Long Beach Artist Battles in Craft Wars on TLC!
2012-07-03 · By Deana Rodriguez
“We can win this thing. We can win this thing!” This “thing” that Kevin and Alison are chanting about is Craft Wars — A brand new reality show hosted by Tori Spelling on TLC (Tuesdays at 10/9c).
Kevin Chartier, a born-and-raised Long Beach graphic artist, and his teammate Alison McGinnis, faced off with two other teams for the show’s second episode (original air date: July 3rd, 2012) titled, “Crafting’s a Beach.” A beach theme! Quite appropriate for two people who have both lived in Long Beach, and who worked together for many years in the Graphics Department at the Grunion Gazette.
What could they win? A grand prize of $10,000. How could they win? By creating patio furniture out of beach toys!
Back in December of 2011, Kevin received an out-of-the-blue phone call from a casting director who had seen his art on his website, kevmon.com, and thought he would be a good fit for the new TLC show. Kevin’s first reaction was anxiety: Competition? Television? Is this real? His next reaction was, well, a bit more anxiety… and then excitement.
When he was asked to choose a teammate, he decided to choose Alison because, although they hadn’t seen each other in years, Alison is a gifted graphic designer (you can see her work on Alisonmcginnis.com), and they had always been a great team in the six years they had worked together at the Grunion.
Kevin’s preferred medium is steel – he’s welded amazing wall hangings and metal sculptures independently and on commission. He was even allowed to bring his welding gear on set, which turned out to suit him just fine when he found out on the day of the competition that it was a patio furniture challenge.
“Not that I really needed to bring it,” he says. “The Craft Wars set had everything you could imagine there to craft with; a huge supply of great tools.”
Kevin and Alison both agreed that the event was nerve-wracking.
“It was such a cool experience,” says Alison. “but I think the most nerve-wracking part was when we were sitting in the dressing room waiting for the competition to start! Ultimately, the challenge was so fun, and the producers were amazing. You probably can’t tell on the show that we were both camera shy and nervous, but once the challenge started, the confidence (and pots of coffee we drank) kicked in!”
“My favorite part of the competition,” says Kevin, “was realizing that Alison and I built something so cool in that five hour limit. Really, just making it on the show and going through the whole process was cool in itself.”
Did they win the grand prize? You can find out on July 3rd on TLC (Tuesday at 10/9c). If you miss the first airing, repeats are sure to follow, so check your local listings.
‘We are winners, no matter what!” Says Kevin.
To see a clip of the TLC Beach Themed episode, click here: “Crafting Patio Furniture.”