Filtering by Tag: Houston

Latest Project: Alief For Life / Alief Till I Die

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

Whenever someone finds out I'm from Houston, they usually ask, "Do you think you'll ever go back?"

I mean listen, we live in a crazy world and I don't know when my time will be up on this Earth, but I hope my body will find its way back to Alief. That's all I can ask for.

And hey, is this endless repping of Alief and Houston getting old? I don't know, but every time Jay-Z shouts out Brooklyn, I don't really care and I live here, and whenever Beyoncé shouts out Houston, I lose my mind and throw up the Cougar paw, so I'll continue repping Alief for life

And that's how I ended up with these two designs. Drawing inspiration off the official Alief logo, I wanted to say what I've been saying for a while, "I will rep Alief until I die," so I sketched this out in Procreate during the 2018 State of the Union address.

Alief Til I Die, digital. 2018

Alief_Till_I_Die_V1.1

My new roommate brought up the good point that maybe it's not a great idea to bring up death with a school district. I mean, Alief is a town, but she's not wrong. So I made this to balance things out.

Alief For Life, digital. 2018

alief-for-life_procreate_180216_nh_v1.0

I intended to print these onto shirts and bags for my eventual store, which was called "Never Change" at the time (Sidenote: When I brought this up to my internship-day friends, June and Haywood, they roooooooooasted me), so I got a sample tote and it looked fine, I guess (Sidenote: These aren't the official totes, the design was printed on too low), but I decided it'd need to be on two separate bags instead of a double-sided bag, so I gave it to my high school geometry pal, Christi, who was in town.

I hope I live a little longer, but when I die, bury me underneath the Alief store.

Grim Sleeper. 2018
Alief Cemetery: A Texas landmark

Latest Project: Alief Assemble

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

Did you hear? I'm from Alief, Texas.

I went to Heflin Elementary School for six years, O'Donnell Middle School for three years, and Alief Hastings High School for four years. I'm a lifer and one time well into or after college, we had a Heflin Elementary School reunion. I'm told that's weird, but Alief is just a weird, special place.

Some famous alums include Beyoncé (for a semester at Elsik), Rashard Lewis, Tila Tequila, Michael and Martellus Bennett, and I wondered what would happen if every school combined forces and work as one instead of having dumb high school rivalries (Elsuck, amirite?). Like if all those alums except Tila Tequila got together to do something great. It'd be pretty awesome. Like, the Alief's first school, Alief Hastings High School, has the Fighting Bears, and the rival sister school, Alief Elsik High School, has the Mighty Rams, the newest school, Alief Taylor has the Roaring Lions, and Alief Kerr has regular tigers.

Regular tigers? Yeah. I checked.

alief kerr bengal tigers facebook conversation.jpg
 

What would happen if all these schools just…joined forces. Like…literally came together…and protected Alief?

Behold!

I shared this initial sketch of this guy to my good friend and high school prom date Caroline and she named it MegAlief and I thought that was genius so shout out to Caroline.

On a flight back home to Alief for Têt, I sketched this idea in Procreate. It went through different stances, but just standing erect was too ominous and X-Men Sentinel-esque. There was an image I ran across on Tumblr years ago of a kid by Mike Cohen that always stuck with me, so I took his little stance and made it for this robot holding Alief's giant sundial pencil.

alief-assemble_procreate-timelapse_megalief_ipad-pro_180224_nh_v1.0

Once I felt good about the shapes and stylings of the robot, I began on the individual school robots. This was infinitely much tougher.

alief-assemble_procreate-timelapse_bots_ipad-pro_180224_nh_v1.0

After getting the thumbs up from my brother and cousins, I traced the robots in Illustrator.

The Illustrator process: 1. Tracing the Procreate lines // 2. refining it so the angles make sense // 3-5. Color // 6. Shading and stippling // 7. Refining the shades  // 9. Highlights // 10. Thickening stroke

The Illustrator process: 1. Tracing the Procreate lines // 2. refining it so the angles make sense // 3-5. Color // 6. Shading and stippling // 7. Refining the shades  // 9. Highlights // 10. Thickening stroke

Then I sat on these illustrations for months and worked on other stuff while waiting to go back home in May to photograph the four campuses on the weekend so it wouldn't be creepy. It had been a long while since I've been back in the vicinity of Hastings and boy did it bring back memories. Like falling asleep in the back of French class and getting yelled at by Mr. Katre and him telling me I'm no longer allowed to sit against the wall anymore. There were more memories that was always funny to me.

I often go into things and not know how it'll live, but I'd been thinking about opening a store for Alief-related stuff. Like how Kanye West sells socks that says Calabasas on it, except mine says Alief. But with these, I knew I wanted to at least make something I would've liked as a 15-year-old: stickers.

So look out for these on your TI-84s, Alief Seniors Class of 2019!

Latest Project: Houston Astros World Series Champions

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

In October 2017, a corner of the office had an MLB Playoff bracket for $1, so I had the Houston Astros going all the way. I got laughed at for being hometown. Just as I got laughed at when I wore my Astros hat to this Pumpkin Lantern Blaze thing and took the Metrorail back home, which stopped by Yankee Stadium where my Astros lost 1 to 8. But guess what?

Astros won it all. 

And I won $4 instead of $8 because I had to split the pot with some other dude.

(Quick aside: My roommates, my good friend Joe and I sat in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium for the 2015 AL Wild Card game and we got boos, food and slurs hurled at us throughout the entire game. And the Astros won. And that's when I decided I'd root against the Yankees against everything ever for the rest of time.)

Anyway I happened to be in Texas for my other good friend and former copywriter's wedding, so I got to see the parade with my eyes and my other other good friend Caroline.

Here are some pictures to relive the magic.

This year, I filled out an NBA Playoffs bracket at work and guess who I have winning it all?

That's right, the Houston Rockets.

And guess how much money I'm going win?

No, you're actually wrong, I'm the only one who filled out a bracket so it'll just be me. It's a very sad situation.

Latest Project: Alief 4 Life

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

If you didn't know I was from Alief, either we didn't grow up together, or we simply have never talked in person.

So in case you didn't know, I'm from Alief and I've been thinking of making Alief stuff. Shirts, perhaps? Because every time I see someone wearing an Alife shirt, I get real excited and think it says Alief and I get upset and I am tired of it.

I made this and maybe it'll be a neon lamp or something. TBD.

Alief 4 Life

Or I could just screen print my Twitter bio onto a bunch of t-shirts and call it streetwear.

My Twitter bio

My Twitter bio

Latest Project: The Spirit of Houston

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

On Friday, August 25, 2017, just as Hurricane Harvey was en route to Texas, I called home to Houston see if everything was ok. It was projected to hit south of Houston, closer to Corpus Christi so things should've been ok, my mom told me.

On Sunday, as I was coming back from New Jersey, everything fell apart. Harvey swerved north and decided to just sit atop Houston for three days. Three. Days. Three crazy, intense days of flooding.

I watched local news coverage continuously for three days, with my iPad all day at work, and on tv all night. I called, texted and checked social media regularly just to make sure friends and family were ok. I didn't know what else to do from 1,400 miles away, but to donate, ask others to donate, tweet out emergency service numbers, and warn Houstonians not to go into their attics unless they had an axe or sledgehammer. I was feeling restless, glued to the tv, feeling a mixture of heartbreak and helplessness and had to some of the bad energy out, so I doodled scenes that were the opposite of that.

Started with the outline in Procreate

Started with the outline in Procreate

My friend, Thomas Nguyen, who went to the University of Houston with me, then moved to New York City and experienced Hurricane Sandy with me, then moved back home to Houston got unbelievable photos of the flood. With his permission, I used one of his Instagram posts as the backdrop to my next painting, Sam Houston Crossing the Buffalo.

I wanted to capture the essence of why Houstonians make Houston a special place: a diverse city, full of neighbors helping neighbors led by our namesake, Sam Houston.

After spending more than a year only drawing animals in a certain style, trying to paint and draw a human being is very difficult. Especially since my point of reference was Washington Crossing the Delaware.

It took me a few tries. And though it looks nothing like a Leutze, it's still special to me.

I'm making some prints and putting them in the store. 100% of the proceeds go to Houston Food Bank.

Latest Project: HOUSTON

Added on by Nathan Hoang.

I have some paintings and a proposal I need to finish, but this idea popped in my head. This is what procrastination looks like.

I outlined the Sam Houston Monument in Illustrator and placed it on a photo of Houston I took in 2011 when I was on my way to Colorado.

Used the bottom one. Not the blue one.

Used the bottom one. Not the blue one.

I can't resist a good opportunity to run the gradient through some hue adjustments. This is what procrastination tastes like:

City of the Candy, according to Houston's own, Mike Jones.