Tuesday, January 12, 2010

LostBlog.com Exclusive Artist Interview: Kevin Tong

LostBlog.com had a cool interview with Kevin Tong yesterday

Lost Blog: How did you become a fan of LOST?

Kevin Tong: I had seen a few episodes before I was asked to be a part of the Viral Series. Once I signed on, I decided to watch some of the early episodes to get caught up. I got totally into the show and wound up watching every episode, one after the other.

Lost Blog: Describe the details about how you were contacted to do the poster?

Kevin Tong: I was awakened in the morning by a call from 1988 Gallery in Los Angeles. I don’t think I fully understood what I was doing until two or three more discussions with the gallery about the project. I thought he was asking me to do a poster for a show called “Lofts” (I was groggy and couldn’t hear him too well). I told him I had never heard of that show (Lofts) and I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to do it. “Lofts” sounded like some lame reality show. Once I found out it was actually “LOST” not “Lofts”, I was totally on board. I think that was in April.

Lost Blog: What instructions or parameters were you given for the poster?

Kevin Tong: Since I live in Los Angeles, I was able to cruise over to the gallery and talk to them and get really good intel. From the get go, every detail was packaged in “Don’t tell anyone.” It was super secret from the beginning. I was given the “Deus Ex Machina” episode on DVD to watch and review for reference, but I was told to draw a poster that represented that particular incident at the end of the episode (Locke pounding on the Hatch and the light comes on). After that, I submitted the art, it was approved, I signed/numbered them at the gallery, got my portion, and sat on one of the biggest secrets in the poster scene for months. While I was at the Gallery signing them, a man who was in there looking around walked up and asked me if I was signing LOST posters. I was so tight lipped, I tried to pretend that I didn’t know what LOST was and he kept pestering me, almost to the point of aggression. The Gallery staff were laughing the whole time.

Lost Blog: What was your process for developing the poster?

Kevin Tong: I was given the episode on DVD and I watched it a bunch of times. I was really happy to get that scene, because it is the best one in my opinion. I wasn’t fully caught up on the show, but I wanted to make a poster that captured the complexity of that moment. I remembered the part in the beginning of the episode were they showed the game “Mousetrap” being played.

I interpreted that scene as being symbolic of how John Locke’s entire life and all the other characters for that matter, were just part of the purpose of the Island. That, combined with the name of the episode, and the teachings of John Locke the philosopher, led me to believe that the Island had some major purpose and that that purpose was being carried out by the predetermination of certain individuals’ lives, such as John Locke. This personal speculation into the show is the entire foundation for the imagery I developed.

Lost Blog: How did this project compare to your other creations?

Kevin Tong: The only difference in this project versus other projects is the high profile nature and the pressure that comes from the impact of such a project. Beyond that, it was just like doing any other project.

Lost Blog: Besides your own, what is your favorite print from the series?

Kevin Tong: That is tough, all of them are cool in their own way. Also, most of the artists are my friends, so I can appreciate the poster for more than just it’s image. I really like Daniel Danger and Olly Moss’ posters, if I had to pick.

Lost Blog: Who is your favorite LOST character and why?

Kevin Tong: Locke is my favorite character. Most of the characters are really unlikeable, at some point or throughout. Out of all of them, Locke seems the most competent, then Sayid. I just like how he takes action, rather than complain all day.

Lost Blog: Kate or Juliet?

Kevin Tong: Depends. Long term or fling? Kate is more attractive physically, but has a really gross personality (she commits crimes and keeps getting caught and used as leverage). Juliet is not as pretty as Kate, but I could see myself in a more long term relationship if need be.

Also Juliet seems more intelligent than Kate, at least as far as scholarly things are concerned. There’s also man jealousy to be concerned about. Kate is working Jack and Sawyer, two guys you don’t wanna mess with. Juliet, on the other hand, is not as deeply embedded in either man. So I think I could slip in easily, snag Juliet, Jack then goes after Kate, fighting Sawyer and I come out a winner!

Little video by Kevin Tong and Olly Moss

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