The Drawings of Calvin Ho

Calvin Ho is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer based in Hong Kong. Since 1996, he’s been the one-man studio AtomicAttack!, working for a variety of clients such as Nike, Adidas, GAP, and more.


Calvin Ho是一位香港藝術家、插畫師和平面設計師。從1996年起,他便開設了自己的獨立工作室AtomicAttack!,並爲Nike、Adidas、GAP等各種客戶提供服務。

Calvin’s work has two distinctive styles: digital illustrative work with textured layers, and hand drawn pen and ink illustrations. While his digital work is quite well-known, his hand drawn illustrations have been a new development over the past few years. He tells us about how his work process has evolved.


他的作品有著兩種獨特的風格:數碼紋理和筆墨手繪。他的數碼作品已然十分知名,而其手繪的表現風格則是他近幾年來新拓展出來的。他爲我們講述了他創作流程的演進。

Neocha: How has your work process changed?

Calvin: I mainly use pen and ink in my hand drawn illustrations and artwork. I have been cautious in experimenting with digital coloring, and have found this to be more practical when it is for commercial commissions. There always seems to be the need for small adjustments and producing the work digitally is very helpful for editing. I still prefer to be working directly on paper or canvas rather than digitally though. I love trying to retain a certain rawness and imperfection by hand that you cannot replicate on the computer.  


Neocha: 妳的創作進程是如何改變的?

Calvin: 我在大部分手繪作品、藝術類插畫或畫廊參展作品裏,主要用筆和墨完成。在實驗數碼上色方面,我是一直持謹慎態度的,後來發現它在商業項目中更爲實用。它可修改性高,並且數碼化制作對後期編輯來說很有幫助。但相比數碼化實現,我仍更傾嚮直接在紙或畫布上作畫。我愛手繪那種特定的原生和不完美,那是電腦永遠無法模擬的獨特質感。

Neocha: What are some themes and ideas you’re currently obsessed with? What’s something you could draw over and over again?

Calvin: I guess I keep revisiting the themes of night and day, the sun and the moon. I just like it as a metaphor for our personalities, and how we as humans have this tendency to dichotomize – like the fleeting emotions of love and hate, introverted and extroverted characters, and our nature to view things as black or white. I have this affinity to express issues with dualities of past and present. Coincidentally my Chinese name is Ming, which is also comprised of the Chinese characters for Sun and Moon.


Neocha: 妳最近著迷于哪些主題和靈感?妳會反複畫的東西是什麽?

Calvin: 我想我會反複探尋日與夜、日與月的主題。我正是喜歡以此象征我們人類喜歡用二分法看待事物的個性。正如愛與恨,內嚮與外嚮、以及我們生來好用來定性事物的黑與白。我執著于以過去和現在的二元性來展現問題……巧的是,我的中文名是“明”,正是“日”與“月”的結合。

Neocha: What are you currently inspired by, and what inspired you to become a designer or illustrator in the first place? 

Calvin: I keep comparing my work to music and this is usually what inspires me the most. It’s a bit hard for me to explain. Just like a musical score, it is a melting pot of different instruments, varied notes and compositions, and it can take a person on a short journey somewhere. I am also inspired by meditation and where this can take me for that day. I can shut the voice of my ego and it helps me to stay calm in times of stress and daily obstacles. I read a lot and I love good stories. I guess I can say I am not too good with words and respect writers who can make me fall into their world. I am very much a musical and visual person and find it amazing how writers can do the same with words, especially when they combine them together with pictures. That is why I love manga so much, especially classics like Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha, Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life, and some darker stories from Suehiro Maruo and Junji Ito.


Neocha: 最近激發妳靈感的是什麽?最初又是什麽啓發妳成爲一名設計師或插畫師的?

Calvin: 我總是將我的作品比作音樂,而這也是最爲啓發我的地方。這很難解釋,就像樂譜,它是一個將不同樂器、各種音符、曲調混合的熔爐。我被冥想和當天它引領我抵達的境界所啓發。我得以屏蔽掉內心自負的聲音,幫助自己在遭遇壓力和日常問題時冷靜下來。我大量閱讀,熱愛好故事,但我對用文字表達並不在行,因此我敬重那些能讓我沈迷其書中的作家。我是個相當音樂或視覺型的人,然而我發現作家們可以用文字替代音樂和視覺帶來同樣效果,特別是圖文並茂的那種。這就是爲何我很喜歡看漫畫,從經典系,比如手塚治蟲的《佛陀》、辰巳喜弘的《漂流人生》,到丸尾末広和伊藤潤二的暗黑系故事。

Neocha: Stylistically how have you changed? 

Calvin: I have two very different styles. One is produced digitally and the other is hand drawn. I guess the medium does influence how I create an idea or how the work is born. For digital, my approach is more like painting as I use ready-made existing images and textures from random photos and I build up the work as paint. It’s never planned and I trust that something will develop from that. It is a scarier process but having the luxury in digital platform the paint never dries so I can craft and fine tune as I please. I have been developing this digital style for over 12 to 15 years now and it has had the most exposure and recognition.

A few years ago, I started to explore hand drawing again. For me, drawing is so much more personal and closer to my heart. I don’t think I’ve completely dropped the digital work but I am just following what inspires me right now and to create work and try to be push myself to new ways of expression. 


Neocha: 風格上妳是如何轉變的?

Calvin: 我有兩種不同的風格。一種是數碼創作,另一種是手繪。我想介質確實對我的創作靈感或作品誕生産生了影響。在數碼創作中,我的方式更像是繪畫,我從隨機的照片裏找現成的圖片和紋理素材,再像繪畫一樣將作品構建起來。這些創作就是這樣順其自然地發生了,並沒有預先的計劃,我相信它仍能形成不錯的東西。它是個刺激的過程,但數碼的好處就是畫作永遠不會幹掉,我可以任意添加或微調。我發展這種數碼風格已有超過12到15年之多,因此它已經得到了最大程度的曝光和認可。

幾年前,我開始重新探索手繪。手繪可以說是十分個人且更貼近我內心的東西。我並不認爲自己徹底放棄了數碼創作,我只是在追隨一種當下所産生的靈感並進行創作,試圖促使自己找到新的表達方式。

Neocha: What would be your fantasy project?

Calvin: I have been quite lucky, as a kid I’ve always wanted to have a record shop and produce my own magazine, both of which have come true in my lifetime. As most designers who are also into music would agree, working on a record label is a dream come true. Most of my own goals for professional or personal projects have come true. What now? Maybe a bigger exhibition of my new works would be nice. I also want to work on a game with my illustrations and to make characters into toys both of which I am working on right now. I have also wanted to make my own music.


Neocha: 對妳來說什麽是夢想項目?

Calvin: 我嚮來還算走運。小時候我一直想擁有一家唱片店、做自己的雜志,而這兩者此生都已經實現了。正如多數喜歡音樂的設計師都會贊同的,能與唱片廠牌合作簡直是美夢成真。我自己的職業或者個人目標其實大多都實現了。現在呢?一場更大型的作品展會不錯吧。我還想要用自己的插畫做成一個遊戲,把遊戲中的人物做成公仔,這兩樣我目前都正在嘗試中。除此之外,我還想創作自己的音樂。

Neocha: What are you looking forward to?

Calvin: I have just completed a commission for a private collector and have a few others lined up which will keep me busy. Also building slowly towards a collection of small sized drawings that hopefully will run as a series towards my upcoming exhibition and want to also focus on a series of larger works. I’m looking forward to moving into a bigger studio space so I can create more diverse work.


Neocha: 妳接下來有什麽期待和計劃?

Calvin: 我剛剛完成了來自一個私人收藏家的項目,接下來我的時間表還被其它一些項目填充著。同時我也在逐步完成一批小幅手繪作品,希望這些作品可以作爲一個系列在我即將到來的展覽中展出。我也想要集中精力創作一個稍大幅的作品系列。但願可以搬到一個大點的工作室,這樣我就可以創作更多的多樣性作品。

Website: atomicattack.com
Instagram: @atomicattack

 

Contributor: Jia Li


網站: atomicattack.com
Instagram: @atomicattack

 

供稿人:Jia Li