Location: 2019 Lightbox Expo
Interview Date: 9/12/2019
Anime Herald: I assume most people ask you about your art or art training. I’m more interested in how you paint your cats.
Kenny Vo: (Laughs) I guess for me these are some of the places I like to go, or things that I want to do. I kind of want to put them in those places, and try to imagine the feeling and the atmosphere in the areas.
Anime Herald: I see that at the beach he likes to roll around the hood. Is that true to life.
Kenny Vo: 100%. That’s a still life.
Anime Herald: What do you think the cat was thinking about when staring at the store front?
Kenny Vo: I think he just wanted a bite to eat.
Anime Herald: How do you create these pieces? What’s your process?
Kenny Vo: I usually spend a week or two just gathering reference and being inspired by things and setting up the idea before any pen touches paper. After that I’ll do a quick rough sketch and try and get the blobs where I want them to be. Get the placement for the composition and story. From there it goes pretty quickly. I’ll finish a painting in about a day or two. Usually, after all the planning, it’s done. I kind of block it all out.
Anime Herald: For this level of detail that’s pretty impressive.
Kenny Vo: Thank you.
Anime Herald: When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
Kenny Vo: Once I figured out I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore.
Anime Herald: How late in the game was that?
Kenny Vo: I was two years into college. I hated it. I was doing fine, but, I’ve always been drawing since I was a kid. I wanted to do that. Eventually I moved out to California to pursue schooling at Brainstorm. From there I got picked up and mentored by James Peck. From there I’ve been doing art on my own.
Anime Herald: Which one of the most recent of your works?
Kenny Vo: The Ramen Shop. I did this one last week.
Anime Herald: When did you first have the idea for it?
Kenny Vo: A week or two ago. I was gathering reference. I went to eat a lot of ramen for this one. I wanted to paint it out. The idea was I wanted someone to look at it and smile and want to hang it on their wall.
Anime Herald: Is ramen very important to you?
Kenny Vo: Extremely. Almost too important.
Anime Herald: Is there anything you’d like to our readers?
Kenny Vo: To aspiring artists out there, practice your foundations and really understand the basics of art. That way, any art you come across, it will pull you through.
Anime Herald: Any thoughts on Lightbox Expo?
Kenny Vo: It’s been amazing. Extremely well coordinated. The talent here is off the charts. The best in the world are here. It’s been a super inspiring place to be.
Anime Herald: Thank you for talking with us.
Kenny Vo: Thank you.