Kevin Tong is an LA based artist working in comics, designing toys and creating some of the most sought after screen prints on the net. Anyone who’s been to my gaff will know that ‘A Linch Pin Droid’ is one of my pride and joys.
1. What would you say is the most important theme in your work?
I don’t really know. I bounce around and like to play with many themes. Doing the same thing over and over again seems boring to me. I guess things I like to do the most are to make my works narrative and to combine graphic/digital/technical and organic/traditional/gestural elements into one image.
2. What’s most inspiring to your working process?
Everyday life. I usually just dwell on the idea for a week or two before I actually do anything. I think about it as I buy groceries or drive around. Everyday occurrences and objects often spark totally unrelated imagery in my head. When I am done thinking, I have a solid image in my head and the rest is just execution.
3. Have you any strange talents that influence the work you produce or the way you produce it?
I’m pretty good at multitasking. I can work on two or three different projects intermittently, so when i start getting tired of looking at one, I can switch over to another. I like watching movies while I work too, so I get little breaks here and there. I can watch an entire TV show (6-7 seasons) in the course of one project.
4. Which artist of the past would you resurrect to collaborate with and why?
There are many artists I’d love to have met and worked with. One of them is Charley Harper. It wasn’t too long ago they he left us and I wish I had made the pilgrimage to meet him while he was still alive. His work draws from many of the same concepts that inspire my work, yet we arrived at two totally different outcomes with our work. I definitely consider him to be a champion in the field.
5. Do you think your work is understood or misinterpreted and why?
When you start getting into the whole, “My work has meaning and people misunderstand or understand it” you’ve won a grand slam victory in the battle to be as full of shit as possible. I make work from myself for others. I create it and people interpret it.
6. If you could decorate one place in the world what would it be and how would you do it?
I don’t like decorating places. I make work so other people can use it to do their decorating. Does the internet count as a place? If so, I guess I like to decorate the internet with my work.
7. What to date has been your ‘cherry on the cake’ moment and what was it that got you there?
I always like what I am currently working on at the moment. However, it did feel really good when i got to release my R2D2 print “A Linch Pin Droid”. I had spent three months working on it. I couldn’t tell anyone about it and I love Star Wars. That felt really good.
8. What we ask everyone! Does your artistic style influence your underwear?
Not really. I don’t really have a whole lot going on in the personal needs department. I don’t collect things or fancy material goods. My work related possessions are pretty particular. In order to give my mom something to buy for me on Christmas or my birthday, so she buys underwear for me. Since the general public doesn’t see my underwear, I don’t really care what it looks like.
Doodle space, if you feel so inclined!
More info www.tragicsunshine.com
Images courtesy © Kevin Tong