Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spotlight: Tony Hong (Visual Artist)

Every once in a while, I like to "spotlight" fellow creatives that inspire me.  

Tony Hong is a LA-based artist whose technical skills blew me away when I first came upon his work back in 2009.  While strolling around downtown LA, I entered what looked like a pop-up show.  

I was drawn immediately to these meticulous trees so I rushed to take a closer look... My goodness BunBuns! Couldn't believe my eyes!  Each circle, curve, and line was drawn with painful precision, taking you on a never-ending swirl adventure.  I didn't know where to look, every branch had a story to tell.  I was so inspired!

There are so many interesting elements to Tony's work - one being, I couldn't tell if the artist was male or female.  Flowers, swirls, was the artist a chic?  Yet the trees weren't overly feminine.  The work reminded me of art nouveau; I could see some graffiti elements; and it certainly had pen and ink qualities.  

What I love about Tony's work is his controlled obsessiveness.  Every line drawn has a purpose, leading you to another branch of eye candy in his story poem. The closer you look, the more you're drawn in, deeper and deeper.

So I reached out to Tony.  I had to meet this amazing artist!  We chatted on the phone and discovered there was a lot in common.  A fellow Asian artist, his Korean upbringing influenced his art career goals - to make a living as an artist so he can honor his parents and family by supporting them financially.  I empathized with this as my goal was to also one day honor my duties of filial piety.

Tony was so kind, sincere, and genuine, you can't help but like the guy and wish him well-deserved success.  Make sure you stay in the loop for new developments of his work here

1.  Tell us about your art.  What is your art about, the message behind your art?  
Despite the amount of detail, I'd say it's relatively simple pieces when it comes to the ink work.  One color, working in line.  I'd like the process to resonate and speak about the piece just as much as the final image.  Hopefully there's a synergy between the two.  The motifs I use in my work are organic, nature inspired.  Rare to find man-made objects in my pieces. If there are (i.e. birdcages) they're there to highlight the organic.

2. What inspires you? 
I want to share stories.  Timeless and universal are big words but that's what I strive for in my work.  

3. Tell us more about your art process.  
Career doodler.  Line Maker.  Storyteller.  I marinate a lot.  

4. What's coming up for your regarding happenings, new work, art stuff?  
Color.  Figuring out this whole watercolor thing and working it in with ink. 
5.  If you were an animal, what would you be (hybrids are ok)? Why? 
A one winged pegasus... I can't fly straight but I keep swerving to the side.  I'm a bit of a meandering turtle too.  So maybe a cross eyed turtle is what I am.

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