Have We Met?: Tevy Khou
Welcome to YB's Artist Features where you get to know more about who is behind Young Blood
· Introduce yourself:
Hello! My name is Tevy Khou. I am the curator of Young Blood, an illustrator & comic book maker. I was born and raised in Long Beach, CA & I went to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. I started YB at first with the idea of it being a collective & then a pop-up show where we split the cost of renting out a space. Now it's expanded to any artist that has got the talent & guts to put themselves out there.
· How did you first get into art?
I’ve always liked drawing & reading comic books. Sometime in high school I wanted to be a tattoo artist but my parents said no to that. So, I did the more expensive thing & went to art school.
· How would you describe your art?
Well, I wouldn’t describe it as cute or whimsical. A lot of my subject matter tends to be about good people doing very bad things.
· What is going through your mind when you are working? Is there anything that you reference or look at? What inspires you?
Depending on the project, I usually look at a lot of comic book artists like Jack Kirby, Taiyo Matsumoto, or old school Frank Miller. Sometimes I reference movies I like or hide easter eggs in there that are inspirations for that specific piece of art. For example, in my comic book Space Punk, the main character has a motorcycle named “Big Trouble” which is a reference to Big Trouble in Little China. If I’m writing my own comic or short story I often extrapolate from my own experiences & throw in a question that the story tries to answer. In Space Punk the big question is: are we the sum of our memories and experiences? If we somehow get them erased, are we the same person? Other times my work isn’t that deep; it’s just made to entertain.
· What is your process/method like? What kind of materials do you like to use? Do you have a specific way of working?
80% of the work is ideation, sketches, & thumbnails. The rest is smooth sailing after that. I mostly work with good ol’ black ink, brush & pens. Black gouache is also really handy if you need the work to be matte & you're covering a lot of the page in black. For color, its digital or if it’s a painting I use acrylic or acryla - gouache.
· Can you talk about something you are currently working on?
Right now I’m working on a new comic book I’m writing & illustrating called Wolf Babe. It’s about a woman who is an alcoholic & starts to have more unexplainable black outs. Turns out she’s a fucking werewolf.
· Any interesting challenges you have faced?
I could go on & on about the lack of diversity & the need to decolonize structures of power just within the artistic community. But I'll save that for another day!
One obvious challenge I've noticed is how hard it is to show at galleries for new artists. It seems like you either have to have the right celebrity buy your pieces or already be dead for anyone to appreciate your work. Artists can also be picky on where they show, who represents them & what kind of people purchase their art. So far the feedback I've gotten from artists are positive on the aspect of putting together the pop-up show. There is something very appealing about independent DIY style shows. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to have your work in a well known gallery though!
· What kind of people do you imagine are looking at your art?
· Who are you wearing?
Right now black Levi’s jeans, a white/red ringer t-shirt from American Apparel, now that they’re on sale I can finally afford them, & white low top Vans.
· What are you listening to right now?
I’m listening to this soul band Love Apple. My favorite song from them is Guess I Always Knew.
· What is your idea of comfort?
Ice cold beer.
· Did you ever have a phase? (Emo, goth, punk, hip hop, corduroy pants)
Punk ain’t a phase man.
But I did have a phase where I ate nothing but BBQ chicken for a whole summer when my family bought a new grill.
· Do you have a life philosophy or mantra? Do you have a favorite quote, lyric or poem?
“My heart is a drunken compass” is my favorite quote & it is also the title to a memoir written by Domingo Martinez.
· What do you do when you are not making killer work? What keeps your sanity?
I like going to the gym & lifting weights. It really clears my head & sometimes I get to explain why women won't turn into gorillas from lifting a little bit.
· When life gets tough, what do you do?
I feel like when life is scary, that’s when you absolutely have to fight. I haven’t been in a situation so far where I’ve surrendered to the circumstances. There’s always a way to fix or change things. I don't know if I'm lucky, naive or just plain stubborn.
· What is something people assume about you that isn’t true?
That I’m straight ;)
· What is your advice for up and coming artists?
Don’t be an asshole.