The eXTra finGer

...''He was counting on his fingers.One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven.Eleven?Had he been born with an extra finger?''...

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...& visit my web sites: Claudio Parentela's Official Site ''Claudio Parentela:Contemporary Art with a Freakish Taste!'' Lights&Shadows Disturbing Black Inks


Monday, July 17, 2006

Interview with Tommy Kane

1)First of all,..can you present yourself..?
1)My name is Tommy Kane. I have made my living as an art director in advertising for the last 25 years. I've done some very well known print and television ad campaigns in america over the years. In my free time i've have drawn and painted without ever really promoting myself. I had a lot of self doubt about my work. I only now am I starting to feel that i can make my living full time as an artist and leave advertising behind for good.

2)Do you think of yourself as an artist,or what?
2)I have always thought of myself as an artist. I was drawing very seriously from the time I was 3 years old. So very early on I was always identified as the artist in my grammer school classes. This has really stuck with me. So I don't think there was ever a moment in my life when i didn't think of myself as an artist.

3)What is creativity?
3)As I said before I have made my living as a so called creative person in the field of advertising. It was fun early on but it has become more of a burdensome job. My ideas have to go through so many commitees of uncreative people that the end result is usually crap. So I have alwasy drawn, painted and sculpted on my own time. Every weekend I would get up early to paint. I spend hours on the streets doing my drawing journals. I even set up a small easel in my office and would paint there in my free time. To me that is creativity. I create because I want to not because I have to. There were many days I was too exhausted to draw or paint but I would force myself to do it, to keep going. I would think to myself "why the hell am I doing this?" I could be taking a nap or drinking a beer, but no, i'm painstakingly drawing or painting somewhere. I think most artists would understand what i'm talking about.

4)Does your environment influence your art,either in style/format or interference?
4)My environment greatly influences me. I journal so I am always drawing what is around me so it is pretty aparent that is true for me. As someone who journals I am very influenced when I travel. So even brand new environments have an influence on me. Last year I was in China, Australia, Italy and Amsterdam. I drew like crazy in these new environments. This week I travel to Vienna and Prague. You can see the drawings I do on my blog in a few weeks when I return.

5)What are some of your influences and inspirations?
5)A big influence in my art is the work of my good friend Danny Gregory. You can see his work at He was the one who got me to start journaling. I owe him a great deal of thanks. I also have been greatly influenced by JUXTAPOZ magazine. Artists like Mark Ryden and Gary baseman who were advertising illustrators who have blurred the line between being called an Illustrator or being thought of as a real artist. There are great websites like Artdorks and Illustrationmundo where one can discover brilliant new artists. I also want to give a shout out to the great John Casey who you interviewed earlier on your site. He too is a friend of mine and a big influence.

6)What's your favourite mediums(pen,charcoal,paint,canvas,etc.)to work in/on?
6)When I journal i use uniball fine black ink pens. I mix in some waercolors and colored pencils for added drama. when I paint I only use acrylic. Living in small apartments in manhattan makes it tough to work in oils. It is just not practical. I have also done a tremendous amount of painting on cardboard. For my sculptures I use a mishmosh of materials.

7)Who are some of your favourite painters/artists?
7)There are links of all the people who are my favorites on my blog. Many of them are my friends. People like Danny Gregory, John Casey, Butch Belair,It's Jerry Time, Mark Ryden, Camille Rose Garcia, James Jean, Ray ceasar, Mattias Adolfson and many many more.

8)How long does it normally take you to complete a piece of your artwork?8)My pantings take about thirty hours or so. The drawings I do in my journals take anywhere from twenty minuted to fifty minutes.

9)What else are you interested in besides visual arts?
9)I am newly married so I am very interested in being a great husband and friend to my wife Yun Lee and our two new cats. I love to travel and see new things in the world. I am also interested in potitics which i write about once in a while on my blog. The world is such a mess and I can't help but feel embarrassed that my countries policies have gratly contributed to that mess. I would love to somehow affect change for the better. That really interests me.

10)Got any new projects planned?
10)My newest project is getting a good illustrator rep to handle me. I've never had one before so I am excited to see what happens to me.

11)How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?
11)I would say that my art is a visual diary of what is happening around me. I could very much share my art with someone who cannot see because a large amount of my art involves writing. I write what is happening or my thoughts on subjects right into the actual artwork. So I could read my thoughts to someone along with describing the drawing or painting.

12)What other talent would most like to have?
12)I wish I had a talent for languages. I can only speak english so I would love to be able to speak Italian, French, Japanese, Russian or Spainish. It would be so great to converse with people around the world in their own language.

13)What are your most beloved items?
13)My twenty one Journals filled to the brim with wonderful drawings and writings.

14)Favourite books?
14)A Prayer For Owen Meany, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Confederacy Of Dunces and To Kill A Mockingbird.

15)Do you remember the first draw you made?
15)I loved to draw superheroes like Superman and Batman.

16)What kind of music do you like and do you listen.And is the music important for your art.?
16)I love John Lennon, Otis Redding, Radiohead and Dean Martin. The music I listen to has no real bearing on my artwork. They are very seperate for me.

17)Any advice do you have for artists?
17)Don't work in advertising.

18)Your contacts.E-mail..Links.
18)My webite:
My Blog:
My e-mail:


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