, most of my illustrations are a nod to my ethnic roots and anecdotes of the wild west. The composition and color palette intend to define the crossover between eastern minimalism and western vibrancy. I take inspiration from traditional oriental art + cowboy culture and apply a modern take on the subjects to tell a new and relevant story. At its core, it’s simply eye candy for people to enjoy or hang up in a room that needs a little bit more fun. My hope is my work inspires someone else to rediscover their creativity, be a kid again, and switch out their ballpoints for a crayon. If we can all get our moms to hang a piece of our artwork on the fridge again, I think we’re moving in the right direction.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
A future in any creative field is often perceived as subjective, unpromising, and inferior. Part of the fun is beating those odds and changing the way we talk about a future in creative endeavors. Social media provides a platform for young creatives to showcase their work but quickly saturates their exposure and feeds their insecurities. Many creatives seek affirmation in their work and many artists are stuck in a toxic cycle of seeking validation in the number or likes they receive on a post after comparing themselves to their idols. The downfall begins when artists stop creating what they love and tailor their work to appeal to the masses. Don’t invest your energy in seeking affirmation but seek community instead. Surround yourself with other creatives who empower, inspire, critique, and challenge you to push your potential.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My entire design portfolio can be found on my website at www.jeremyhsustudio.com where I showcase various design projects, client work, and illustrations. I also use my Instagram @jeremyahsu to share my work and connect with new clients. I do prints upon request and I’m always open to commissioned projects. Drop a line anytime.

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Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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