LEARNtheBrand Impact Apparel was able to catch up with LEARNtheBrand Impact Apparel’s Design Consultant, Erick “Roho” Garcia. Erick “Roho” Garcia is a multifaceted artist who uses art to beautify the community. His outlets and inspirations are vast in variation and keen on the beauty of creation. His artwork is collaborative in mediums, from spray painting to acting on stage, mixing music to dancing. He is most well known for his murals. His pieces of work are vibrant and lively. Filled with a mixture of blues, greens and yellows, Garcia implements what he knows onto the canvas, paper or wall he has to work with.
Interviewer: Roho tell us about the organization that you co-founded called Expo Collective.
Erick Roho Garcia: Expo Collective was co-founded with my friends Christina Rodriguez and Ricardo Gonzales. Expo Collective is an artist accelerator located in Chicago that is dedicated to building community through art and providing art as a service through exhibitions, the Quetzal Art Fest and The Exchange. In its three years of existence, EXPO Collective has worked with over 65 artists, has made an impact on over 2,000 people in Chicago’s communities and aims to begin cross-country artistic collaborations.
Interviewer: What got you interested in pursuing art?
Erick Roho Garcia: It pretty much began because of my interest in the hip hop movement. I was into break dancing, deejaying and graffiti. I experimented with letter design and character development; That’s what got me into the fine art movement.
Interviewer: How would you describe the style for your type of art?
Erick Roho Garcia: My style is abstract three-dimensional graffiti.
Interviewer: What is your inspiration for your projects? What keeps you motivated to continue to work with an art project.
Erick Roho Garcia: I enjoy going out, meeting people and just enjoying life’s sounds. I bring all that back with me back to the studio and compose. If I have an idea, it generally takes me about two to four weeks to compose and paint it depending on the scale of the project. Over the years, I’ve been doing a lot of murals so that’s made me become a little faster with completing projects.
Interviewer: You said that you have murals as well as paintings, where are some of your murals located?
Erick Roho Garcia: I started doing murals in Joliet, my hometown, through Friends of Community Public Art. I have murals in Joliet and Chicago.
Interviewer: You are the designer behind the designs for Learn the Brand Impact Apparel. Why did you decide to be the designer for this new social impact apparel line?
Erick Roho Garcia: I am an art instructor and Monica, the founder and CEO of LEARNtheBrand Impact Apparel, is also an instructor as well. We were on the same page when it came to our views about learning and education and with the initial concept, ‘thinking outside of the box,’ and using that recognizable phrase to express that there are different ways of learning.
Interviewer: How do you come up with the designs and the color scheme?
Erick Roho Garcia: My aim was for minimalistic designs, simple, sharp but at the same time, make you think designs. So each shirt’s design is like a question. My goal was to have the viewer look at a design for one second, look away and still have that image in their mind.
Interviewer: For the color scheme for the first collection designs, the colors are white, red, black, and grey. Was there any reason why you selected that color scheme?
Erick Roho Garcia: I thought it would be a good color palette to start off with because Monica and I talked about having future collections.
Interviewer: If you could choose a favourite design, which design would that be and why?
Erick Roho Garcia: The first one that we developed, ‘Think Outside the Box.’ There was a lot of time spent on the composition of that design.
Interviewer: What advice would you give someone who is aspiring to be an artist?
Erick Roho Garcia: Get ready to hustle. If you’re really passionate about what you want to do whether it’s illustration or fine art, graffiti, whatever it is, just pursue it. I feel like anyone who’s passionate about whatever it is they do, just keep doing it. Don’t take no for an answer and just be passionate about it.
Interviewer: What’s next for you Roho?
Erick Roho Garcia: I’m currently working on a new series for the Red Tour 2016. Expo Collective and I will be touring in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Expo Collective also has some talks at universities and colleges. Our Quetzal Art Fest, scheduled for this summer, is going to be bigger and better.
Interviewer: And if someone wants to contact you or get to know more about all the things you’ve been doing, how do they get in contact with you?
Erick Roho Garcia: Go to ExpoCollective.com and @rohoarte on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Featured Photo Credit: RSallee Photography