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art & design

Interview

Seonna Hong

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Selfportrait

Seonna Hong


born: 11/24/73 Brea, California
schools: California State University Long Beach
hobby: Open Houses
pets: Violet the cat
favorite music: Cat Power, Blonde Redhead, Devics, Air, Stereolab, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Outkast, Cesaria Evora, Bjork, Guns 'n Roses
movie: City of Lost Children




© Seonna Hong
 

Interview With Seonna Hong


By Adam Szrotek

Please tell us about your origin.

I am a second generation Korean-American, born and raised in Southern California.

Do you think that it (your origin) had a big influence on your style?

I'm not sure... I remember discovering Hello Kitty when I was a kid and it was like the sky opened up and the angels sang... but I also remember all of my other friends having the same reaction and they weren't Asian. This is like one of those "chicken before the egg" kind of questions for me.

How soon have you noticed you wanted to "do" art?

Ever since childhood... it was just something I could do... I could never play sports very well (running and kicking the ball at the same time is much more difficult than it seems)... but I was always able to connect what I saw with what I could make my hand do.

Has anyone encouraged you to do that?

My father is an architect and my grandfather a calligrapher (a traditional Korean art), and so growing up I was always told that I took after them. My mother encouraged me by paying attention to my interest in art... birthday gifts were often some sort of art supply... she signed me up for art classes... let me draw all the time (waiting for my sister at the orthodontist... so I would stop fidgeting in church...)

Do you have any formal art training?

I graduated from Cal State Long Beach with an Art degree and when I taught art to kids, the instructors went through more training that was very classically based. I would say I've gotten the most painting "mileage" while being in the animation industry and am still learning and figuring things out.

What is your favorite medium? Do you use any special techniques?

I don't have a favorite medium... my favorite thing to do actually is to switch it up every once in a while.

What is your definition of art? Why, do you think you do it?

Art is an appreciation of the aesthetic. That's why I find beautiful and artistic things in anything from paintings... architecture... fashion... food packaging... The reason I'm an artist is because I can't kick a ball and run at the same time.

Do you think that art can change the world or at least help with it?

If art is able to convey or communicate an idea... no matter how big or small... light or heavy, then I always think that's a good idea. Communication is a good thing.

What is your biggest fear?

Rejection.

Do you remember the day when you met Tim?

Yes. My best friend introduced us.

Do you think you inspire each other?

Yes and no. We inspire and support each other, but there are many other aspects that are very different from each other. We have consciously made very different choices in our careers.

We mostly find girls in your works. What happened to the boys?

Boys outfits aren't as good.

Does your life evolve around you art?

I think that being an artist is definitely a lifestyle, not just a career. There are positives and negatives to that... there are days when it would be nice to leave the workday behind... I've also got a daughter now and family has become even more important. So including finding time to make art, I try to balance that with finding time to run in the sprinklers with my little girl.

Tell us about Monster Toys Project (Qeedrophonic and Kaiju Projects).

Qeedrophonic is a project that involves a Qee figure that is given to different artists to come up with their own interpretation. Neo-Kaiju is a project that involves artists re-interpreting a Japanese monster as well as their own companion design. Both were super fun and it was a new challenge to think in three dimensions.

What is the easiest way to make kimchee?

Call and ask Grandma nicely.

Seonna Hong
Interviewed by Adam Szrotek

 

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Seonna Hong

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