Gift Guide For Music Nerds: 10 Quick Questions with Kevin Tong

by Gordon Elgart on December 16, 2009


Kevin Tong is a favorite among much of the crew here at Spinning Platters. We aggressively shopped his booth when we discovered him at Flatstock last year, and his output is consistently top notch. If you’re still looking for the perfect rock posters to buy the music nerd in your life, you can’t go wrong with Kevin Tong artwork. We asked Kevin if he would answer some questions for us, and he graciously agreed.  Read on, and then go visit his site to see more.

Spinning Platters:  What was the first work of art you did for money?

Kevin Tong: I did a children’s book called The Earth Machine. That was the first thing i did and I did it while I was still in college.

SP: What are your favorite places to visit when you’re on the road selling posters?

KT: I love Chicago and Austin. Every place has it’s charm though and I certainly haven’t been everywhere. Los Angeles is a really cool place to sell stuff because lots of people buy things.

SP:  Who are some other artists you’d like everyone to know about?

KT: Harry Diaz, Justin Parpan, Rick Reese, Garry Booth, Ryan Milner, and others. Ivan Minsloff cranks out more great posters than anyone I know and not  many people have heard of him

SP: When you make a rock poster, how does the artist’s music affect your art?

KT: Don’t tell the bands, but sometimes I listen to another band and get influence unintentionally. I used to try to make the posters a literal interpretation of the bands lyrics, but these days, I go with a poster that feels like the band, but may not necessarily reflect anything in their lyrics.

SP:  What are your favorite guilty pleasures (in art or music or anything else)?

KT: I get made fun of for liking Jimmy Eat World a lot. That is the only super poppy band I listen to. I only like Clarity though, the rest of the albums are ok. Clarity is phenomenal.

SP:  Listening to any music these days that you’d like to recommend?

KT: Phoenix‘s new album is awesome. Mumford and Sons is cool. Why? is beautiful.

SP:  What secrets might we learn when you have a Wikipedia page?

KT: I don’t know. I talk a lot and don’t have too many secrets. People ask me stuff and I just tell them.

SP: Could you talk about any of your projects you have outside of the poster world?

KT: Sure. I am currently working on promotional work for Panasonic and an international credit card company. Half of my work is from freelance art. Doing some package design for a sugar company. That’s about it. I have big plans to purchase a flatscreen TV later today. 42 incher.

SP:  What do you do to keep from repeating yourself?

I don’t do anything. Repeating myself is boring. By default, I try to do different things, challenging things. If the poster was easy, I didn’t do my job. I have instances and imagery I repeat, but I try to keep other aspects fresh.

SP: What are your favorite posters from your own portfolio?

I always like the latest thing I did the most.


Enjoy this gallery of Kevin Tong posters. See more of his artwork, and buy some for yourself at his website, Tragic Sunshine. If you prefer to shop in person, Kevin will be at Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco this weekend as well.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

More Posts - Website - Twitter

Read Also:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

David Price December 17, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Excited for flatstock this year, gunna bring an extra large tube!!!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: