Interview with Karen Hsiao
q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.
a) I was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Art Center College of Design with a BFA in illustration; I was first and foremost a painter. I never really took any classes on photography; everything I’ve done in my photos was pretty much self-taught.
q)How would you describe your work?
a) Antique photos infused with modern photography.
q) Did somebody encourage you to become an artist?
a) Yes, I was fortunate enough to have extremely supportive parents.
q) What is your favorite medium?
a) At the moment I have to say my camera and my Mac computer.
q) Can you describe your process, from the seed of an idea to a
a) Whenever I get an idea I like, I would write it down in my journal and start on building the set. Then comes the actually shooting, and the rest in photoshop.
q) Generally speaking, where do your ideas come from?
a) I’m not exactly sure, it just kinda happens, most of the time randomly.
q) How long does it take to complete a piece?
a) It really depends on how inspired I am, it can range anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.
q) Who are your favorite artists. and who are some artists you are
currently looking/listening to?
a) Helnwein, Lucian Freud, Odd Nerdrum, Loretta Lux, and many more.
q) Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?
a) At the moment I’m not represented by any one gallery. My first two person show with my boyfriend Louis Fleischauer will be in Nov.26~Dec.6 2007 at the Vanilla Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. And another group show at the Corey Helford in Los Angeles in Oct. 2008
q) Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain
types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?
a) I love listening to audio taps while I work, it helps me to relax.
q) What is your favorite a) taste, b) sound, c) sight, d) smell, and e)
a) I’m really into anything that is slimy, wet, and oily or has 8 legs; don’t ask me why, I have no idea where it comes from. lol.
q) When have you started using the internet and what role does this
form of communication play for you, personally, for your art, and for your business?
a) The Internet is great way to get your art out and be seen, plus I’ve met so many great artists and am contently discovering new ones.
q) What do you obsess over?
a) LOL, my photos.
q) Do you have prefered working hours? Do you pay attention to the time of the day or maybe specific lighting?
a) I am a total night owl, I don’t really sleep. I usually shoot from 2pm~whatever hours of the day, than stay up all night working. My bedtime is probably 5am or so.
q) Do you do commissioned works?
a) Yes of course!
q) Any tips for emerging artists?
a) I think an important thing to remember is to create art you like and for yourself and not to loose sight of who you are in means to please other people.