Q&A with Artist and Clothing Designer, Christopher Rivera
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
By Bridney C.
It is a pleasure to interview Christopher Rivera for the Sweet Scoop.
Christopher is a 21-year-old artist, graphic designer, and clothing designer based out of Avondale, Arizona. He is the first in his family to pursue a career in creative arts besides his cousin who is also a graphic designer and 3D modeler.
He is the owner of his brand, "G4AC" which stands for "Grinding 4 a Cause." Christopher also creates sneaker customs for clients who would rather wear colorful, detailed design versus wearing plain shoes.
According to Chris, he says what sets him apart from other independent clothing brands is what he designs is bold, meaningful to him, and what he designs is "personal" to him. His designs represent his journey "whether it be body positivity, depression, spreading positivity, or street art."
The goal of "G4AC" is to allow Christopher to donate his proceeds to local art programs and children's education programs. In this edition of Q&A, Christopher Rivera revealed some of his favorite design inspirations, discussed initial setbacks while creating his clothing brand, and future plans to grow his business.
Bridney C: If you could come up with a theme song for "G4AC" which song would you choose? Why?
Christopher Rivera: The song would be "Go Get It" by T.I. That song has gotten me through a lot of hard times by pushing me to keep working and grinding to get to the goal.
BC: What is your favorite design you have made so far?
CR: My favorite design would have to be “Mind of TSB” because I put the majority of my design pieces together and made pretty much one big mural. It just puts in perspective how far I have come with all my designs and my art style.
BC: What is your favorite sneaker custom you have made so far?
CR: My favorite custom sneaker I’ve done so far has to be the Hidden Talent Air Force 1s. Designing that shoe was a challenge for me. From hand-stitching, controlled multi-color splatter, to adding accessories it was just all-around a great custom and it also reflected my Puerto Rican heritage by showing a Taino symbol on the side.
BC: Who are some of your favorite designers, stylists, photographers? Are any of these creatives inspirational or influential to you and "Grinding 4 a Cause?"
CR: Some of my favorite designers are Kanye west, Epps who owns a local clothing line called Vintage Snaps, and Denzy who owns another local clothing line called Fuck The Media. All three of these designers inspire me when it comes to the direction of their brands whether it be Kanye’s minimalist yet luxurious style, Vintage Snaps with the vintage and classic looks, or Denzy with the bold and loud statements of "fuck the government and media," which is why he named his clothing line Fuck The Media. I pull inspiration from each of these people or at least pay attention to what they are doing, so I can improve myself and brand.
BC: Were there any initial setbacks or struggles you faced before creating "The Sneaker Brainiac?" Was it easy starting your own brand and establishing yourself as a versatile designer?
CR: Definitely. While starting “TSB,” it was just getting people to recognize what I was doing, to see that I brought quality to my craft and that the quality was worth the price tag. It was not easy to start off, I had to fully develop my style of art, and constantly improve my quality. I also had to stay on top of trends and any new styles to make sure my work had relevance. As far as marketing goes, it was important for me to establish myself as a versatile designer. It wasn’t as hard as it seems, only because of who I am as a person and anyone who knows me knows I’ve always been into art since I was younger.
BC: What are some tips you could give to someone who would like to start their own brand? Any helpful advice you could give to someone who may be afraid of negative judgment?
CR: Some tips I would give to someone who would want to start a brand is to find their story and find out who they are as a person and what they have to offer to this world, and to be as authentic as possible. When it comes to negative judgment, what I would tell anyone to do is block it out, stay true to themselves, and their direction.
BC: How do you plan on growing your business? What do you hope to change or incorporate in addition to what you already do?
CR: I plan on expanding my versatility when it comes to my custom sneakers. I plan on making sneakers from scratch and eventually designing my own signature sneaker. I plan to better my process for customers when it comes to ordering products from me.
For inquiries email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.