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A Conversation (Kind Of) with Van Goathe

A Conversation (Kind Of) with Van Goathe

By Andy Taylor

Today, we released our Cliques collaboration with Puma, an expansive collection that has been in the works for well over a year. There are four distinct capsules within the collection that each corresponds with a “clique” from high school. These were iconic social groups like jocks and preppies and party kids that defined a generation, for better or worse. We also included a 2020 clique to represent how far we’ve come, with today’s youth free to express themselves in a much more fluid way, inclusive of all their interests and circles of friends.

One of the highlights of this release has been our anime-styled lookbook, illustrated by Van Goathe, one of the most talented artists we’ve seen on social media in a long time. We took note of Van Goathe’s work last year when our Adam Bomb showed up on one of his original anime characters, and the relationship was built from there.

You’d think we chose to do an illustrated lookbook for our huge Puma collab because of the quarantine nixing any plans for in-person photoshoots, but this was the plan all along and in the works for months. Funny how those things have a way of working out perfectly.

From the Philippines, Van Goathe doesn’t reveal much about himself personally on his social media. He just creates characters. And while he doesn’t tell their stories, it’s impossible not to imagine their personalities and paths. He gives these animated style icons such unique looks that it becomes second nature to imagine what they’re like, what they’re going to do next, and obviously what they’ll wear tomorrow.

Van Goathe is an elusive artist, never posting himself, save for maybe a glimpse at his Animal Crossing character. When I reached out in the DMs for an interview, he made it clear we could only do it if I sent the questions over for him to answer. No face-to-face interview, whether through Zoom or otherwise. Typically, I turn down interviews like this because they’re much less personal and don’t lead to the kinds of conversations you get when you have a… conversation. But I was game this time around because I’m also a fan of Van Goathe and didn’t want to ruin the mystique.

 

What was the biggest challenge in creating this lookbook for The Hundreds X Puma?

Not much challenge, The Hundreds and Puma gladly gave me the freedom to do my creativity part and well, I've been tricked slightly on the character's posing as for me it must catch the audience interest at a glance.

How has quarantine affected your creative process?

Quarantine has affected my creative process mainly because I am concerned for my family's safety during this pandemic situation, and to those people who are affected and infected by the Coronavirus. Hoping it will end soon. Moreover, I am unable to focus on creating new ideas, as my inspiration are all based on normal daily actual sightseeing. For example: building structures, cars design, trees, unusual color combinations and how people dress.

Which clique were you a part of in school?

I can't categorize myself as an "artist" in school because I am not active on any art competition. They wanted me to be part of it but I don't want to, as for me it's only a validation that someone is great or so. Although, I create my drawings for my eyes only and for me in art there's no "better than." So, I categorize myself as an outsider, maybe socially challenged and unable to fit in, and have an "I don't care" attitude.

Do you think these “Cliques” characters are still getting a fit off in home school?

I think so yes, it's not because of how people looks like physically. It is the characteristic of an individual as a person.

Who are your favorite anime characters?

Pain/Nagato (antagonist from Naruto Series). He'd plan to make a new world by creating a new period with no war. GTO Eikichi Onizuka has a good sense of humor and is intelligent but not really. I may have favorite anime characters but they are not my main inspiration for creating what I do.

What other mediums of art do you enjoy?

Markers. Especially copic, kurecolor and a unipin pen.

What do you want to do next?

I want to build my own brand and clothing company in the future that will be known not only in my country but also internationally. I’d also like to collaborate with other brands. I’m very lucky that I was able to be part of The Hundreds and Puma, which are some of the biggest brands that I always looked up to.

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