13 x 2013: Martin Hsu

WHAT: 13 Creators to Look Out for in 2013. The challenge was simple: Identify 13 x Artists / Creators / Designers who will be taking the year two thousand and thirteen by storm, and quiz them! About half of them were also nominated by their fellow practitioner in this endeavor, so it'll be a swell mix indeed! Read what they have to say, and check out the URL-links to their sites to check out more of their works!

Introducing: Martin Hsu!
BIO: Martin Hsu is a horse and two fish, of Chinese blood and Taiwan born. He draws inspiration from nature, animals, blush in the young, and wrinkles in the old. He is grateful for the road that's been paved by ones before him, and hopes to express his gratitude by taking each step firmly and respectfully. Above all, he loves his family, honors his heritage, treasures his friends, and misses his dog.
/////////////////////////FLASHBACK FIVE/////////////////////////

TOYSREVIL: Describe how 2012 has been for you, in thirteen words!

MARTIN HSU: Momentous Dragon Boy US Taipei Singapore STGCC Overwhelming Love Gratitude Fans Friends Family


TOYSREVIL: What is the one thing folks might not know you did in 2012.

MARTIN HSU: For those who might be interested to know, I funded the production of Dragon Boy designer vinyl toy from start to finish entirely out of my own pocket. I'm certainly not the first to have done so, but it's something I'm extremely proud of.

Dragon Boy is a complex figure that comes in about 13 different parts made from a mixture of soft vinyl and PVC with posable head, arms, and hands. In all honestly, not cheap to make.

With my friend Vince's help, we are still trying to complete this incredible task. We both had a dream to chase after and figured no time is better than now. My gratitude runs deep for those who have supported our little boy in dragon suit in 2012. Please keep an eye out for him in 2013 with exciting new colorways and friends!


TOYSREVIL: Share with us your most triumphant moment in 2012.

MARTIN HSU: I had the privilege and honor to hold my first personal art exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan in August 2012. It's not only the place I was born, but where my most beloved friends and family still reside. Without a doubt, the most triumphant moment in 2012, if not in my entire life so far, was when my 95 year old grandfather traveled to see my art show, purchased a Dragon Boy design vinyl toy, and asked me to sign it for him. It was one of the most emotional and powerful moments in my life.


MARTIN HSU: Also, below are a couple of short video documentaries that were made for the Dragon Boy show in Taipei:

TOYSREVIL: What is your most favorite toy or piece of art you've seen in 2012?

MARTIN HSU: As some of you may know, I'm a huge Studio Ghibli nut. My personal favorite toy that I got for my collection in 2012 was a wooden figure of the robot from Laputa. I got this little guy from my visit to the Ghibli Museum back in February. I also spent a few hours sketching up this special experience which you can take a look here.


TOYSREVIL: Which is your single most favorite non-toy-related website in 2012.

MARTIN HSU: Well, other than my personal site and Toysrevil, I'd have to say www.uniqlo.com/us. Not just for its affordable fashion, but in aesthetic and design. I find it to be very inspiring.

/////////////////////////LOOKING FORWARD/////////////////////////

TOYSREVIL: What is that one single word you would use to describe what you expect in 2013?


TOYSREVIL: Which artist or toy-brand's work are you looking forward to the most in 2013?

MARTIN HSU: I'm really looking forward to see what my buddy Mas Shafreen AKA Wanton Doodle comes up with in 2013! Mas is an amazing designer and illustrator. He's also a master at doodling which is something I have a really hard time doing. We had lots of great conversations about art and life during my short visit to Singapore at STGCC. I believe his style will translate naturally into a vinyl figure or any other medium. Watch out for him!


TOYSREVIL: Are You A Jedi Master or A Sith Lord?

MARTIN HSU: Definitely Sith Lord. Black is timeless and slimming!

TOYSREVIL: Better to Tweet It? or Instagram It? or Facebook It?

MARTIN HSU: ALL OF THE ABOVE. What better way to put your artwork out there for the world to see! Take advantage while we can still afford it! Follow me!




TOYSREVIL: Describe your own work/art in thirteen words.

MARTIN HSU: Nostalgic guardians of the strong and innocent inspired by family, heritage, and pride.

TOYSREVIL: What should folks look out from you in 2013? And why?

MARTIN HSU: 2013 will be a good year for Dragon Boy and friends. VTSS and I are planning on releasing the second wave of original colorway for folks who didn't get the chance to get Dragon Boy the first time around. More excitingly, we'll be releasing 4 brand new colorways throughout the year. I've included a super sneak peek of what's to come!


MARTIN HSU: As for Dragon Boy's friend, there are rumors of Blacky, the Kirin Dog might go into production as Dragon Boy's ultimate sidekick. We'll have to wait and see :)

So if you're a fan of original characters and support small businesses, please keep an eye out!

TOYSREVIL: What is that ONE word you hope to achieve for yourself by the end of 2013?


TOYSREVIL: Draw A Self Portrait With You As A "Snake" - interpret what you may!


TOYSREVIL: Martin has been in the art and design biz for a few years now producing his own apparels and art book, but has been more prominent in the "art toy culture" in recent years, especially with his release of Dragon Boy. I feel I need not gloss over his splendid and evocative artwork - which you can simply see by CLICKING HERE to view continued coverage on TOYSREVIL.

As well Martin is a powerhouse in self-promotion, where other artists tend to dwell within their own studio space, and that is extremely commendable as well. In an era of artists flooding the market, steps must be made to have yourself "heard", and Martin does it with aplomb and good grace. *LIKE*