Kevin Tong Illustration Kevin Tong Illustration

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I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but I couldn’t be happier to finally show off some photos and describe the process behind the GRAVITY OST packaging I designed.

Steven Price truly mastered the music on this one. The movie was fantastic, inspirational, and extremely dynamic and when I listen to his work, I get the same intense feeling the movie gave me. The album is available and shipping now from Mondo. Variant color records are randomly inserted into orders.

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The cover is from the GRAVITY poster I did when the movie first came out. The poster was really well received by people who worked on GRAVITY. Their support makes is extremely overwhelming.

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With the cover, my thinking was to evoke the sense of immediate danger and chaos associated with the movie. For the interior however, I chose to go for the overarching beauty of key moments in the film.

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Though the Earth, filling the entire gatefold spread, looks tranquil, there’s a subtle hint at the ever present danger of space. In the corner, there’s the Shenzhou space capsule and the ISS space debris burning up on reenty.

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The poster I did for GRAVITY had no true orientation, to reflect the disorientating feeling that a lack of gravity creates. I saw no reason why I couldn’t try to bring this into the vinyl packaging as well, so for the labels on the actual vinyl records, the imagery is designed to spin with the record and remind the listener of weightlessness in space. The imagery on the two disc labels is spun from the notion that weightlessness can be dangerous in the cold vacuum of space and also freeing in the safe confines of the space exploration shelters humans make.

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UPDATE: All 12 posters are sold out online. Thank you!

UPDATE: All the posters are currently up for sale on my website

The show at the Mondo Gallery during SXSW with Martin Ansin was a blast. In addition to hanging with my friends and doing work for films with personal significance, I also got to share a space with an illustrator that I respect immensely.

I wanted to share some exclusive backstory on the posters as well as sales information. BUYERS: To ensure the most streamlined checkout process, please make sure your paypal information is updated and accurate. THANKS!

UPSTREAM COLOR

24 x 36 Inch screen print with metallic inks, signed and numbered (artist’s copies). Available 5/13/14 at a random time. Limit one of each per household. The REGULAR Version is $65 and The VARIANT version is $75

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I’m a huge fan of Shane Carruth, so I wanted the poster to reflect themes in the film. As I worked on the poster, (it was the second to last one I finished for the show), I was getting ragged, but I found the narrative to be quite nourishing to my soul. I kept whispering “Upstream Color” to myself as I found those words felt really good to say and the lines from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden spoken throughout the film were incredibly refreshing, so every poster has one of four random Walden quotes that were mentioned in the movie printed very minutely on the right side. There’s no way to know what you’ll get until the package arrives!

PSYCHO

24 x 36 Inch screen print with metallic inks, signed and numbered (artist’s copies). Available 5/13/14 at a random time. Limit one of each per household. The PSYCHO poster is $80

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Psycho is a well celebrated film and there have been many posters, so I wanted mine to have an extra layer of relation to the film. As I researched it, I read about the controversy of who directed the infamous shower scene, iconic designer Saul Bass or Alfred Hitchcock. While reading about it, I never came to a definite conclusion, but I did see that Saul Bass storyboarded it, so it was at least in part his idea. That’s how I came up with my design. I picked six pivotal moments in the shower scene and laid out the poster like a storyboard of the entire scene.

HANNIBAL

24 x 36 Inch screen print, signed and numbered (artist’s copies). Available 5/13/14 at a random time. Variant is limit one of each per household. The REGULAR version is $65 and The VARIANT version is $90

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When the show was renewed for a third season, I was so excited. It’s a fantastic show despite its struggle in the ratings. The imagery is so beautiful and bleak, even when it depicts horrific things. My main goal was to make a poster that from across the room, would look majestic and regal. Upon closer inspection however, the gruesome horror would be realized.

SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD

24 x 36 Inch screen print with metallic inks, signed and numbered (artist’s copies). Available 5/13/14 at a random time. Limit one per household. The Scott Pilgrim Poster is $70.

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For years, Edgar Wright has been very supportive of both me and illustrated movie posters. “Scott Pilgrim- ” is one of his best films and I wanted to cherish all the things I like about it; the visual style, the music, the fight scenes, the romantic angst, and the humor. That film seriously has it all.

ALIENS

24 x 36 Inch screen print with metallic inks, signed and numbered (artist’s copies). Available 5/13/14 at a random time. Limit one of each per household. The REGULAR version is $65 and The Variant version is $80

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Before starting this poster, I did a marathon viewing of the first three Alien movies and I realized something I hadn’t before. Those movies take place over the majority of a century, so Ellen Ripley has spent most of her life in cryogenic sleep and the times she is awake, she’s fighting these horrifying creatures. The only moments she’s tranquil and at peace are in the sleep chambers; her real life is the nightmare. I felt compelled to instill the nightmare concept to the poster, so I added the part of her on the top to contrast the sheer terror of the rest of the illustration. The green (regular) and orange (variant) color came about because I worked to depict the initial encounter and when she fires the bombs into the nest.

THE WIZARD OF OZ

24 x 36 Inch screen print with metallic inks, signed and numbered (artist’s copies). Available 5/13/14 at a random time. Limit one of each per household. The REGULAR version is $75 and The VARIANT version is $85

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This poster began two years before it was actually debuted. I kept chipping away at it and stopping to take on other work. There was always a deliberate plan to hand draw the Kansas part and digitally draw the Oz part, to create a feeling of separation between the two worlds. This is the most traditional pen and ink drawing I have ever done for anything, ever.

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI

24 x 36 Inch screen print with metallic inks, signed and numbered (artist’s copies). Available 5/13/14 at a random time. The REGULAR Version is $50 and The VARIANT version is $60

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While not an expected choice compared to the vast array of more well known films within my reach, I wanted to bring attention to The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari. I always have a soft spot for under appreciated masterpieces. Within the film community, it’s well known, often making top ten lists of greatest films ever made, but the average person has at best, only heard of it, which is understandable. Whenever I watch it and compare it to all the films that were being released during that period, it was so far ahead of it’s time and really encapsulates what great films should be all about.

If you would like to see photos of all these posters, please check out my flickr photo set

Also, I’m very thankful that I got to share the gallery with my friend Martin Ansin. His work is amazing and it motivated me to push myself harder and try new things.

UPDATE: Both the Watchmen Regular and Variant have sold out. There was a slight mistake in labeling the items in my online store as both regular and variant are labeled as “regular”. Thank you for your purchase and rest assured that is not going to be a issue as you were charged correctly and the item number beneath the title is unique (Regular is WDM-REG-001, variant is WDM-VAR-001). As long as that and the price are accurate, you’re all set.

UPDATE: The Watchmen poster variant is sold out

UPDATE: The REGULAR and VARIANT Watchmen poster are now up for sale.

This poster was released back in 2013, but things got so hectic with the Disney show, my show with Martin Ansin, and other work, that I had to put this release on hold. I’d like to thank everyone for being patient as I wanted to do it right and to share some great photos and a new process video.

The REGULAR Version (blue color at the top) is a 24 x 36 inch six color screen printed poster printed with both metallic and glow in the dark inks. I’m selling my limited stock of a signed and numbered AP edition for $60 ($9 US shipping, $12 intl shipping) at a random time on 3/26/14 in my online store. Please make sure your paypal shipping address is updated and accurate.

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The VARIANT Version (red color at the top, previously released exclusively in the UK) is a 24 x 36 inch six color screen printed poster printed with both metallic and glow in the dark inks. I’m selling my limited stock of a signed and numbered AP edition for $70 ($9 US shipping, $12 intl shipping) at a random time on 3/26/14 in my online store. Please make sure your paypal shipping address is updated and accurate.

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Here’s a process video I made. This poster is the most intertwined, in terms of combining traditional and digital drawing techniques, into one illustration.

The concepts surrounding the Dr. Manhattan character are very compelling, as he can bend matter and experience time simultaneously.

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My goal was to attempt to capture that idea by using a collage of different moments in the Dr. Manhattan’s story.

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To see more photos, as well as photos of this poster glowing in the dark, please check out my flickr photo set.

Lastly, take a look at the original Dr. Manhattan drawings and others at the Mondo Gallery. They’ll be for sale for a limited time.

Thanks!

Mondo/Disney Show

March 19, 2014

I wanted to take a moment to share some background on my pieces from Nothing’s Impossible, the group art show that Mondo and Disney collaborated on. It was a real honor to be in a show with so much amazing talent.

The posters I did were Wall-E

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… and UP

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Both posters are 36 x 24 inch screen prints with metallic inks.

I’d had the ideas for years, having initially sketched them in France while my Iron Giant poster was debuting at the Mondo Mystery movie in LA. There was talk of possibly doing a Disney show then, so they wanted to see my ideas. Though they worked diligently, it took over two years to solidify everything.

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In order to make them visually cohesive, I used a prominent design grid for both posters. I thought they’d make good companion pieces, so I flipped the grid on one side, making the two posters would correspond side by side. The reasoning behind graphically linking those films together is that I feel like they have recurring themes and ideas that appeal to me.

Here’s a process video for Wall-E:

Here’s a process video for UP:

If you’d like to see photos of the actual posters, please check out my flickr photo set

UPDATE: Gravity posters are sold out online.

UPDATE: The GRAVITY posters are currently for sale HERE

Getting to do a poster for Gravity shaped up into something I believe will stand as a milestone in my portfolio of poster work. The film is considered by many to be the best film of 2013, which is quite a tall order.

The poster is a 24 x 36 inch seven color screen print on 100 lb Blu Raspberry French Cover Paper in an edition of 375. I am selling my signed and numbered artists’ copies for $110 each ($7 US Shipping, $12 International Shipping. LIMIT ONE PER ADDRESS: PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR PAYPAL INFORMATION IS ACCURATE AND UPDATED.

The GRAVITY Poster will be for sale at a random time on 12/4/13 HERE.

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In order to capture the theme of a lack of orientation in the movie, I developed the “no true orientation” concept for this illustration. This poster was intentionally designed to have no true up or down side; it can be taped to your bathroom wall either way. In keeping with the theme, the signature and numbers will randomly alternate between the upper left and lower right corners.

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To see additional photos of this poster, please check out the Flickr Photo Set.

A lot of comments were made about the amount of detail in the poster, specifically in the space suits and debris, much of which was too fine to print. The reason I went in that direction is because the design has a huge amount of black space that has nothing in it.

Previously, I had done vastly detailed posters for Pacific Rim and The World’s End. Normally I’m happy to fill every square inch of a poster with detail, but this time, I felt that approach would be doing “GRAVITY” a disservice.

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When I saw the first “GRAVITY” trailer, I remember thinking George Clooney was going to be the lead actor and immediately began making assumptions. As the trailer played, I kept waiting for the invading alien ship or the secret armed Iraqi satellite to pop in and the movie to devolve into a popcorn flick. To my surprise, it depicted the most unexpected antagonists, the vast emptiness of space and the potential for emptiness in the human consciousness (I came to the second conclusion after seeing the film AFTER I made the poster). When I read that Alfonso Cúaron was the director, it all made perfect sense to me.

That idea of emptiness being the real enemy is suffocatingly abundant in the film so I felt compelled to go in that direction versus putting stuff everywhere. That’s how I also came up with the no orientation concept because as I doodled sketches, I kept moving things to different corners of the page and flipping them around until I realized that every idea I had worked compositionally in all orientations. Since I had so much black space, I made the debris scene as detailed as I could to make it feel more real, to heighten the drama, and to contrast the blackness as much as possible. Also, I had never seen that done before in commercial illustration and it seemed like a cool idea.

Please have a look at this process video I put together that shows the steps that went into drawing this poster:

The last thing I want to say is something that I hope will inspire other illustrators. I’d like to state that I agreed to take on the “GRAVITY” poster months before it actually came out. At that time, I was deciding which films I’d like to do posters for and “GRAVITY” (without knowing anything about it) was easily the least promising of the choices. There was only one teaser trailer out for it on a few blogs and I didn’t even know it was Alfonso Cúaron directing it (loved his previous films). Needless to say, I was dubious about doing it. I had no idea it was going to be the ground breaking film that won the admiration of not just filmmakers, but the general public.

What made me take it on was the amazing trailer, the simple/direct/new concept, and Cúaron’s already impressive filmmaking career. Those things didn’t convince me that it was going to be a successful film, I just knew it was going to be a great film that I would enjoy seeing, so I went with it. Even if the film was ignored by the critics and audiences, I would have felt just as happy having done the poster.

My point is that I, like any other illustrator, covets the Star Wars and Avengers jobs, but every now and then, it pays to just believe in something and go on that alone.

Thanks for reading this everyone.

THE WORLD’S END

September 24, 2013

UPDATE: Both of the World’s End posters are sold out online. Thanks everyone.

UPDATE: The World’s End poster’s are currently for sale HERE.

Hiyo folks! Just wanted to drop a quick note about my latest poster that I am releasing for sale.

THE WORLD’S END!

Man, who didn’t like that movie? I’m such a huge Edgar Wright fan, so to be able to do a poster for his films again is just spectacular. To top it off, he asked for me specifically to do a “The World’s End” poster.

This time, I got the rare chance to see the film before I did the poster, so I got a sense of the non stop motion and alien killing, both of which I hoped to instill in this poster.

The regular color version is a 7 color (printed among six screens via a split fountain) screen print on 24 x 36 inch 100 lb white cover paper in an edition of 290. I’m selling my signed and numbered (AP Edition) artists’ copies for $60 each ($7 US shipping, $12 International Shipping) at a random time on 9/25/13

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The variant color version is a 7 color (printed among six screens via split fountain) screen print on 24 x 36 inch 100 lb white cover paper in an edition of 115. I’m selling my signed and numbered (AP edition) artists’ copies for $70 each ($7 US shipping, $12 International Shipping) at a random time on 9/25/13

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To see more photos of the posters, please check out my flickr photo set.

It’s that time of the year again, where many of us come close to dying, but feel more alive than ever. Kevin Tong Illustration will be exhibiting the entire time at San Diego Comic Con international 2013.

KEVIN TONG ILLUSTRATION, BOOTH # 631, (Lobby A Entrance)
SAN DIEGO COMIC CON INTERNATIONAL 2013
San Diego Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Dr.,
San Diego, CA 92101

Wednesday July 17 (Preview Night)
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

In addition to being there, I’m sporting a full booth with some fresh new posters and some that were previously sold out.

“BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL”

Some of you may remember my “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” print for the book by Friedrich Nietzsche that was part of the “Required Reading” show. I still get compliments to this day about that poster.

Well, me and ‘ol Freddy have teamed up again for the exciting follow up! (Now imagine me and Nietzsche in a 80′s buddy cop film, you’re welcome). I’m really excited about the symbolism I managed to work into the imagery.

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“Beyond Good and Evil” is a 12 x 36 inch screen printed poster, signed and numbered in an edition of 200. Click here for some closeups. It will be available at my booth (631) at SDCC 2013.

“METROPOLIS”

You could say I’m on an all German kick at the moment. The Deutsch train rolls along with this poster I created for the 1927 landmark science fiction film Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang.

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This poster will be released at a random time at my booth (631) at SDCC 2013. For now, I’m playing all other information close to the chest. (I know, I know, I’m a terrible person, just roll with it) Click here for some closeups. It will be available at my booth (631) at SDCC 2013 at a random day and time.

“PACIFIC RIM” (For sale 7/17/13 at the Mondo Booth (936), not my booth)

Being able to work with Guillermo Del Toro and to create a poster for such an incredible film is what would happen if an honor and a dream mated and their kid had a kid with destiny. Not since Avengers have I been floored so hard by a film. It took me a whole night to fully process everything I had seen.

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There’s a regular color and gold variant version. Both are 24 x 36 inch screen printed posters with metallic inks and possibly glow in the dark inks. (no one tells me anything)

Click here for some closeups.

“THE CHEAT SHEET”

I took the liberty to make a Kevin Tong Illustration Cheat Sheet for SDCC 2013. It gives a limited preview for some of my releases and the day they’ll be released. Hopefully it can help organize the madness we’ve all come to know as COMIC CON.

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Download a full size hi res version HERE.

I look forward to seeing everyone there!

UPDATE: BOTH REAR WINDOW POSTERS ARE SOLD OUT.

UPDATE: The GOLD VARIANT IS SOLD OUT.

UPDATE: The Rear Window Posters are up for sale now. Click to go to store.

UPDATE: Quantities of both posters are limited to one of each per household. Both a Regular and Variant can be ordered as long as it’s one of each.

One of my favorite Hitchcock films is Rear Window, so this was a definitely a treat for me to be a part of. Going into it, I thought it would be a breeze because I had seen the movie so often that the ideas would come to me. What makes that movie great is it’s sparseness but that also made coming up with ideas a bit of a challenge.

These posters were first released at WonderCon 2013 in Anaheim, CA at the Mondo booth where I also did a signing.

REGULAR COLOR VERSION

This is a 4 color (with metallic inks) screen printed poster on 100 lb white cover paper in a limited edition of 250 (I’m selling signed and numbered artist copies). For sale in my online store at a random time on 4/16/13: The price is $60, shipping is $7 US and $12 International. Please make sure your paypal address is updated and accurate. Limit one per household.

VARIANT COLOR VERSION

This is a 4 color (with metallic inks) screen printed poster on 100 lb white cover paper in a limited edition of 125 (I’m selling signed and numbered artist copies). For sale in my online store at a random time on 4/16/13: The price is $85, shipping is $7 US and $12 International. Please make sure your paypal address is updated and accurate. Limit one per household.

To see more photos of these posters, please check out my flickr photo set.

Overview Poster

January 25, 2013

Space is indeed the place. I took some time off to do a poster for a documentary I feel very strongly about. “Overview” is presented by the Planetary Collective and documents the intense and unifying feeling described by astronauts looking down on the Earth from space. What a treat, to learn about a feeling only a handful of people will ever know.

The poster is a four color screen print on 24 x 36 inch Blu Raspberry French Paper. A big thanks to OMG Posters and Posters & Toys for teaming up with me to make this happen.

More information including sales info will be posted on OMG Posters soon.

Here’s some literature from the site:

On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.
The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.

and the documentary:

OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo.

Here are some more photos…

To see more photos, please check out my flickr photoset

UPDATE: The Bride of frankenstein prints are sold out. Thanks everyone.

UPDATE: The Bride of Frankenstein posters are currently for sale. Limit one per household, please make sure your paypal addresses are accurate and updated.

NOTE: These prints have not been put up for sale yet. Please follow @tragicsunshine on twitter and/or check back on this post to stay updated.

Being part of Mondo’s Universal Monsters Series was a blast. Working on this poster was really thrilling because I got to experiment with metallic inks in ways I haven’t done before.

The posters are 4 color screen prints (among five screens) on 24 x 36 inch 100 lb Cream Cover paper. The edition size is 380. My prints are signed and numbered by me. They cost $100 each ($7 US shipping, $12 Intl shipping) and are available from my online store at a random time on 11/7/12. LIMIT ONE PER CUSTOMER.

Metallic inks are really tricky to work with when it comes to detailed posters, so I’m extra glad it worked out. Something I’ve never done before is to layer different colored metallics on top of each other, so they both show through.

Also, I got a chance to attend the show, which was a just the coolest thing ever. Big thanks to everyone who came to the opening.

Here’s an animated look at the color separations of this poster:

To see more photos of the posters, please check out this slideshow:

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