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Meet Krishna Pagan of Elitist in South La

Today we’d like to introduce you to Krishna Pagan.

Krishna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been creating things for as long as I can remember. My father was an artist and my mother always supported what I wanted to do. I loved making things, but my art has always been restricted to two-dimensional space. I’ve learned and continuously am learning as many mediums as I can from drawing, painting, animation, photography, videography and eventually even teaching myself 3D modeling and sculpting.
3D modeling was a whole new world for me. Now I was creating worlds and objects that can be viewed at any angle and I had the freedom of simulated 3D space. It was exciting and really fun, it opened up all these new possibilities for things I could create. Only drawback was that my work could still only be viewed on a computer or on paper if I printed a render. It always felt weird that I would spend all my time making things on the computer in 3D but I was never able to hold something I made unless it was a piece of paper or canvas. Around the time 3D printing became popular, I wanted to go back to my roots, so I was working on my traditional art skills again.

Eventually in high school, I started to get into fashion because I was tired of people making fun of my outfits and I wanted to see what all the craze was about. I started to notice the connections that fashion has to traditional art and I was intrigued. Once I saw clothing and fashion in a new light, I wanted to experiment and see what I can make in this new medium that’s different from all the others I’ve tried. So I started the project “Elitist”. It’s been a cool learning experience for the past year and a half and as I’ve kept working on it the project continues to evolve to the point it is now.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Absolutely not, I don’t think anything worth doing ever really is a smooth road. The struggles I went through would range from finances to mental health to general frustrations and headaches from having to teach myself programs and whatnot. These problems aren’t unique to me though, these struggles are just part of the process. Personally, I think how people react to the problems that they are faced with is what separates the good from the great. Whenever I read about artists I admire, a commonality between them was that the road was never easy and the problems they faced would vastly outweigh mine, but they persevered and benefited from it in the long run. I try to find inspiration in that so I can keep going when I feel like I want to quit. That being said it doesn’t make the struggles any less annoying.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Elitist is my new clothing/merchandise project. Right now, we are doing a t-shirt drop in October of this year. All the clothes are handmade by me and designed by me. I tried on-demand t-shirt and clothing services before, but I didn’t like that I couldn’t vouch for the quality seeing as I never get to see the merchandise unless I order them for myself beforehand.

I think what sets Elitist apart from others is my history with art and how I implement my talents into the project. All promotional material and animations are made by me and are made to give an experience that I want to emulate in the clothing.

What were you like growing up?
As a kid, I was very introverted and shy. I would move around every year to different schools and homes so I didn’t really keep friendships for a long time. I was that stereotypical nerdy art kid who just drew and didn’t really talk much unless spoken to. Around the middle of high school was when I made an effort to open up and come out of my shell, but there’s always a bit of that shy kid in there.

As a child, I always knew I wanted to be an artist. I would watch Spongebob and say, “I’m gonna make that.”. I thought I wanted to solely be an animator for the longest time, but as I grew up, my interests expanded and that’s why I tried so many mediums. I still don’t fully know what “one job” I would want to do, so I just try to learn whatever interests me.

My dad was a punk as a kid so I grew up listening to the Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and others. Naturally, I ended up being a fan of punk rock and metal music. My favorite movies as a kid were Monster House and Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. I think all of that plays a role in the art I make seeing as it tends to have a darker tone. I try to fuse my love of music and my passion for art and see what I get and it’s been a cool experience so far.


  • T-Shirts range from $35- $45

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Photo Credits: Kashmir A. McDaniels and Pierce Amadeus

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