Today we’d like to introduce you to Gordo Johnson.
Gordo, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Growing up, I was raised by my immigrant mother and three older sisters. It was tough for all of us growing up but kind of different for me not having anyone as a young boy to relate to. Around the age of 4, we had gotten some new neighbors who were Japanese. They also had a 4-year-old son who only had older sisters around. Growing up, I spent most of my days in their household being watched by his mother, enjoying their food and learning so much about Japan culture. Around the age of 8, they moved away. Our parents didn’t tell us in advance, probably so we wouldn’t make a fuss about it longer. Looking back now, I believe that left some sort of void in me that I constantly creatively try to fill with fashion and visual arts. Expressing arts with a Japanese aesthetic and mildly lugubrious vibe, I believe I found my style.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I would say my art story, and its inspiration is the same as my personal story.
I have never been much of a vocal person, so I like to express myself visually. Since I was able to dress myself, I wanted to make my outfits different than everyone else, and that pushed me to do a lot of customization to my clothes. Every time I had an idea for something, I would just try to learn how to make it happen on my own. After years of that, I eventually got a good understanding on how to make lots of clothing. Still, with a fascination of Japan, I decided to start an apparel brand (Latokyo) to hopefully one day get me the funds to take a trip over there, which it eventually did.
To backtrack a bit, I didn’t have anyone to take pictures of my clothes, and my stubbornness made me pick one up myself, and I adapted that into another form of expressing art. All self-taught, I began to take on the challenges of “photo manipulation.” Eventually, video also became a challenge I took on.
I’m not sure if there’s a message I particularly want anyone to take, but there’s definitely messages. It’s more so of personal expressions, but I’ve also learned that there are so many people around the world that feel the same way. Feeling different, influenced by Japan for whatever reason or the caliginous emotions I put in my creations. Those people who get it just get it, I guess.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Do whatever you want, not what you think people would want. Stick to what you feel and express that the best way you can for yourself. The right audience that relates will find you.
The most you can do is work harder and better than the you, you were yesterday. The more you focus on that, everything else will get better before you know it.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
The best way for people to see my work is through my brand Latokyo (www.wearlatokyo.com) (Instagram @Latokyo).
From Latokyo you can see my thoughts expressed in the clothing and in the visuals (photo and video).
I like to think of it as a little more than just a clothing brand but also a visual experience.
Or my personal Instagram (@gordo_LTKO) for more of my non Latokyo related photos and photo manipulations.
- Website: www.wearlatokyo.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/latokyo
- Facebook: facebook.com/latokyo
- Twitter: twitter.com/latokyobrand