Interview with Cuon
SHIVRAJ: How did you get into cardistry or where did you see it first?
CUON: I started playing with cards in 2008. I was learning super simple card tricks on YouTube. At that time, I watched some card flourishing and XCM (Xtreme Card Manipulation) videos by Dan & Dave, Daniel Madison, etc. I used to see card flourishing or XCM as something too difficult to do. I gave it a try but quit really soon. I kept learning card tricks for a while before I looked for some other hobbies, because I was stuck with magic. In 2014, I picked up the cards again. Modern cardistry videos by Tobias Levin, Oliver Sogard, Nikolaj Pedersen, and Zach Mueller got me exploring this art form.
SHIVRAJ: How would you define 'cardistry' in your own words?
CUON: The art of shuffling cards.
SHIVRAJ: Who/What inspires you the most and why?
CUON: What inspires me is the desire to inspire the community. It feels so good to see someone perform your flourish even though you haven’t made a tutorial for it, or to see your name appear in someone’s inspiration credits. That’s when you know somehow you have contributed to the development of cardistry in general. It motivates me a lot to keep going on my way.
SHIVRAJ: What is your creative process of making moves?
CUON: Sometimes I come up with a concept in my head and then I try to make it real. But most of the time ideas came accidentally. Usually, I try to create a potential opener first. Then I looked for every possibility that I can do from it. Whatever I do I always keep in mind that I have to avoid existing movements from other cardists and my older moves. If it looks like something familiar to everyone, try another option. I know now it’s pretty difficult to come up with a totally unique cut, sometimes you still have to borrow from others, but at least just don’t do the same, try to do it your own way.
Moreover, while creating I always make it straight forward. Every cut should have one movement that differentiates it from others, it could be the opener or the middle part, but once it’s done, I make a closer right away, as simple and quick as possible. Short but straight forward.
SHIVRAJ: How do you overcome a 'Creative Block'?
CUON: Like many cardists say, don’t force yourself to create. When an idea comes, that’s good. When it doesn’t, be patient. As long as you are still messing with cards, ideas will come eventually. When I weren’t creating, I watched others. As I saw something cool, I tried to figure out how its done and learned the way people think. It helps a lot.
SHIVRAJ: Describe your style in one word/sentence.
CUON: Straight forward
SHIVRAJ: What role does the art play in your life or in simple words why do you do it?
CUON: I have no idea why I’m still doing it, I know that I won’t stop for now though. Can’t imagine what my life is like if I didn’t do cardistry. Also, thanks to cardistry, I found lots of people who have now become my close friends.
SHIVRAJ: How do you think you can help in improving the field of cardistry?
CUON: Inspire people. Maybe make tutorials in the future.
SHIVRAJ: What is your favourite move by you or by someone else? What do you like about it?
CUON: Dump by Frank Sung.
I would prefer to call it a concept rather than a specific move. When I first saw it, I was like “Why did I never think of this?”. It’s simple but obviously, it is a phenomenon right now.
SHIVRAJ: Which is your favourite cardistry video of all time?
CUON: The Fontaine Fam. No doubt.
SHIVRAJ: What do you think about the concept 'Cardestroy'?
CUON: : I hate it! I hate you too, Shivraj! Folding cards is a crime! However it has opened a new door and has broaden the potential of playing cards. It’s obviously a phenomenon as well. Still a crime though!
SHIVRAJ: What genre of music do you mostly listen to?
CUON: Anything that I find good.
SHIVRAJ: What do you do other than cardistry?
CUON: Does breathing count?
SHIVRAJ: What are you further planning to do in your life?
CUON: Keep breathing.
SHIVRAJ: Any contest/contests you've participated in/won?
CUON: I took part in ICO (International Cardistry Open) Contest Season 2 (2015) & Season 3 (2016), didn't make it too far though. I also participated in some contests on Instagram. I remember I won a Fontaine’s contest on Instagram of creating a Judo Flip variation. That’s the very first time I won a contest haha. Unforgettable.
SHIVRAJ: Any advice for the community?
CUON: Don’t stop creating!
SHIVRAJ: Any last thoughts? (If any)
CUON: Any chances for Cardistry-con in Asia?
SHIVRAJ: Thanks a lot for your time! Have a nice day, cheers!
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