Samuel “Sho” Ho

Samuel “Sho” Ho

Samuel “Sho” Ho is an illustrator and founding partner of industrial design firm Palette Industries in Calgary. He earned his Bachelor of Design from the University of Alberta, and got into commercial illustration by creating T-shirt graphics for local companies in between design projects. His work has been shown in major pop-art galleries in LA, New York, San Francisco, and Paris, and he has done commercial work for Marvel, Hasbro, Lucasfilm, and Sanrio.

But Samuel’s career began a year before he finished school. “I started looking for real experience rather than using imaginary clients in my assignments,” he remembers. “I had the right mix of hubris and faith that I could do a project even if I didn’t know how to do it. I made tons of mistakes, but it forced me to learn a lot along the way.”

Samuel’s art has appeared in galleries

in LA, New York, San Francisco, and

Paris, and his commercial work

includes projects for Marvel, Hasbro,

and Lucasfilm.

The thrill of discovery

As his work suggests, Samuel is heavily inspired by iconography and pop culture. He’s also inspired by possibilities — the unknown. “I like to look at images of things, not knowing what they are or what they do, and guess. And 50 percent of the time, I’m wrong. But I’ve already designed something totally new, with a new purpose.”

He’s particularly drawn to the discovery part of design. “I’ll look at a chair and think, ‘There’s something beautiful about this,’ but I don’t know exactly why. So it’s the constant discovery of trying to quantify or capture that.”

The pursuit of good enough

He finds it difficult to separate his artistic and design influences because there are are architects who have an impact on his illustrations, and painters who have an influence on his furniture designs. He says, “I like iconic things, and breaking down the intangible qualities that make them iconic has always been an obsession of mine.”

The belief that he can always learn and grow is one of the things that drives him. “Coming to terms with the fact that being good enough is only a pursuit and not an actual, attainable goal is something that has kept me constantly wanting to learn more and seeking out challenges — no matter how much knowledge or experience I acquire.”

At a glance
Where he is

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

What he does

Illustration and industrial design.

Follow him

Twitter | Facebook

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