Interview with Jasper Wong, Top 200 Illustrator

Being different used to mean relentless persecution around the monkey bars or foursquare courts in elementary school. Little did these kids realize, standing out from the crowd meant the difference between success and mediocrity.

Intrigue naturally causes us to gravitate to those who are different from us. At the very least, we’ll talk about them. Personally, I’ve never met anymore more different than Jasper Wong. To give you an example of what I mean by different, I’ll elaborate on our first meeting.

Usually on a Saturday night, the streets of Lan Kwai Fong becomes the nightlife epicenter of Hong Kong with everybody dressed in their finest clubbing attire. Everybody except one person in a full pink spandex suit.

Gradually, I find out Jasper is an accomplished illustrator whose accolades count inclusion in Archive Magazine’s 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more unique artist. In an interview with CNNgo, he recently recalled “drawing full of naked women with Mr. T heads, squirting rainbow lasers out of their ass and nipples.”

On a recent visit to San Francisco, I had the pleasant surprise of seeing artwork that was unmistakeably Jasper’s on bus stops and billboards all over the streets. I firmly believe the Bay Area has supplanted Wall Street as the most important area in the world, where its technology and innovation is affecting daily life at an uncanny rate. It is also where creativity is its most valuable currency and where art like Jasper’s can really be appreciated.
You can see more of Jasper’s artwork on his gallery website here and personal blog here.

DT: How did you come to that realization you wanted to be an artist?

JW: Since I was a prepubescent child, I had the misconception that being an artist would lead to fast cars and loose women. Sadly, I was wrong. Bob Ross had the riches with his fluffy clouds and trees, but it wasn’t because of the paint. It was obviously due to his perfect afro and beard. Being Asian meant that the blessings and pleasures of facial hair would never come into fruition, so I’m single and I paint Mr. T naked.

Still no fast cars and loose women…

DT: To the layman, art seems to be a creation built on inspiration and spur of the moment ideas. I’m sure there’s a lot of planning, work, and rework in the process of an artist. Can you talk about the steps you take in creating one of your pieces?

JW: It’s all about the process. The final pieces might be pleasurable to the eye and all, but the work, passion, and love behind the paint is where it’s really at. The process is in no way arduous in any respect, sometimes I just disappear into my work and flow. Those moments where I’m entirely consumed into my art is way better than sex. I might just be saying this because I haven’t been laid in awhile…

Damn…where the hell are the loose women that I was promised? Damn you Bob Ross!

DT: There’s a popular notion that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert or achieve mastery in a field. How do you improve your craft as an artist?

JW: I read Malcom Gladwell books too…hahaha. Yea, the whole 10,000 hours to be an expert thang! Of course that is true! I’ve put in over 10,000 hours masturbating and I can now cum within .25 seconds. It’s amazing! Loose women can’t do that! Suck that, Bob Ross!

I improve my craft by always struggling to be better. Keeping my eyes and mind open. Pursuing creative pursuits on a daily basis. Basically, living life!

DT: What other artists do you like up to or find inspiration from, past and present?

Everything and everyone. Past and present and everything in between. Some of my all time favorites are Henry Darger, Daniel Johnston, Yoshitomo Nara, Keiichi Tanami, and so so many more! The list goes on forever and I keep finding more artists that I’m inspired by.

DT: In my opinion, you’re as creative with your words as you are with your art. If I let you run free, can you write a paragraph about yourself and your artwork?

JW: Damn it woman! Too much pressure! I’m working on a short animated film with a music video director and animator buddy of mines known as Malakias out of Helsinki, Finland. I’m helping to write the story for that bad boy, so keep your eyes peeled. You can get your taste there.

If you can’t wait then give me fast cars and loose women. Once that is provided on my front porch, then I’ll think about writing about myself for your exhibitionist ass.

DT: You recently collaborated on and launched the Pow Wow art event with Wu Yue to much fanfare and acclaim (See coverage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). How did that start up and are there plans to do more projects like these in the future?

JW: We had the idea and we made it happen! The key is to spend as little time talking about shit and just friggin’ do it! We are working on an event in China and I’m putting together some insanity with Wu Yue, Will Barras, and the 123Klan in Berlin. Making it happen! It’s the dream baby!

DT: Thanks Jasper. We’ll look forward to it.