Interview with Kris Chau
q)Tell me something about yourself….What’s your background…?
a)I am from Hawaii and I moved to San Francisco to study illustration. I am trained in printmaking, painting, and drawing. I used to use my TV as a lightbox as a kid, which is how I learned how to draw. I used to pause the cartoons on my videos and trace them.
q)When growing what was the greatest force pushing you towards art?
a)Looking back, I think it was my curiosity towards really cute or pretty looking things. How they got made, how to draw things that looked like that. I traced a lot of books and encyclopedias. My parents also worked alot, so I spent a lot of time by myself drawing.
q)Were you inspired/encouraged by any one person to pursue your craft?
a)Quite the opposite, my parents were very discouraging! They just didn't really understand how artists made any money! And the last thing they wanted was for their oldest daughter to not be able to make a living. So I ran away to art school.
I had some really great professors ( Jack Ford, Ken Rignall, Kent WIlliams ) that really pushed me to believe that I was actually good at what I was doing.
Now I live with a really great illustrator/designer, so he is currently inspiring me to work harder and be better.
q)How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?
a)I would say it looked like pretty chubby girls and what they do or think of when you are not looking.
q)Are certains colours,shapes that you’re drawn to?
a)Yes! Ladies! I love girls, chubby girls, skinny girls, tall girls, funny looking girls, and most of all sleeping girls. I will always be in love with drawing the shapes and curves that women have.
q)What other talent would you like most to have?
a)I wish I was a better designer. These days as an illustrator, most people are also designers. Which really gives you an edge in presenting and controlling your image. I am not very computer savvy and I realize it really limits me in what I can show people or how to get my work out there. Especially with things like the internet. It's like the Wild West, and I don't know how to ride a horse.
q)What’s your favourite mediums to work in/on?
a)Ink. I love Dr.Martem's watercolors and FW acrylic ink. I love how bright the Dr. Marten's are and I LOVE working with a crow quill with the FW acrylic ink. My crow quill I think is my boyfriend. We work well and comfortably together, the mistakes always work out.
q)What artists influence or have influenced you(these need not be visual artists)and how have they done so?
a)Too many to name. Some are my favorite illustrators, Mary Blair is one very important person for me. Dave Cooper, Maurice Sendak and Hugo Pratt are also artists that inspire to create the world my drawings live in. And of course all the current super talented young illustrators I am lucky enough to know.
q)What non-visual art interest you and does this have an impact on your art?
a)Food! Cooking and Eating is very much like drawing and looking. I love food and eating and somehow exploring all these different senses and images through food. Its a world I love exploring as much as art.
q)What do you think about artists using the Internet as a forum for sharing their work?
a)The internet is great! It is everyman's gallery. You don't have to be a certain person to get a show or have a show. And you don't have to be a certain person to gain access to this world. Its all yours for the taking. The wild west.
It will be a sad day if that ever changes.
q)What is your favourite toy,game or other artefact from your youth(and do you still own it)?
a)Sigh, My Yoda 8-ball action figure. When you flip it upside down it tells you your future in Yoda speak. " that future is unclear it is " My high school sweetie gave it to me and Yoda watches me on my desk till today.
q)Got any new projects planned?
a)There are always shows! Next year I will have a tiny solo show in LA at Thinkspace Gallery. I have 2 more bigger painting solo shows at Vagabond Gallery in Philadelphia, and Rowan Morrison in Oakland. And cross your fingers I have been working on a series of skateboards for Foundation skateboards.
q)What advice can you give to other artists to help them improve their chances of survival in this global village we call our home?
a)Keep making what you make because you wouldn't want it any other way. That way the outcome is always what you decided. oh, and nice cool artistic folk no matter where you are tend to find each other. I realize that after many moves to many cities.
a)The adventures of Kavalier and Clay and all Hellboy comics written by Mike Mignola. Yes very nerdy I know. I also like sword books, but I am not naming any names.
a)Right now old girl groups, The Ronettes, the Shangri-La, The Chiffons. There is a podcast right now called Hot Slop/Garage Punk and Surfer Rock and it is the greatest thing to listen to painting.