Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Chongolio

Hello lovely tuesday, I'm so pleased you're here! I've had a rubbish week, spent the majority of it in bed covered in tissues and cough sweet wrappers, frustrated at not being able to create but with nothing better to do than think about it constantly & come up with 1000's of ideas, none of which I've been able to make =( so I'm so so so pleased you're here!! Ok, self-pity moan over and down to business! This weeks artist I'm really excited about (I know, I know...aren't I always?) but it's because he's such a fun artist and works in a thousand and one mediums. Not only that but he's a HE!!! I know...I shouldn't be that bothered by the fact that he's a guy - we are all artists after all - but he's our first on TAT so I think deserves special recognition for it...but a male artist in our community is not that rare...so you guys that have the TAT info, don't let Chongolio stand alone, get on it...(you know who you are *stern glare* lol)
Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I go by the screen name Chongolio. I am a surfing artist first and a graphic designer and screen printer when I need be. I am a dabbler in all kinds of creative things and have kept sketchbooks and art journals most of my life. I have always been very curious and interested in expressing myself through my creativity and have stopped being inspired by the things I found as a kid which held magic and wonder in them. I like to build and play homemade instruments and write and record songs. I have designed a few tiki mugs, created animations, filmed and edited video as well as illustrated a limited edition of self published books. I have been involved with and active in so many different types of creative projects and mediums that I really don't like to say that I am any "type" of artist. I really don't like to be branded or stuck into any one category of creativity. I am like a wild monkey you cant cage me in.
What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
To be honest the hardest thing about being an artist for me is having to explain to people why I spend the amount of time in pursuit of my creativity that I do and why I am not really interested in the things that most people, guys in particular, like to spend their time and energy on. I don't like watching sports or just sitting around doing nothing. 
I am learning to be more confident when I tell people I am an artist and not let the rolling of their eyes or comments about getting a "real" job affect my happiness or throw me for a loop. I really believe that getting past the falsehoods of the societal programing that has been forced upon each of us is everyones biggest challenge. We are led to believe so much misinformation about what is important in our lives that I think for a lot of people have let their creative desires get suffocated. We have been taught to grow up and deny ourselves the joy of being artistic adventures. I find that really frustrating and sad.
What do you find easiest / hardest in your art?
Ideas are the easiest part for me. I have pages and pages of notes and sketch books filled with ideas for characters, paintings and drawings and projects that I would like to develop. I  have folders on my computer with tons of ideas and inspiration for stickers, t-shirts and other products I would like to bring to market. I am constantly writing down and sketching ideas  that I come up with.
The hard part is figuring out which ones to start and follow though on and which ones to leave alone. I have the unfortunate tendency to start projects and walk away from them before they are finished either because I get stuck on a certain problem or I am afraid that I will mess it up if I continue on with it. I am getting better at just letting the chips fall where they may, but looking around my studio I can count at least a dozen projects that I have been started and just need a few more steps accomplished to get them finished. And that is in just one corner of my studio.
Do you think you have achieved a uniquely recognisable style as an artist, or do you find it a struggle to find your own style?
It took me awhile, but I think I have gotten to a point in my art where all the things I work on now show a certain "Chongolio-ness" to them. I am not the most technically skilled artist, but my style and subject matter will almost always have a playful and humorous quality to it. If I had to describe my art style in one word it would have to be "whimsical." I did go through a phase of being a "serious" artist trying to make a point about serious issues. Back in my college days, when I was studying art, I smoked cigarettes, drank coffee, listened to Bob Dylan and tried to act cool and intellegent. That lasted about one semester. I like to laugh, have fun and be goofy. I think that comes across in my style, art music and personality and I am ok with it.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
The best portal to my world is my website (www.chongolio.com) and on my Facebook Fan page (http://www.facebook.com/Chongolio ) Those are the two places where I am always posting my creative projects, video tutorials and other inspirational and fun stuff that I come across on the intertubes.

Thanks Chongolio, I really enjoyed your answers. In truth I'm a little envious of the way you manage to hold onto interests in different areas of creativity ~ you remind me of what I was like a couple of years ago, when I first started being creative again. I was like a kid in a candy store, dabbling in anything and everything that I could learn about. Now every week I think something like 'I would really like to start lampwork glass bead making' or some such thing but nowadays everything I make just somehow ends up in book form, but that's my style & my passion I guess and all I've learnt on the way has helped accumulate to that. (And the bit about 'guys in particular'...don't I know that, hence me = single! lol)

Would you like to be a featured artist on Tell All Tuesday? Email me @ jennibellie@yahoo.co.uk if you feel up to sharing.


  1. Great fun read, another inspiring artist for us to ispire too.

    Sounds like you need more Vit C Jenni:)

  2. I'm inspired by each artist who posts here! Thank you Jennibellie!

  3. Jenny, this is one of my favorite interviews you've done so far.

    Chongolio, I think it's awesome that you're not interested in a lot of things that typical guys are interested in and that you're passionate about more than one art form. My husband is the same way, and I'm interested in almost everything.

    There's a great book about having multiple passions called Refuse to Choose -- I think you'd find it interesting!

  4. Thanks again Jenny for sharing my art and letting my become a part of your online world. I really appreciate the effort and time that you put into sharing your creativity and knowledge with the world. I find your personality sparkling and your artistic style and grace dazzling. I am also a bit of a sucker for cute girls with English accents ;) I wouldn't worry about being single and enjoy the time you have to dedicate to your art and creativity.

    I also hope that I helped to inspire a few people, and push a few more guys to get past the macho act and get in touch with their own creativity. Of course the pink page may be a big challenge for some ;)

    Another big Mahalo to all who left comments on this post and have joined me over on my slice of the internet!

    Keep in touch Jenny and I hope you feel better soon!

    P.S. I noticed in my sentence where it says that reads " I have stopped being inspired by the things I found as a kid" I meant to say " I have NEVER stopped being inspired by the things I found as a kid."

  5. I'm working on it, ok! Stop glaring! :p

    An excellent interview, and good to get a male perspective on things. Is it just me, or do all men seem to have a humorous side to their art? Not all the time, but possibly more than the ladies.

    Thanks Jenny, look after yourself and hope you're well soon. x

  6. FABULOUS interview!! omg, i laughed at Chongolio's comment about listening to Bob Dylan back in college and smoking and trying to act cool and intelligent... for about a semester. Hilarious. Love his work, love the fact that he is not conforming (in a pressure to conform kinda world!) and LOVE that he is a he. Great to have a few brave men amongst us. xox ps: i love Bob Dylan. :-)

  7. Thanks for a GREAT interview! Chongolio's art is beautiful [I especially love the one with the turtle's].
    I have also recently started on my creative journey again after quite a few years of doing 'nothing' and it is exactly like "being a kid in a candy store"! Just don't know what to do first :)
    Thank you for being a great inspiration for us all.
    Keep well♥

  8. Wonderful article. I love the line: "The hard part is figuring out which ones to start and follow through on and which ones to leave alone". That's my biggest problem too.

  9. I just found Chongolio's cocowired podcasts from 2006-7. Just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful creativity. I really enjoyed the musical adventure. Just what I was looking for. Can you make them available in mp3?

  10. Thank you for Sharing with us, here, Chongolio. I think your work is great.
    and I relate to so much of what you said...
    dabbling in many different mediums... always loving to learn more... the "real job" thing... etc...



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