People to Watch in 2011
DIRECTOR/DESIGNER, IMAGINARY FORCES
Karin Fong directs and designs for film, television, and environments. She is a founding member of production and design company Imaginary Forces, a multi-disciplinary entertainment and design agency based in Hollywood and New York. Fong has designed title sequences for numerous feature films, including Ray, Charlotte’s Web, Dead Man on Campus, The Pink Panther 2, Terminator Salvation and Going the Distance. Her work in television has earned her two nominations and an Emmy for main title design. She directs commercials, counting Target, Chevrolet, Herman Miller and Honda among her clients. Other projects include combining cinema with architecture for environments including Las Vegas, LA Opera, Times Square and Lincoln Center. Fong’s recent work includes designing cinematics for the Sony Playstation game God of War III. She is currently on the faculty of the Yale School of Art, where she teaches design for film and video. Her work has appeared in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, The Pasadena Museum of California Art, The Wexner Center, Artists Space, and in numerous publications on design and film.
Where were you born, where do you live, did this effect your design style or sensibilities?
I was born in the San Fernando Valley CA. I currently live in New York City. Living on both the West Coast and East Coast has been a big influence. LA during the 80s was a pop, bright, new wave bubble in which to grow up. And the movies, they are a big part of life there. I moved to NY five years ago. In NY, I’ll be inspired by walking around they city, especially the Chelsea gallery area, where I live and work. I’ll stumble upon new ways of image-making that inform what I’m doing. Now I have a foot in both places. In LA, I love the space and openness which goes for ideas too. In NY, there’s the density, and the elements of surprise that come just by being out and about. The contrast suits me.
If you were not a designer, what would you do?
Write and draw children’s books.
What advice would you give a design student or
young professional just starting out?
Work with people you admire. This holds true even if you’re not just starting out. I’ll also pass on information I appreciated when I graduated. Also, during a recession if you can, hold out to work on the kinds of projects you’d like to do in the future. Try not to feel you need to grab jobs that aren’t the right fit. You’d be surprised how one thing leads to another and you build on your experiences. Intern if you must!
Charles and Ray Eames
Orange and pink combos
Favorite TV Shows?
Project Runway, Mad Men, The Office, the Sesame Street from my childhood
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Great Gatsby
Rear Window, In the Mood for Love, Grease
Morning Becomes Eclectic
Favorite Fine Artists?
Magritte, Alexander Calder, Hiroshi Sugimoto
New Year’s Resolution?
Express gratitude daily. Wear sunblock consistently.