GOATDIY 2021: Meet the Judges

4 creators awarding this year’s #GOATDIY event.

Intro: Art Derecho
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#GOATDIY is back. A global design and upcycling event, this year’s judges include four creators from around the world: Davide Perella (Milan, Italy), Tega Akinola (London, UK), Walnut Illustration (Tokyo, Japan) and Gab Bois (Montreal, Canada). To inspire your creativity, each judge crafted their own #GOATDIY pair, utilizing everything from lipstick and nail polish to marshmallows and magnets.

Meet all four in the below interviews spanning inspiration, the creative process and tips to get started on your own #GOATDIY submission.

What does community mean to you?

The creative community is my source of inspiration. It helps me stay tapped in and outside of my comfort zone at the same time. 

Tell us about the inspiration behind your #GOATDIY sneaker.

I didn't find inspiration from one specific thing. I put them in Photoshop and experimented with different color swatches and designed new labels until I found something I liked. To make them strong, I went for something that felt 3D, instead of just going with paint.

What’s the best artistic advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t let your mind stop you from making something. Make something different every time. Make your own style. Study new ways to express your creativity.

What’s the most rewarding part of the creative process for you? 

When I get feedback from people who feel inspired by me, that’s the best thing. People see my work on Instagram and say, “Oh my God, bro, I want that table; I want to make that.” And they try to make it at home. I love it.

What advice do you have for others customizing a sneaker for #GOATDIY? 

Don't copy anything because you don’t need to. Don’t try to make something that can make money. Make something that you like.

What does community mean to you?

Using what you've got in your environment and taking inspiration from everything in it. Whether that's local shops or people, you can find creativity in all these things.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your #GOATDIY sneaker.

I took inspiration from my community as well as the materials. Initially, I was having a hard time making it look nice. I was, like, “Okay, let me think about what I usually do.” And that's taking things from different places and recontextualizing them. That also relates to community and finding thrifted things you can take inspiration from. 

What’s the best artistic advice you’ve ever received?

In one of my favorite movies, A Bronx Tale, Robert De Niro says to the main character, "The saddest thing in life is wasted talent." And that's just something I've subconsciously lived by. If I can use my talent, whether it's artistic or academic, to achieve success, then that’s something I can live by. 

What’s the most rewarding part of the creative process for you? 

The trial and error. If something doesn't go right, then you figure out ways to make it right. It's a learning process, so if something goes wrong and then you do it differently, you've learned something new. 

What advice do you have for others customizing a sneaker for #GOATDIY? 

A lot of the time people are trying to emulate something else. Just do what comes naturally. Do what is unique to you.

What does community mean to you?

I’m originally from the countryside and now live and work in one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the world. Tokyo is and has always been an eye-candy city for me; you get to see the latest trends and are surrounded by people who are highly conscious of the newest and best things. Tokyo changes every day; I get inspired by its evolving nature. 

Tell us about the inspiration behind your #GOATDIY sneaker.

I love hip-hop, so I created this piece inspired by the mood I get while listening. 

What’s the best artistic advice you’ve ever received?

Success is to create and lead your own project. Don’t wait for it to come.

What’s the most rewarding part of the creative process for you? 

When people are happy with my work, whether it’s a client, stranger or friend. I also love when my work gets noticed by people and ends up connecting me to more fun illustration work.

What advice do you have for others customizing a sneaker for #GOATDIY?

Draw from your heart. Try every idea you come up with. Go with the flow and see where it goes.

What does community mean to you?

The creative community motivates me, especially the people doing similar work. Whenever I visit New York, I see Nicole McLaughlin, who focuses more on design. She's an amazing technician, and I love all of her creations. 

Then, there’s Diana Rojas [#GOATDIY 2019 artist], who does shoe ceramics. She's amazing too. We share knowledge about our fields; it’s a priceless thing to have. That's very important as a creative resource. If something happens, I can call Nicole, or I can call whoever has been through a similar situation.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your #GOATDIY sneaker.

My inspiration and process right now comes from stuff that I was doing as a child in my parents' backyard: putting little leaves together, making little hats for cats; cute little crafts. That's still what I do and a lot of the food themes come from that— the sweets and fruits I enjoy eating.

What’s the best artistic advice you’ve ever received?

Working with what you know is the best thing you can ever do. That's why I like to work with everyday objects, stuff that I have in the house. I like to keep it as relatable as possible so that you get what it’s about instantly. 

What’s the most rewarding part of the creative process for you? 

It depends on what the idea is. If it's a really good idea that I'm super proud of, sometimes I feel like I can access my inner genius. But a lot of times it's the production because there's no way of telling if an idea is good or not until you’ve done it.

What advice do you have for others customizing a sneaker for #GOATDIY? 

Do something fun and have fun while doing it.