Feature Story: Q & A With Victor Koast
Victor Koast is the owner and creative director of Parafloyd designs; he has been in the industry since 2010. Koast and a group of the designers he represents gathered together for the Violent by Design art exhibit at Stay Gallery to show their personal artistic expression apart from what they do on a day-to-day basis for skate and streetwear clothing companies. Koast and I spoke at the night of the exhibit and also via e-mail. These are his answers to five questions about the exhibit, his job, and who he is as a designer.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION FOR DESIGN?
"My biggest inspiration in general would have to be my family. If it weren’t for them I probably wouldn't be pushing myself as an artist / brand as hard. Plus my fear of failure you could say plays a big part as well, nobody wants to lose therefor I can’t help but use the negative thought as fuel."
YOU MENTIONED TO ME IN THE INTERVIEW THAT YOU WERE DOING FREELANCE, WHAT KIND OF FREELANCE WORK WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU BECAME THE OWNER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF PARAFLOYD?
"I was actually painting graffiti for many years and not doing anything regarding / contributing to this industry. Parafloyd was my first experimental / passion project that help lead me to actually picking up clientele / freelance work due to always exposing my creative process with my own label. Once I went public my inbox started to get a substantial amount of traffic and put me in contact with some of the industry giants I work for today."
WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU TO HAVE YOUR OWN ART ON THE WALLS AT THE GALLERY NEXT TO THE PEOPLE THAT YOU REPRESENT?
“An honor really. Just the fact that they were willing to participate on this project from the jump was a little overwhelming considering I've never even met most of these influential people on the roster.”
I SPOKE WITH MIKE JONES AND HE INFORMED ME THAT HE USED TO BE YOUR BOSS, WHAT IS IT LIKE TO NOW REPRESENT HIM AS A DESIGNER?
“I see it as a perfect example of good karma and a great opportunity to give back. If it wasn't for this man emailing me about a potential job opportunity to work full time as a designer, god knows where I'd be at right now. All in all I see it as a blessing.”
MOST PEOPLE WHO WENT TO THE EXHIBIT WERE NOT FROM THE CITY OF DOWNEY, FOR THOSE WHO WERE NOT FAMILIAR WITH DESIGN AND THIS TYPE OF ART WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED THEM TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE SHOW?
“The acknowledgement of good art and that it still exist in the commercial aspect of business. Who knows what potential or important people ended up coming through for opening night but what I do hope for is some sort of opportunity or exchange in networking between the artist/designers and the people who attended the exhibit. If it involves building relationships, I'm all for it.”
Sabrina Picou is a Senior at Downey High School. She is currently one of two Editors-In-Chief for her school's newspaper, The Downey Legend and a writer for Stay Gallery's Journal.
All photographs taken during the opening reception by Kingston.