Hailing from Vancouver, the established artist RHEK has blessed us with many ventures including Cold World Frozen Goods and Pizza Coming Soon. His combined creative and ingenuity has led to numerous collaborations on graphics, branding and logos with brands across the globe. RHEK joins us for the 009 TAIKAN collection to represent the brand through his lens. His mesh of purple sunflowers, dinosaurs and other creatures along with intriguing hits of text that demand a second glance result in one of the most eye catching pieces of the collection. Learn more about RHEK and his endeavours from an exclusive interview below, and shop the collection here.



You opened a restaurant this year, Pizza Coming Soon, tell us more about your concept? Talk to us about grinding it out during the pandemic and how it’s going now. Is Pizza gonna Come?

We just wanted to open a really fun Pizza Bar with good drinks, like a chill, unpretentious spot to hang out at. Then we found out that Keith had no clue how to make Pizza so we're just going with his Japanese food until he figures it out. So now we're a Japanese Snack bar with a confusing name. 

Building the spot during the pandemic was great because me and my partners all didn't have jobs anymore so we had the time to just concentrate on it and do renos. We just figured it'd be over by the time we opened, which wasn't the case - so it's been a little rough cause all the government subsidies, loans and grants are only available to businesses with 2019 financials and we, as a new business, didn't qualify for anything. But we're weathering the storm because it's all we know. 



What’s the latest with Cold World Frozen Goods, what’s coming down the pipe?

Cold World's main goal was to do a collabo with Hidden Valley Ranch, such an iconic condiment and someone who no one would collaborate with - but then Croc's beat us to it so we're just going to continue to make weird shirts plus some clean cut n sew stuff too. I want to make a vest. I'm living my vest life.

Introduce us to the new dynamic duo of @picklesandleeroy… How do you get any work done!? Where did Leeroy’s middle name come from?

Pickles and Leeroy are best friends. Pickles is a 5 year old Lhasa Apso with a bad attitude and an affinity for belly rubs and peanut butter. Leeroy is a 7 month old CEO in training who goes by the name of Mr. Good Morning. I think the world has enough Michaels and Stevens so I tried to name him Jetski but Hana refused. 45 days after he was born we really needed to submit the birth certificate information so she agreed to Jetski as a middle name if we could call him Leeroy. Jetski's are cool. Leeroy's are cool too.

You have an amazing better half, what's the one thing you value most about Hana?
Hana is the greatest person I have ever met in my life. I love her.


Where does the inspiration for your TAIKAN graphic come from?
I think I had just been to an exhibit about Sun Ra in Portland and was inspired by how strange and loose some of his cover art was. I went pretty stream of consciousness with the design.


Have you always had a love for art & design or is it something you fell into? Was there a significant experience(s) that pushed you to get to where you are today?
I like making stuff and was friends with a bunch of music people and DJs so I started doing club flyers. Club flyers really got me into doing graphic design. I had taken a photography class in Montreal and I think they gave us a 2 week intro to photoshop so I barely knew how to use it but clubs are always looking for cheap graphic design so I found clients and then started to get better. Youtube is a great university.


Where do you draw inspiration from most for your creative endeavours? Who are some of your favourite artists, dead or alive?

I got inspired by untrained graphic design the most. Plumber vans, bad business cards, janky stuff like produce boxes. Cool accidents and weird font choices.


What are some things you consciously keep in mind when making creative decisions, what perspective do you come from?
Dust La Rock gave me the best advice. He told me when you finish a design, take a couple elements out at the end so it's not over worked and then add something slightly off so that it has soul. Or something to that effect. Dust was the complex vector master but started to get really basic and raw and was an inspiration. RIP Josh - you were the greatest.


Talk about the highest highs and lowest lows of being a creative. How do you handle it and stay sane?

Highest highs are making things you are proud of, that represent your vision and the lowest lows is dealing with clients who kill all your good ideas and just try and make you just be their hands. Like they know more than you. So why did you hire me then? Also, a billion revisions is always soul crushing. I think the best designs are the ones that take 20 minutes. The first thought, best thought ones.



Are we making another collaboration happen or what?

Only if GMAN lets me swim in his indoor swimming pool.


What goals do you have for the coming year?

My goal is to swim in GMAN's indoor swimming pool. 


Check out RHEK's Spotify playlist:

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