We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenny Vo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenny, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking as played a HUGE role in my life and career. Growing up, I was always taught that to be successful in life you had to go to college and major in something safe and follow “The Path”. Never really questioning what adults told me, I did what I was told and went the safe route because anything else was crazy and I would end up homeless. During my 2nd year in college doing the “safe” thing, I really hated what I was doing and realized that I would have to keep doing that even after college into my career (crazy that It took me 2 years to realize that what I was doing in my major was what I would be doing in my career haha). After a lot of debating, I decided to take the leap from the safe university route and move to Los Angeles and pursue the “risky” artist path. Most of my family thought I was crazy and that It would not really amount to much and eventually I would be back in college getting a “proper” degree. Little did I know that after making that first risky step, my life and the way I would see things would be totally changed. Soon, I began to see things differently. I used to view risk as a bad thing and that I should always do what is “safe” but after awhile I began to embrace the risk, I was learning so much from all these different experiences and paths I went down. I started to focus on what I was learning as I went down a path rather then if I would be successful or not. Because of this, I got to be a part of dream projects in a career path that I wouldn’t have even dreamed was possible for me a couple years earlier. As i’m progressing in my career/life, Instead of viewing risk as success or failure, I like to think of it as just another path. Right or wrong, you will get to where you are going as long as you have a solid idea of what your goal/destination is and a plan on how to get there.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others. How did you get to where you are today professionally.
I feel like what sets me apart from others is my ability to create IP defining Key Art at a very quick pace. Early in my career I was fortunate enough to be able to work on high level projects at very early stages of development. In doing so, it pushed my skills as a creative to be able to create high level pitch images at a pace that I wouldn’t have imagined that I could do before. I had a great mentor and team when I started off and I feel that was huge in getting me to where I am today. It was very difficult at times but thinking back on it, they were some of the best years that I have ever had. A big thing that I learned that helped me overcome a lot of the obstacles during that time was that knowing that it was okay to mess up. There can be a lot of pressure on artists to always perform at 100% and nail design targets on the first try but knowing that there was an extremely talented team behind me and a boss that would help us when we stumbled relieved a lot of that pressure and allowed me to grow and learn from mistakes.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
The first place that I would take them to would be Little Tokyo in Downtown L.A. I love Japanese culture and food and Little Tokyo has it all. It is such a unique part of the downtown area. As an artist I love to go out and find unique spots and some of the places I visit as much as possible are The American Military Museum, The Huntington Library, Descanso Gardens, Matador Beach, Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Greystone Mansion. Some of my favorite restaurants are Golden Deli in San Gabriel, Osawa in Pasadena, Marugame Monzo in Downtown and Giamela’s Submarine Sandwiches in Burbank.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Id love to shout out James Paick, my old boss and mentor, for opening Brainstorm School with John Park and giving me the opportunity to learn and grow with him. I started learning Concept Art at brainstorm in 2015 and was given my first opportunity in the Entertainment Design industry by James Paick. I was extremely fortunate to come across him when I did and I doubt that I would be half of what I am today without him.
All Credit to KennyVoArt