JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
TONY LUONG: At different points in my childhood, it was a race car driver, watchmaker or a woodworker of some kind.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
TL: Currently, I’m inspired by Jocelyn Lee, Sage Sohier (sagesohier.com) and Dana Lixenberg. I’ve also been reading The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy, which is odd because I used to dislike reading but since I started school (see next answer about school) - I’ve learned the importance of thinking about literature and how that plays a role in making work.
JC: What are you up to right now?
TL: I recently started grad school for an MFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design here in Boston, it’s been an adjustment and a half but I’m really excited to be along side of some really great photographers. Aside from that, I’ve just been trying to shoot more assignment work.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
TL: We all do, though, I haven’t connected with them in quite a while - I should change that by writing to them after this.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
TL: I am currently based in Cambridge, MA. I have been here for 6-7 years now, as for how it has shaped me - maybe into the textbook Cantabrigian who wears a lot of Patagonia, commutes by bike and enjoys the everyday cup of coffee but aside from that, I really couldn’t tell you at the moment.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
TL: Do what you want but do it as best as you can.
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
TL: To be a mailman.
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
TL: Absolutely, I don’t think I would be making the work I am making now if it wasn’t for the support and encouragement from the community I surrounded myself with. I have to give a shout out to my internet pal Michael Friberg for being there when I am need of talking to someone about the biz, new work or just general life. Whether it be sharing contacts at magazines, showing recent work, I think it’s really important to envelope yourself with others who are doing the same - it really motivates you to be productive.
Jonathan Cherry asked me to do an interview for Mull It Over, it’s almost a follow up from the one we did a few years ago. Thank you, Jonathan!