Chitchat: Kazu Livingstone

Your Full Name
Kazu Livingstone

Tell us about you.
I’m from South-East Asia. I’m 28. I’m a vector artist. My first vocation was to be a poet, but when I wrote my first novels, I wanted to illustrate them. So I branched out. I do a bit of all styles, realistic, cartoons, but I think I’m more innovative in my cartoons !

When was the first time you fell in love with the digital art world? And why?
When the clouds opened, and the Sun told me “I have a mission for yah”. NAH, joking ! At first I hated vectors, and all things digital. But don’t know why, something clicked and I walked on the dark side (smile). No I’m a self-taught vector artist. I learned in internet cafes, because computers were expensive for me. I colored my sketches with Photoshop.

Computers always crashed out because of their Rams. But I continued on. One day, I discovered vectors were a more reliable medium to re-scale my pictures. So that was it, I learned Adobe Illustrator, and I vectorize ever since. And I bought a computer !!

Where are you located now? Do you wish to be somewhere else at this moment, instead?
I live in Penang, Malaysia. Chinese, Indians, and Malays live together. I like it here. It’s a very fun place with a lot of cultures mixed together. I was raised in Europe, and sometimes I like to learn from Masters from the past. Here is a good place for that, artistically, and philosophically. I would love Malaysia to be more into cartoon fantasies like I am but I will still have to wait for that. Maybe it’s a good thing, it makes me more exclusive.

When I have time, I watch TV to learn about the rest of the World. And dream to travel the Earth.. Or be a Japanese superhero, fighting godzillas and creatures like that.. Ya, dreams suck because they’re pretty much only fantasies…

What makes your works stand-out or different from other digital artist?
I never draw the same cartoon character twice, all drawings I done had always a different face. I love bold shapes, and bold colors, my main goal is to draw different kind of cartoons than what I usually see. I try to innovate, find new techniques, be in-the-know (a little bit), and learn new styles while keeping the core of my cartoon style.

Have you heard/visited www.somethingwelike.com before? Do you have any inputs to make it better?
I didn’t ! But it’s a sleeky cool awesome beautiful pretty great amazing piece of website, lol. Cheers.. My input is: Shine like there’s no tomorrow.

How does working professionally differ from being an amateur in your opinion?
Your profession is like a vessel. Some float like a boat. Some fly like a plane. Some visit new galaxies in a spaceship ! Your studies will help you reach to the sky, but not to the galaxies !

However, you can sink and still breathe if you’re in a submarine ! Keep faith.

If you could meet w/ any artist (one) past or present, whom would it be?
Pablo Picasso. I would have loved to be his friend. His mind was fresh, and he was so innovative. 20th Century was dope.

Who (or what) is your biggest influence?
20th Century cartoons. All of them. I love their textures. I loved the smell of mom’s cooking, while I was laughing to the words of Mickey mouse’s jokes. If when I was little had one asked me who do I want to be when I’ll grow up, I’d have said Mickey Mouse. Now, it’d be one of MY characters !

What do you wish for this new year?
Incorporate music back into my life. These last few years, I didn’t buy any record.. I need it for new projects that I want to do with flash. Otherwise, I wish to be respected by my peers, receive good feedback, be nice, be happy, smile more often… I think that’d be a bunch of nice feelings. Also, I hope to be taller than yesteryear. If I could grow mentally and physically each year by an inch, that’d be great !

Tell us several good online resources for digital artist you recommend visiting?
Facebook, Google +, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. They will tell you the names, the places. Search for the artists… The web, it’s pretty much asymmetric. One day a website is IN, one day it is OUT.

Do you have a style that you relate to the most?
Minimalist art. I would love to do a square in a circle on a piece of paper, and call it art ! But that’s only geometry. Haha.

Can you offer any advice on how to build-up a portfolio / ‘getting your foot in the door’ for our readers wishing to start a career in this line of digital artist ?
Don’t love your work too much. You don’t know how big is your art sense. Maybe you need glasses or something… Be yourself, it’s very important. It is your failures that determine who you are. Also, find the artists who are the foremost in the field, and don’t be afraid to wish to be better than them. Yes ! Everything is possible…. Just put the fittest pictures first. Life is the survival of the fittest…

Name 3 of your favorite (art) books/ magazines.
Pretty much everything is on the web. But: Computer arts, Juxtapoz, Cutout (Asia)

Do you have anyone/company you would like to collaborate/work together?
Takashi Murakami, maybe? .. lol. I would love to see our cartoon characters battle all-at-once in an arena ! All of his against all of mine ! Gawd, I’m so jealous of him… He is an amazing artist.

What are the digital artist equipment(s) do you currently own?
A PC , that I upgrade once in while. I only use a mouse, to draw. An old one.

Name 3 softwares that you use the most, and tell us the function of each them.
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash. All Cs3. I guess you know them. They articulate my imagination. Illustrator to draw, Photoshop to edit, and Flash to make my cartoons dance.

If you have online portfolio, what is the URL?
http://kazulivingstone.daportfolio.com/

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