Kevin Stark Recap
Pauls Valley is a small town in Southern Oklahoma, boasting a population of 6,256. In this rural town is a great creative mind, who has work all around the world: Kevin Stark. Stark scoffs at the idea of moving to a bigger city, preferring to create his own paradise in his home town. His loyalty and passion make Stark the captivating combination of relateable and inspiring, not to mention successful.
Stark’s success is largely due to his continued pursuit of doing what he loves. And he admits, sometimes his loves change. That was apparent in his collection of work, starting last night with his fine art. This most recently brought him work in the form of illustrations for the children’s book A Biplane and His Boy.
But he moved on from illustrations to graphic design, and finally showed us what he’s best known for: toy designs. Not many of us in the room have experience in toy design, but his stories still hit close to home. “Deadlines are a bitch,” he said of the project that had him designing a whole line of toys in two weeks. Toy design requires thinking of the expression and movements of a piece, and illustrating it from several angles for sculptor reference. Stark is so prolific, he has gotten sketches down to 30 minutes per toy.
Another avenue of design Stark has explored is that of the graphic novel. His comic, Geezer, is centered around a 79-year-old super hero. We got insider information on an upcoming character: Scooter Cat, a cat so chubby he gets around by scooter.
When the talk drew to a close, we all had a few questions for Mr. Stark. When asked what the people of Pauls Valley thought of him (he owns most of the popular destinations there, including toy museum, a gallery, a vineyard and restaurant), Stark was quick to answer. “When I was poor, I was ‘weird’. Now that I have money, I’m ‘eccentric’.”
Thank you to everyone who came out. Special thanks to finch paper, who provided samples of their beautiful paper, super SWAG (007 pens!) and were delightful to chat with.