Artist Willie Hsu creates haunting sketches of people and animals that appear as though they’re trapped behind frosted glass. Each eerie shadow drawing incorporates clever shading that makes the figures look three-dimensional, as if they’re trying to reach out from the confines of the page towards the viewer. Human hands and animal paws are rendered with dark, detailed shading to appear as though they’re resting on glass, while a ghostly silhouette of the rest of the body lingers in the background.
“The inspiration behind my artwork stems mostly from a fascination with the afterlife,” Hsu tells My Modern Met. “After that last grain of sand falls through the hourglass, everyone has an opinion about what comes next. Yet no one knows for certain. It’s this enigmatic beauty that fuels my imagination and drives my creativity.” And he admits, “I’m also an avid watcher of horror movies and a huge fan of ghost stories.”
Although the theme of Hsu’s work is dark, the artist uses his practice as a therapeutic way to deal with his own personal experiences of loss, regret, and heartbreak. “I find solace pouring out my deepest emotions and bottled-up feelings onto a blank canvas,” he reveals. “For an anti-social, anxiety-ridden introvert like myself, art is the one true voice I have to tell my story.”
You can follow even more from Hsu’s ever-growing portfolio on Instagram.