INTERVIEW: JORDAN SOOK
Originally published in OUTTALINE Magazine Issue 01
Jordan Sook is only getting started. The Toronto based artist has quickly made a name for himself in the local art scene with his unique pop-contemporary takes on our favorite childhood cartoons. Jordan and longtime friend David Kantanka plan to build on that momentum with THRD, their newly established creative brand.
We talked to the two creatives at Jordan’s home studio to talk about THRD, living in your studio, and what it’s like for artists in high school.
How has your artistic process evolved?
Jordan: I think I’ve gotten faster in terms of [understanding] my style more. The hardest part as an artist is trying to find your unique style. You can always change and do different stuff, I feel like it’s more of an evolution than a flip. You see how it grows. The process is always changing but it’s more so that you’re getting more equipped. I’ve become faster at painting so I know I can do things at a certain rate. I’ve also been more selective with the types of pieces that I do, I don’t just do paintings just to do them. I’ll [still] be painting random stuff, but in terms of larger scale paintings I won’t do something random just because.
When did you start taking art more seriously?
Jordan: I think 2014. Late 2014, early 2015. I was watching a lot of Virgil, Kanye, Steve Stoute, Pharrell, and Nigo. I was watching them do stuff and I knew I wanted to do something, I knew I was going to be doing art. How I saw it happening is a lot different from how it’s unfolding now.
What is THRD?
Dave: Me and Jordan met five years ago, we met in school. Jordan was painting and we came up with an idea to paint on interior doors, so we were going to do that for a while. Long story short, we reconnected about a year and a half ago. We’re both creatives in different ways, we have different ideas, we have different ambitions.
I call THRD this overarching thing where underneath it is a lot of creative things. It’s essentially going to be a collective of creative pieces and things that we do. Now it’s just what me and Jordan are working on building as a brand, there’s no ‘THRD does this,’ we just create. One day it could be an installation, one day it could be shoes, one day it could be photography.
What is THRD in three words?
Jordan: I don’t know.
Have you travelled a lot?
Jordan: No, I have not travelled as much as I need to have travelled.
If I give you five grand, where do you go?
Jordan: Five grand I go to New York, ten grand I go to LA, fifteen I’m in Japan. That’s the way I’m looking at it because that will extend my stay in each one of those places. Growing as an artist you want to go a place with purpose, you don’t want to go for no reason. I do want to travel but right now if I go places I’m gonna want to do shit, and the six days that I booked off might not be enough for me. But that’s definitely on my list this year, I will be travelling.
With the resources of that company, which shoe would you like to design?
Jordan: I would probably want to work with Nike.
Jordan: I’d make my own. There’s Jordan’s, and then there’s Jordan Sook’s. I’d make my shoes [so that] they’re almost like toys in a way. There’d be stuff you could take off and put on them, switch with other shoes.
How much did the school system encourage you to think that art could be a career?
Jordan: I don’t feel like there is ever a point where someone is like ‘you should do art.’ You’re just at one point where this is what [you’re] doing now. High school is more about going to university and I feel like you don’t realize in grade 12 [that] everyone is going to be doing their own thing. People compare themselves, heavily, and it’s not good to compare yourself.
Where do the artists fall in high school? Not that high on the social hierarchy, but now when you’re in the real world it’s a bit different. You don’t realize that in high school, so your perception is off. Art is not taught as a career. There’s no set-up to push young artists, but there is a set-up for sports. There’s no real structured environment for visual arts. They don’t really instill those kind of dreams and visions into your head, and I feel like those are things you have to acquire yourself.
Jordan: Right now, it’s Rick and Morty, that’s the funniest thing on TV.
Describe your relationship with your home-studio.
Jordan: I call it the Shadow Gallery, which is a copy off of the movie V for Vendetta. I’ve always wanted to have cool shit, and I think my stuff is okay enough to fill this place. It’s almost a manifestation of myself… it would be a shame to go to Walt Disney’s house and it be boring as shit.
Follow Jordan @jordansook. Follow David @dkantanka. Follow THRD @thrdco.
Photos by @_kevinfall. Interview by @conordunner.
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