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Chopping Block: David Chung

Remember that weird kid in middle school you sat next to in Social Studies? You know, that one kid that was just a little too... different? The kid who allegedly had a "really hot girlfriend" who conveniently went to a different school? The kid who would draw weird and offensive pictures in all the margins of his text books?

Well guess what, he's all grown up and his name is David Chung.

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POW: When doing research for this interview, I couldn't really find anything online art-wise when I searched for "David Chung". I did however find a lovely cornucopia bursting with NSFW paintings when I googled "THE CHUNG!" instead.

Are you one of those weird/ annoying people who like to create their own nickname?

DAVID: Well, I hope I’m not one of those weird/annoying people! I mean my wife finds me incredibly annoying, but that’s a different type of an annoying. No, actually the name “The Chung!!” came about years ago when I finally decided to put up a web portfolio. Unfortunately, every variation of my name was already taken for a suitable domain. I had no idea there were so many David Chung’s out there who wanted a website with their name on it. So it started as a joke that there can be only one Chung, I made a search for thechung.com, lo and behold it was totally available. Anyways, long and boring story short, it sort of just stuck all these years. I still only introduce myself as David though.

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 F*ck This Sh*t by David Chung

POW: Your style leans heavily on what appears to be a dark and twisted sense of humor... how and when did you become so evil?

DAVID: My work is generally played off of highly exaggerated emotions or experiences based off of my own life and what I’m going through, or have gone through at the time. So it’s not that I’m trying to be evil to the characters that I paint, but more so that I’m trying to find a more humorous way of looking at things so that myself and perhaps others won’t linger so much on bad feelings. When you look back at everything at the end of the day, it’s really not as bad as you made it out to be.

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 Happiness Is Killed By Removing The Head Or Destroying The Brain by David Chung

POW: Does your Mother know what you're painting? Or do you lie and tell her you have some boring desk job to avoid the guilt and shame?

DAVID: My mom knows what I’m painting, but I also DO have a “boring” desk job as well! I have no shame about what I’m painting, if I did, that would be the complete opposite intention of what I’m trying to get out of painting what I paint. My mom doesn’t always understand what my work is about, but honestly, how many mothers understand anything their children are doing?

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The Virgin Shrimp Ramen Noodle Soup by David Chung

POW:  I read that you work in the animation industry as a background designer.  Given your particular brand of humor, if you could create your very own uncensored dream-cartoon (without having to worry about upset mothers and the heads of studio executives exploding) what would you call it, and what would it be about?

DAVID: Yep, that’s the “boring” desk job that I have haha. It’s actually not boring at all, it’s pretty awesome. It gets stressful, but what job that you love doing isn’t? I’ve actually had a show that I pitched to Cartoon Network about 2 years ago that got picked up. Unfortunately nearly a year after it was purchased and worked on, it was dropped. No hard feelings though, it was just bad timing. That show was however the show that I would have created if I had my own cartoon. It was called, “Okay! Let’s Go!!” and it was based around my go to characters Herro Cat and Kyle, following them on their adventures working at an interplanetary pet rescue. Although they’re not going with that show anymore, me and my writing partner just sold another property back to Cartoon Network, so we’ll see where this goes!

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Smurfin' Go For It Man by David Chung

POW: Despite the fact that we market to Soccer Moms, every week I see about 2-3 CHUNG!™ wood prints on the shipping table when I pass through the POW warehouse. How has your experience with Prints On Wood been so far, and do you think Soccer Moms are actually buying these?

DAVID: So far my experience with POW has been awesome! As an artist, I’m really digging the quality of the prints as well as the ease of use in creating new prints. I barely have to do anything and I get great products that I can offer to fans and collectors, it’s awesome! As far as soccer moms buying my work, I actually wouldn’t be surprised. The types of people who approach me telling me that they’re fans are surprisingly parents majority of the times. As I tend to favor using bright vibrant colors and cutesy looking characters, something that children are attracted to, the actual content of my work seem to relate more to the parents. I guess that’s the inner child and my adult self working together.

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Thanks for being a good sport David, and may your inner child never grow up to wear pleated khakis.

For more information on David Chung, please visit his website: thechung.com

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