Exciting news! For this week’s interview, our guest is Kevin Hong – contemporary illustrator based in New York and a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.
In this blog post, Kevin shares with us his personal story and some inspiring tips!
So let’s get to it 🙂
Anna: Thank you so much for sharing all this information with your readers today! The first question is probably the most asked by many: At what age have you started making art and what motivated you to keep going?
Kevin: My pleasure! I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember. Originally I enjoyed drawing because it brought me easy attention as a kid. LIke many that started young, I was ‘that kid that draws’ in class. It was nice. My parents were very supportive of me, which helped me to keep at it.
A: That’s amazing! Have you finished any art schools? How important do you think they are?
K: I have. I graduated from the illustration program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. I’m not sure if the tuition costs justified the program. But I will say that the connections I made with peers and former teachers have been extremely invaluable for my career. Some of my first art jobs after school were from those connections.
A: What about your style? How did you develop it and are you happy with what you’ve got so far?
K: I’m relatively happy with my current style, but I always feel like there’s room for improvement.
It took me a long time to develop — I hopped around trying all different kinds of ‘styles’. It wasn’t helpful either when friends and teachers all seemed to have a specific style of mine that they preferred.
Eventually, I had to sit down, go back to the basics and think seriously about what I really loved, and what I really liked. I looked back at the art and media that inspired me the most and took that as a reference to develop what I do now.
A: How long does it usually take for you to finish one art piece? And how many hours per week do you draw on average?
K: It depends. Sometimes it can take from 3-5 days from start to finish. Other times it can take much longer. If I’m working for a client, it can also depend on how quickly a sketch is chosen, how many revisions are needed, etc. I wouldn’t say I have an average drawing time each day since some of my work days I’ll delegate to research (compiling reference, reading articles and books, taking notes). On the days that I do draw, I can draw anywhere from 4-15 hours. If I were to average it out over a week, I’d say something like 3 hours a day.
A: A lot of people on here are new to the art community – do you have any tips for them on how to start selling their art? How did you sell your first art piece?
K: It’s hard to say, since I was very lucky. I had connections that I developed from art school which helped kickstart my career. I have found that posting often on social media and developing connections with other professionals has been extremely invaluable for me. Many of my clients have found my work through social media. Overall I would say just post often on social media, and post work that you’re interested in making. Don’t try to conform to what you think people will like — it’ll just make you miserable.
Don’t try to conform to what you think people will like — it’ll just make you miserable. – Kevin Hong
A: I find that having an artist to admire is very helpful in developing one’s art skills! Who are your top favorite artists?
K: I have many, but some off the top of my head: Moebius, Hayao Miyazaki, Fumito Ueda, Tatsuyuki Tanaka, Kim Jung Gi, Hiroshi Yoshida, and Masaaki Yuasa.
A: How about your most favorite quote? Does anything come to mind?
K: “It is difficult to give any advice to aspiring artists. There are so many things one should say. It’s difficult to be brief. Every artist is different, and good advice for one artist is bad for another. My best advice would be, ‘Be what you must be, and do your best.’ Anything more precise, more specific cannot apply, because everyone is too different.” – Moebius
A: It’s a beautiful quote! Thank you for sharing it! Time for the big question: what is your big dream for your art career?
K: At some point, I want to create a long-form story. Maybe in the form of an animation or a comic. There are a couple stories that I’ve been developing that hopefully one day I’ll be able to fully realize.
A: Wow! We are looking forward to reading/watching it! Let us know when it’s ready and we would love to write a story about it here on yourartpath.com! For now, though, where can our readers find more about you and your art?
A: Awesome! Anything else you would like to share with our readers? (anything at all! It could be something motivational, some more tips or info, ideas or wishes.)
K: This was from an older interview, but I still believe wholeheartedly in this advice: The key to making interesting work is to make work that you find interesting. Indulge in what you enjoy creating, and try not to sabotage that by making work that ‘conforms’ to an industry or a field. If you make work that you really enjoy and work hard at perfecting your craft, then you will find clients who will commission you for being you.
The key to making interesting work is to make work that you find interesting – Kevin Hong
A: Amazing advice, Kevin! That would be all for now! Again, thank you so much for your time and agreeing to share all of this amazing information with us!
K: Hope this helps! Cheers 🙂
I truly hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed interviewing this talented artist! What is it that stood out the most to you?
Good luck on Your Art Path,
– Your Art Bud! 😉
Also, comment down below what’s your favorite art piece by Kevin Hong?
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