Have you ever wondered about the Asian boy with glasses who keeps popping up in my illustrations? Well, he's Kevin Biggers! You may have met him at one of my craft fairs, but don't fret, you'll be able to get to know him more now. He's stepping up and taking care of my online stores while I adventure abroad for 5 months. So if you notice a handwriting change in the thank you notes, that's why :)
I asked him a few questions so you can help get to know him a little better. Have a read!
What do you enjoy in your free time?
I enjoy reading, both the internet and real books. I like to write fiction occasionally and I hope to write more frequently and more consistently in the near future. I like biking a bunch. I watch a lot of sports and I read a lot about sports and I think a lot about sports. Particularly, baseball, basketball, and football. My favorite teams in those respective sports: the Seattle Mariners, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the players on my fantasy football team. I like good food as opposed to bad food. The most important non-human thing in my life is calmness.
Thoughts on biking?
I'd say biking has gradually become my favorite facet of living in LA. The idea of transit in this city being actually fun and an actual form of meaningful exercise seems like a wholly and simply good thing rather than a partially and complicatedly good thing which most good things, in my opinion, are. Finding the fastest and/or most accommodating route from your point of origin to your point of destination seems in a small but somewhat meaningful way thrilling and also vaguely artistic in its varying degrees of improvisation. I enjoy the varying formlessness of the roadway infrastructure for bicyclists. For some reason, I am wary about the idea of more bike paths and something that would be labelled a "safer" structure to biking throughout the city. I like it how it is now.
I also find it somewhat nice being able to ride through and see parts of the city I otherwise in a car would have no reason to encounter and experience. For instance, I frequently use my bike to commute from where I live in Los Feliz to where I work in Sherman Oaks. This commute takes me through areas with which I had little to no prior experience: the LA River via its somewhat new bike path, Burbank and Toluca Lake via Riverside Drive, and Studio City via Moorpark Street. Now I know that the LA River Bike Path in spring and summer offers one of the nicest low-key evening bike rides in the city. And I'm now aware of a bowling alley in Burbank with a $1.50-a-game morning special on Tuesday and Thursday which feels deep down like a nice thing to know. And now I'm able to stop by this really tremendous sandwich and dessert shop in Toluca Lake called Sweet Salt (disclaimer: Genevieve is friends with the dessert chef here) whenever I want without enduring one of the the freeways. These things and other things related to biking seem very good as opposed to very bad, which is nice.
What have you learned or observed from helping Le Petit Elefant?
One thing I think about is the balance Genevieve has struck and is continuing to strive to strike between both running a thriving business and feeling nourished as an artist. I think anytime you (the proverbial you) introduce art into an environment of commerce, you (the proverbial you) can from time to time become vulnerable to conflating the value and worthwhileness of your art with the amount of money it generates for you, which, as far as I can see, sows the seed for possible alienation between you and your art. I think Genevieve does a great job of continually reminding herself how fun and exciting and meaningful her art can be for her outside of the context of business while at the same time, continuing to embrace and develop a thriving business. Neither idea seems ever far from her mind, which seems like a very good way of maintaining that balance.
Why do you come to so many craft fairs? Don't you want to enjoy your weekend?
I like working craft fairs because I enjoy observing and participating in Genevieve's business' in-person commerce. I've never worked a retail job so I've missed, in my opinion, the quintessential life experience of observing people up close and over a substantial period of time making decisions to buy things from a specific entity and discerning trends from these observations and further, applying this knowledge to an improved experience for both the business and its consumers. I find this interesting, just I guess watching how people make decisions about your art.
However, I think way more importantly, I enjoy watching Genevieve do well and be happy and feel good as I feel like she is when she's interacting with customers in person. It's pretty fun to watch and be a part of.
How do you feel about being drawn (hehe)?
I don't know if I like being drawn in general, I mean I don't mind it but I certainly like if not love Genevieve's drawings/illustrations/
depictions of me.
Excited for your upcoming trip to Japan & South Korea?
I'm not really interested in just travelling to Japan and Korea once and then moving on to other countries but rather I'm interested in seeing if travelling throughout Japan and Korea cultivates a desire for subsequent trips, perhaps, hopefully, to the same cities and places over and over again. I had a similar experience growing up in visiting LA (from New Jersey) every year to stay with my uncle. Getting to see how one actually went about living day-to-day in LA fascinated me. Getting to know LA better and better felt cool. I don't have any special insight, at this point in time, into whether or not Japan and/or Korea possess the potential for this kind of process or experience or whatever, but I think they both seem pretty cool, in a general sense. All in all, I'd say I'm excited to use the internet in Korea and I'm excited to eat in Japan and any other expectations I'm trying to suppress as much as possible because expectations are the devils of experience, etc. etc.