Tony Kern, aka Hoap, is a multimedia artist who's work tugs and twists the imagination to every corner of the mind.  You might know him from his fanciful character sketches with ever expanding heads.  You may know him soon for his custom figurine work - 'Muff Man' - who you can see @hoap_is_not_lost.  Please enjoy Tony's 9.5 questions...I promise you will.

1. Your bulbous head characters (e.g. Muffman) are obviously close to your art heart.  Where did these guys/gals come from?

This indeed makes me laugh. I have often tried to figure out exactly why they came to be the way they are. Basically my inspiration came from a mixture of things. 1st my desire to have a fully fleshed out character I could work with and put in different situations, so many artists I work with or follow have characters they can manipulate and when you see them you thing to yourself "that is such and such how rad." The actual inspiration for the character him/ herself comes from my daughter Aria, she gave me the characters attitude, posture, and general grumpiness.  She has the tendency to be a bit of a tyrant, she isn't always sad or anything like my character, but man when she is pissed you know it! Looking closely at the artists I am around or have met, and who's work I love, the design is obviously a combination of elements from Sugar Fueled (Michael Banks), The Lie (Jay Turner), Jeff Gorski (specifically the body type I used), and Sukka (Dennis Quijano obviously giving me the inspiration for the tattoos I use). I think all art these days, for the people just starting out and most artist generally speaking I suppose, comes from the same sort of place. You take from what is around you, or what you love, a lot of these elements I didn't even take consciously, it just seeped into my work naturally, I love and respect the work of all of those dudes, and it showed through with the character.

2. Some of your material is 'racy' and in my humble opinion, it's some of your best work.  Has anyone in your life ever given you a hard time about that?

Haha have they ever, most of my family barely acknowledges my work in general, but the "racy" stuff never so much as gets mentioned. I think that people in America have a very warped perspective on sexuality and the human form, I obviously take from the much more provocative side of that, but it is still representative of some form of beauty. Americans from what I can see, have made this an issue that shouldn't be an issue at all, the human form is celebrated in other parts of the world, here the majority of people want to treat it like a bad thing that should be hid away from youth and the general public. Seems pretty unnecessary to me, but what do I know? And people wonder why porn makes so much damn money....

3. Short list of living artists you really dig right now.

In no real order (and excluding the guys from Paper Crown, who's works are always on my list of favorites):

Mab Graves (wonderful lady super sweet human, got to see her newest showing in person and it was just incredible! So much talent it's maddening). 

Sugar Fueled (his work inspires me, he has this great way of taking the dark and the light in things and blending them so expertly, plus he is all about the sweets so we share a common interest). 

Buff Monster (clearly he is pretty high on my list of favorite artists, my right arm tattoo sleeve is all based on his work and characters, he is my favorite toy designer period, and he loves ice cream and the color pink whats not to love?). 

Maxx Sterling (Can not describe how awesome this guys work is, complex and gritty, some of my favorite stuff floating around the world right now).

The list goes on and on, but those are my top of the crop people. They all inspire me to no end!


4. You're in a tragic carnival ride accident.  A goose fly into your face at full tilt-a-whirl speed.  You manage to get out of it with minor scrapes and bruises but the part of brain that makes you passionate about art is gone.  What is your 'second favorite' passion you now pursue?

That's a really tough question. I am passionate about a lot of stuff, but not sure any of it would classify as not artistic. I am super passionate about wanting to design and build my own "Tiny House" for me and my family to reside in. We have plans to do this within the next three to five years once we pick a place to firmly settle down. I suppose this would be what I would dump all my effort and concentration into then. 

5. Worst band you've heard this year?  Best band you've heard this year?

hmmmm...... Worst band this year would have to be In This Moment, I like music by female artists, arguably more often than I like music by male artists. This is just the lowest grade garbage around, repetitive lowest common denominator stuff, right up there with Nickleback, Five Finger Death Punch, and Shinedown.... god how I hate Shinedown...

Best band I've heard this year is a tie, Little Hurricane - super amazing, gritty, rock with a country edge, not quite folk not quite grunge but really beautiful stuff, and The Honey Trees - recently saw them live and they were so impressive I was left pretty speechless. They had such a command of their instruments, their performance got so intense at times it was nuts, and they are a really melodic guy/ girl folk rock group, but the way their songs translated into the live realm was epic, and moving, and inspiring. 


6. You know you will survive one of the adventures listed...so fear should not be a deterrent. Which do you choose?  Why?  Great White shark dive expedition...Space Flight...Full backstage access to the Miley Cyrus Bangerz tour (one night).

Um Miley's Bangerz tour of course....... Cause why not... (not really though, I would go into space, there is beauty up there that cannot be matched on Earth). 


7. Favorite cereal as an adult?  Dry or milk?

Franken, and Boo Berry. Always has been and always will be period! Also, milk, cause I'm a god damn adult not a wild animal, or one of my children who prefer dry cereal... Uncivilized monsters...


8. What book, fiction, has left the most lasting impression on you?

I would have to go with The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams is by far my favorite author ( well it is a tie rather, between him and Issac Asimov, it was very hard to pick between the guide and the Foundation series). I love his sense of humor, things are bleak if you ask me most days, and his series captures both the sadness and stupidity that is humanity. Most of the jokes, or social commentary probably go over the heads of the people who only learned of the book via the movie from a few years back. It truely is a brilliant, and even now, still relevant book. I read this book while I was at the height of feeling out of place in high school, seeing that someone else thought everything was kinda bullshit and pointless made me feel worlds better, or at least helped me realize I was not alone, we all know how important that is in that time of life.

9. You have to desert a sinking boat and are able to gather 100 days worth of food and water that will fit in the lifeboat.  There is room for one CD box set...70s classic rock, 80s pop or 90s grunge.  You know there's a solid chance you will die after those 100 days are up.  Which box set do you take?

Not even a contest! 80s Bowie (I know he's been around forever but most of my favorite stuff from him is from the 80s), The Cure, Tears for Fears, the list of things I love from the 80s is so mighty.


9.5 Finish the sentence below:

Art is Humbling

You can find Tony here...




Paper Crown Gallery

All art displayed in this blog is ©®™ by Tony Kern aka Hoap