Satan for President: the Mind of Erik Hosino

Have you ever thought about the possibility of Satan running for President? I know that many of you would say that we saw that with either the administrations of George W. Bush or our current President, Barack Obama, depending on your political leanings. Most people probably haven’t considered this concept though. A local artist/illustrator has. He has also created superheroes empowered with the idiosyncrasies that many of us possess not just the standard neuroses found in characters such as Batman or Spiderman.

Sacramento resident, Erik Hosino, finds the humor in everyday life…and death…and shares it in his artwork which is currently on display through December 12th at Temple’s Coffee’s downtown Sacramento location(1010 9th Street). It was at this location which his work came to this writer’s attention. Finding his collection of unique work at a retail location was a pleasant surprise; meeting with the artist in person and learning more about him and his thought process was a joy; visiting the website he maintains featuring his art work and his real job creations is a pleasure

Hosino comes across as a quiet, unassuming individual who, if you passed him on the street, you probably would take little notice of. His appearance fits well with his day job as a graphic designer for a company in Rancho Cordova. You may not know his name, but if you have seen the ads for the local grocery chain named for the field where the Sacramento Rivercats play, you have seen his work. When asked which person is the real him and which is the Clark Kent cover identity, Erik said, “That as much as I have grown to like my day job and the ability to create with it(not to mention paying the bills), my true self is the creator of the works on display at Temple.”

The work on display is a mixture of the Far Side humor of Gary Larsen and the bizarre world of Tim Burton. “My illustrations are like Larsen’s work, a way to laugh at the more awkward, even darker, parts of life,” the artist said.

While he would love to be able to free-lance full time and work on his illustrations, Hosino works at his nine-to-five job to support his wife of eight years, Chloe(“my muse,” Erik admitted), and his now two month old son, Felix. The artist has only started over the past couple of weeks to start to find time again, usually late at night after his son is asleep, to get back into the groove of creating new works. He had taken time off since the birth of his son to learn the demanding skills of being a first-time father.

When talking about the support and inspiration of his wife, Erik said that she is both a general muse and also provided him with situational inspirations(carefully disguised for plausible deniability) for his works of art.

As a younger man, Hosino had created a group of second-rate powered superheroes as an art class project. The idea was brought to the attention of Comedy Central who were interested in the concept, but a young man’s folly blew the opportunity. The characters were not lost though; they can be seen on a second website maintained by the artist. There currently are four characters on the site, and Hosino does look to add to the roster at a future date.

Another project which continually bounces around in the mind of the artist is an adult picture book based on the concept mentioned at the beginning of this article—what if Satan ran for the US Presidency? An interesting concept which would seem to have great and dark comic potential.

Viewing the work of this gifted artist/illustrator is well worth the trip to the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ existence he has created on his websites. It is also worth your time to take the trip down to 9th and J to see the works on display there.


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