image of two women by jasu hu

5 & 3/4 Questions




1. Describe yourself and your work.

I’m a 24-year-old Chinese girl who lives in New York and works as a freelance illustrator. I draw illustrations for magazines, newspapers, and other different clients. I’m an actor representing different emotions of characters or myself, by using my brushes. I think my work is conceptual, but most of the time it is emotional.

2. How did you get started?

I loved drawing as a kid and then just kept following my passion. When I was in art college, I wanted to be a comic artist, a graphic designer, a painter, etc. I’ve tried many things, but finally I chose illustration because I think it’s the best way to represent my emotions through images. I went through the MFA illustration program at the Maryland Institute College of Art. At that time, I got really inspired by John Hendrix’s editorial workshop, which might be the biggest turning point for me, getting me started in the editorial word. So I moved to New York after graduation, with a passion of for illustration and zero connections—jumping at every single commission, hanging in there, and keeping drawing!

two illustrations by Jasu Hu, on the left is a child watchint TV, on the right is the illustration for the review of

3. What piece of work best represents you and why?

It’s hard to pick one among all of my works, because every image is a part of me. I respect every emotion that I had and put into the art. It’s kind of like acting. I get different scripts and roles from the director and feel their emotions, but always put in my own thoughts and ways to play it. If I really have to pick one, I would say that the one I relate to most is the one I did for the New York Times with art direction by Matt Dorfman [above right]. It’s a book review illustration for Elizabeth Strout’s novel My Name Is Lucy Barton. Strout is one of my favorite authors, and more importantly, I felt the same emotion as the title character feels.

4. What are you into currently?

Recently, I have been really into the work of some Asian film directors, like Hirokazu Koreeda, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Edward Yang. I love the way they tell stories.

illustrations by Jasu Hu, on the left is a woman behind a chain-link fence; on the right, a woman and a man talk on the phone

5. What are three things you’ve learned that young creatives should know?

1. Try everything you want and don’t be afraid of losing. Everything you do will eventually come back to you.

2. Never stop learning and figuring out the connections of your abilities.

3. Enjoy solitude.

Illustration of a girl imagining bird, by Jasu Hu

5¼. Favorite color? Black and blue.

5½. Favorite website? Nippon Colors, Patternity, Arch Daily, Pinterest.

5¾. Pet peeve? Messy spaces, spicy food, and scratching sound.

March 31, 2016

Illustrations: courtesy of Jasu Hu