Felix_Shaozi, the winner of the 2017 Vans Asia Custom Culture Competition, is a Beijing-based creative whose diverse body of work includes graphic design, illustrations, murals, comics, fashion design, and much more. This versatility is what keeps his work fresh and unpredictable, and lets him weave concepts and techniques from one medium to another.
Shaozi doesn’t believe in waiting around for inspiration to strike. As a curious and self-driven individual, he relies on experimentation and hard work to bring new ideas to fruition. Even if not every idea pans out, he thinks putting in the effort to express himself is still valuable. “Everyone has something they want to say,” he tells us. “For me, art and design are ways of speaking. I create because I have something to say.”
From a skateboarding cyclops to an amphibious fish walking on all fours, Shaozi’s illustrations are doused in a sense of mischief that highlights two of his most beloved subjects: skate culture and animals.
“I think animals are much more beautiful than humans,” he admits.
This belief is made evident in his artworks. Many of the characters appearing in his illustrations – even anthropomorphic ones – are based on animal forms. This fondness for wildlife is also rooted in a bit of nostalgia: drawing animals stirs up childhood memories of visiting the zoo with his family and spending countless hours watching Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.
“我认为动物比人类更美丽。”他坦言，在他的插图中，出现的许多人物——甚至是拟人化的形象——都是以动物的形态为基础的。这种对野生动物的喜爱源于儿时的怀旧记忆：小时候的他常和家人一起参观动物园，花费无数个小时观看《动物世界》和 “Discovery 探索频道”。
For the 2017 Vans Custom Culture Asia Competition, Shaozi brought his love of animals and skateboarding together in his winning entry – an impish alligator designed in a vibrant green-and-red colorway on a pair of Vans’ iconic skate shoes. His interpretation of “Off the Wall”—the theme for 2017—stood out from the patterned and collage-style sketches submitted by many of the other talented participants. Nine months in the making, his shoe has now hit the shelves and is available on Vans.com.cn , shop.vans.co.kr, and at the Vans Hong Kong LCX Store.