This week Male Q has an extra special guest artist. Known by many in the Taiwanese Art scene as the “Gay Hipster”, his drawings and comics are funny, bright, and full of color. What makes this week’s artist so special is how he gives us a peek inside the daily lives of gay people like us. Since his premier on the famous Taiwanese talk show “Kangsi Coming”, he has made a big name for himself in Taiwan, and since then has become a sensation in the gay world. With more than one hundred thousand of followers on Facebook, he kindly accepted our request to interview him to give all of us international readers an intro to the kind of work he has been doing.
Can you first give a short introduction about yourself? Your interests, location and work/art experience…
Hello, I am the “Gay Hipster” (假文青). I studied visual design in college, and was born and raised in Taoyuan (near Taipei). My hobbies include taking care of plants and going to design exhibitions. I previously worked in a design company for two years, and am currently in Japan on a working holiday. But actually, I don’t really have a lot of art experience haha.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not drawing?
Sometimes I like to practice Chinese calligraphy, and besides taking care of my plants, I also like to make plants in concrete planters (above). I love shopping in house decoration stores, it helps to make my home feel more like a cozy cafe.
You can see all sorts of inappropriate pictures on Facebook. *Censored But when you post just one revealing photo... *Someone has reported your photo contained inappropriate content* “Someone must envy me - pathetic. Probably because no one loves him so he can only do such a thing to satisfy himself. I am gonna start deleting my friends.”
For those who don’t know your work too well, would you explain what most of your artwork is about?
The topics I try to cover simply surround the common, everyday lives of gay men.
Spots random hot guy! “Your total is 1069.” “Can I get the change?” (“Change” also known as a "bottom" in Taiwan.) “Your bottom (change) is right here.”
What made you interested in male/gay subjects?
I started because at the time there were a lot of illustrators and Facebook fan pages popping out back then, and everyone’s topics were mostly about the little things that happen in life that make readers feel relatable. Things that make people think, “Wow, I am not the only person who thinks like that. ” or “Am I the only one who has come across this situation before?”
Yet, among all of these pages, there were few about gay men, so I immediately decided to go in that direction, and because I had already experienced gay life online for quite a while, so I was interested in doing something like that.
I used to smoke cigarettes after sex. “I smoke the loneliness, not just the the cigarette.” And as time goes by, I started using my phone after sex. “This photo looks great.” “But I want to snuggle T.T”
What’s the source of your inspirations? How do you decide what to draw next?
The source of my inspiration originate from my own feelings at first. For example, I would draw down the struggles I had when I was meeting new friends. I then made a lot of my artwork according to those ridiculous Facebook posts later on, or stories that my friends told me. I usually make up the theme as I go, or right at that moment. I write down these stories and when I feel like doing art I would pick one to create depending on my mood.
A bunch of sexy photos taken, with sweat and testosterone. “I love hardworking men, do they sell cucumbers too?”
How much time do you spend on doing artwork in a day? What’s the general procedure of creating your artwork?
I actually don’t do art every day. In fact, I am typically quite against the idea of doing art. But once I start painting it’s hard for me to stop. Generally, I would make the storyboard first, then put up the text and think of the kind of image that I want to draw, then slowly finish the whole process.
At first you liked each other, he texted you everyday. (Hadn’t yet met each other.) “Baby, did you miss me?” “Absolutely.” “I miss you too, what you’re up to?” “Waiting for you to text me.” “Naughty.” The first date was nice, you felt great talking to him in person, “He looks so much hotter than the picture!” But once he got home, he got the ”He will die if he types too many words” disease. A - “I really enjoyed today.” B - “Ok.” A - “We should do that again.” A - “Alright?” A - “Are you still there?” A - “Are you asleep?” B - “OK, we’ll see...”
Is there a reason why you use yellow as the main color in your artwork?
I wanted my work to be bright and colorful from the beginning, so people can tell right away that it’s my work. And also because I want it to be as vibrant as possible, thus I decided to use orange and yellow.
Unboxing! I got the newest iPhone 6+,the point is, don’t lose focus! Comments: “God, so big, so pretty, I wanna touch it.” “I can't focus… and am all wet.” “Look how BIG the iPhone got!” “I don’t know where to look.” “Are you exchanging muscles for the phone?” (Jiji means dick and muscle in Chinese)
When did your work start to become popular? When did you realize that your work was starting to be recognized?
When I first started it actually went really well, and six months after I started, I was invited onto a Taiwanese talk show called “Kangsi Coming” for the illustrators. I gained so many more fans after that. I started to realize that my work was becoming quite well-known when after I asked someone about the Gay Hipster, that most people either had heard of it or knew who I was talking about.
It’s the season to find a cuddle buddy! To fight the cold weather together!
What do you think the main reason of your artwork become so popular and impactful?
I think maybe it’s because I speak about those “small potato” thoughts that we all have. There were a lot of things I had made and thought they were only my feelings, but turned out to have lots of people thinking the same way. Using my comics and funny ways to tell those things that people are shy to talk about, that’s probably why people find it so relatable.
Want to buy some underwear? $150 ($5USD) (Crowd watches) “It’s the agent here, the model is ready. Go ahead and send out some people to take photos and post it online, all while pretending to be accidentally post hot guys online, then release the it to the news and be ready to go on TV!”
Does your family support what you do? Do you get criticism from your family or friends?
My family has been supportive of my art career the whole time, they let me decide which schools to go to and what paths to go. But they haven’t found out about the Facebook fan page so far, so there’s no criticism from the family at all. As for friends, they are all very supportive!
Love is like playing tug of war with a rubber band. If you let go all of sudden, you will hurt the other person. The best way is to slowly put it down, and no one gets hurt. (Going in slowly and pulling out can also prevent harm.)
What are your thoughts on Taiwanese LGBT community? Do you think your work can make a difference in this?
I don’t really have any thoughts on Taiwanese LGBT community actually, it’s pretty small and you can see them (gay people) everywhere you go, so not much bad. I don’t think I am powerful enough to change the whole community, but I will try to speak up, help out with events and promote equality within my ability.
Girls have a tendency to keep their pregnancy a secret for three months. Boys also have a tendency of keeping a new relationship a secret for three months because… They will break up before then and if they posted so many blinding photos everyday, and everyone saw they were separated, then what?! He’s already got a new one? (Complicated relationships)
Would you like to talk about the board game that you created along with other artists?
I was already leaving for Japan when I received the invitation, so I rejected the collaboration and soon forgot about it. They invited me again after I settled down in Japan, and the person who contacted me happened to be an illustrator that I admired but didn’t know him personally. That’s why when he invited me again, I immediately said yes. He has designed the whole website fabulously, I hope everyone can go and check it out! (Search: “One night lover” on Facebook.)
Which songs do you want me to sing?
A) Raise you hand if you love me
B) You better not think of riding me
C) Can’t seem to hold it D) Flowers have all bosomed
Comments: “Can I just see your microphone?” “I want you! (hug)” “D!!!(On my knees!)” “OMG, hot and talented, perfect!” “C! CCC! I wanna know the truth of C!” “Can you sing, (can you only think of my big d*ck at this kind of night?)” When it's an internet celebrity posting something (Or thinks they are) everyone does this, so do I!
What do you want to do to me? A) Kiss me B) Take me out C) You don’t want to see me D) Die
Comments: “D!ddddddd!!!!!!” “D! No doubts” “D!” “D” “D” “D of course!” “D” “D, where’s mine gone?” “Why are you doing this to yourself?”
Do you have plans for any to release your own books? Do you have any future projects that you would like to share with us?
There’s a good chance that I will publish my works. But I am now living my life in Japan, so the artwork I do has decreased. I hope everyone won’t mind that.
On the bus. You click in the link that your friend sent. "Hmm? A message?" "Hey! This is awesome! Remember to turn up the volume!" "AHHHH~ AHHHHH~" "No! This isn't...." You would want to block that freind...
What do you want to say to those who support you?
I am the kind of person who would have no drive without the applause from fans, so thank you for rooting for me. Without your support I would probably stop illustrating. My biggest pleasure is to see people feel happy after seeing my work. Thanks for all your support!
“Do you want to eat with us? (Average friends asking out on Sunday) “I am busy this weekend.” (masturbating) Hot guys asks you out It’s so annoying to be invited when I am busy, well I guess I can only play games with them and strip them. Comments: “Aren’t you busy? Why didn’t you invite us?” “YOU ARE SO GREAT! PERKS OF BEING HOT.” “Hot guys can make a dick go hard.”
View more of the Gay Hipster on Facebook
Article Translated by: Rozel