Andrew Hem was born in Cambodia. At 4 months old, his parents fled Cambodia from the genocide and ended up in Los Angeles. By age 12, Andrew started getting into graffiti. He studied under writers like dzeas, rek2, lifer, and zoueh. He continued graffiti for about 9 years getting into nothing but trouble. He got introduce to figure drawing in his last semester at Santa Monica College and knew right away what he was meant to do. At that moment he changed his major and pursued the life of an illustrator.
Influenced by patterns and cultures from his native Cambodia to the diversity of LA, Andrew's illustrations often show groups of uniquely rendered urban characters, entangled or entwined, fluidly moving through still spaces from city streets to decidedly rural settings. A quiet energy permeates his work casting the observer as the observed and then reversing it. Andrew's graffiti years sneak to the surface in his hand lettering which often takes on physical dimensions. Multi-ethnically inspired, and sometimes nonsensical, his dimensional lettering can be seen held in the hands of figures or weaving its way through his illustrations' plots and settings.
An Art Center College of Design illustration graduate, Andrew balances illustration with gallery exhibits nationwide. Clients include Adidas, Microsoft's Zune, Lucky Brand Jeans and The LA Times, and he has exhibited at Compound, Corey Helford, Receiver and Thinkspace galleries among others.