Michael C. Hsiung is known for his quirky illustrations, drawn using Micron pens and Higgins black ink. His characters, mostly fantastical – mermen, centaurs, wizards and the likes – tend to sport impressive mustaches, a feature which Hsiung himself has come to be recognized with.
Sometimes prized for his mustache, othertimes prized for his art, Hsiung ensures his drawings have an element of wonder, as well as a humoristic edge. Describing himself as an “Asian bum with a mustache who draws pictures,” he admits he’s always been interested and fascinated by mythology, fantasy, and cryptozoology.
“It probably started with learning about dinosaurs and Greek Gods that sparked it which later developed into comic book collecting and playing Dungeons & Dragons,” he reflected in an interview with Another Fine Mess. “I guess it wasn’t really until I got settled back in LA and drawing that I started ‘researching’ again at my day job at the time. I’d start printing out tomes of stuff from the internet of unicorns, krakens, centaurs, and stuff… take them home and read it. Naturally, when I started drawing I gravitated towards trying to incorporate these influences, passions, and interests into some of my stuff, which eventually lead to centaurs, satyrs, and mermen.”
“Generally speaking, I use the internet as it relates to art-making mainly for research and stuff like that,” he adds, explaining his research process. “Sometimes I’ll find images to reference or just research some articles I’ve read, which usually leads me to other interesting finds. Sometimes I’ll compile image folders of things I just basically find interesting. I may use them in drawings or I may never have any use for them.”
A creative at heart, Hsiung admits that being an artist has greatly affected his personal life in many positive ways. “I’ve finally found something I enjoy doing, that gives me confidence, and has allowed me to meet new and interesting people!” he says.
Follow his creative journey on Instagram: