Voila~~ Its Friday again and that time of the week for~~~ INTERVIEW! Today's star is a special guest. Special because I've been following his artistic journey like a fan (in a small way) but yet I do sort of know him? (He is my senior in high school and subsequently went to the same art school as I did.) Anthony Chong, better known as Antz is an URBAN ARTIST with a unique illustrative style. Since his early school days, he has competed in the International World Skill Competition and won Bronze in the graphic design category. These days, apart from commercial work and creating toys, he coaches students for the annual World Skill Competition and is also a frequent mentor at Noise Singapore.
Rabbits: As a student studying animation, you won the bronze catergory in graphic design at the 37th World Skill Competition. How did you end up there since both disciplines were radically different?
Antz: Different?...personally I dun feel much of a difference. They are the same...just different application. The principle of art direction and concept still remains the same. As long as the idea looks visually good and its a great concept, it can be translated to animation or a print message.
Rabbits: Did that propelled you into the Urban Art scene upon graudation? If not, how did you manage to go into the field?
Antz: That step i took itz just wanting to move / explore into different mediums and media, self challenging myself to produce a bigger scale and speed. In other words, getting myself out of comfort zone. But of course, much understanding of a new culture and practise is needed, to take a sure step.
Antz's list of clients includes Adidas, Nike, Converse, MTV and many more.
Rabbits: It is said that most Urban Artists such as Banksy are self-taught. Being an Art director and also an Urban Artist yourself, can you give some advice to people who wants to pursue this path?
Antz: There is no rule on how to be something in this field. Just open up your mind and take a bit of guts to explore new stuff. This also applies to performance ARTS such as drama or dance.
Rabbits: Your works are spontaneous with a mix of east meet west style. What is your philosophy towards design?
Antz: As a chinese myself, I took the advantage of accessing my roots and culture and expanding it to my own needs. Well, itz something i can gain most access to. Especially the fact that I grew up in SINGAPORE - a globalized city where i can easily fuse both cultures and hit on it.
Antz work is an ingenious fuse of east meets west.
Rabbits: What are your influences? In what way have they influence you?
Antz: Mostly oriental influences ranging from the great 5000 over years of history of China to South East Asia. Itz very interesting to see how art and culture evolves from one state to another. Example - How art on porcelain evolved along the silk road, and myths of the monkey god changed from indian texts to Javanese history then back to china.
Rabbits: Your illustrtaions and graffiti have inspired so many. How do you keep yourself current (in trend) in your creations?
Antz: I dun really "keep" myself in trend. Just keep moving on and do new stuffs... Exploring into new mediums is very important for me now, as u can never expect how things turn out to be.
One of Antz's life size mural.
Rabbits: If you have to name just one key factor that got you into where you are today, what would it be?
Antz: FREEDOM to express.
Rabbits: What unique projects are you working on right now?
Antz: There is actually quite a handful of stuffs on my hands now, from customizing transformers, to cheong sum designs, to my own line of toys...=)
More awesome stuff can be seen HERE at his blog.