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Five Minutes With: Offgod, Gen Z artist

By Celia Lee 14 February 2023

Header image courtesy of Gallery by the Harbour

We’ve all dreamed of making our passion our career. Even when some of us succeed in pursuing our interests, not all of us can make a name for ourselves on an international scale. Sometimes, however, luck, skill, and opportunity meet at a favourable intersection, setting the stage for a success story that is guaranteed to inspire young and aspiring creatives. 

From drawing fan art on Instagram to illustrating album covers for The Kid Laroi and Juice Wrld, we spoke with local artist and fashion designer Andrew Mok, better known as Offgod on the internet, about his journey to becoming one of the freshest talents in the art world.

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Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

How did your journey as an artist begin?

I started drawing when I was a baby—doodling was a way for me to stop fidgeting with my hands. I later became interested in art and was motivated to keep up drawing as a hobby. When I was 14, I posted fan art on Instagram to express my personality and the people and things I was interested in at the time. The more I drew different people, the more recognition I would get from their fans, and the more followers I gained on social media.

Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

How did you conceive your unique style?

When I first started creating artwork and posting them on Instagram, I didn’t have my own style yet, so I would draw YouTubers and rappers in the style of cartoons that I used to watch, like Adventure Time, Phineas & Ferb, Teen Titans, etc. After a few years, I decided to create an art style that is unique to me. I began experimenting with different styles until I found one that spoke to me and best represents me as a person.

I settled on something that draws from the Western cartoon art style and the Japanese anime and manga style that I was exposed to as a child. I also add a little star in the eyes of my characters as an easy way for people to distinguish my art from other artists.

Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

What inspires the way you create and the subject of your art?

The movies and TV shows I watch influence my creative thinking as well as the subjects I draw in my art, for example, images and memories of certain cartoon characters. I am also inspired by a lot of images seen on social media, which I often use as a reference in my older drawings. These could be unique pieces of clothing, people in interesting poses, and different perspectives of seeing the world.

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Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

Does Hong Kong play a part in your art?

Being born and raised in Hong Kong, I was exposed to a pop culture westernised through globalisation and technological advancement. Apart from being influenced by stuff I see on the internet, I also take inspiration locally through my experiences around Hong Kong. Although the city plays a small part in my art, the majority of which has a more Western outlook paired with Japanese street culture, you can still see elements of Hong Kong culture in a few of my artworks.

Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

Is there a message behind your art?

My art is never that deep. I just want people to look at my art and be inspired by its visuals, to learn more about me as an artist and the influences of my art, such as fashion. A lot of my art is up to interpretation—visuals that represent lively teenagers just having fun and hanging around—that’s what I believe life should be: just a group of friends having fun.

Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

What is the meaning behind your artist name?

Till this day I am still not 100 percent sure why I chose the name, but looking back at it now, I would say there are two main influences. The first part was probably inspired by Virgil Abloh’s clothing brand, Off-White, since I was a huge fan of his work and I often drew his clothing. I don’t think there’s really any meaning or intention behind the last part of the name, other than the fact that it made the name sound cool and easy to remember.

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Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

How was it working with international artists and brands?

Working on commissions with famous people and world-renowned brands is really a dream come true. As these would often be the people I look up to or brands that I wear, I would often find myself not able to process the scale of these projects, especially after they come out. Most brands or rappers would give me a lot of creative freedom to think and make art, making the whole collaborative experience so much more enjoyable for me.

Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

Did you ever envision your hobby could lead you to where you are today?

Never. I still can’t believe that something as simple as drawing has led me to this position in life. I am grateful that I was exposed to art and picked up the hobby from my older brother—he has always been interested in art while we were growing up, and he is the reason why I have such a strong passion for the arts in the first place. I am also proud of myself for being optimistic and not giving up on my hopes and dreams even when times were tough and challenging, and when things didn’t go my way.

Any hobbies outside of art?

I really enjoy doing sports, everything from football to table tennis and even badminton. I used to be extremely athletic as I was in a lot of school teams. However, now that I am in my last year of high school, I don’t have much time for these activities, and I decided to concentrate on the arts and on school. I still love sports, though. I’d like to think if I picked them up now, I would still be pretty good at them.

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Photo: Gallery by the Harbour

What does the future look like for Offgod?

I hope to keep creating innovative art, pushing the boundaries of wearable art, and explore other fields, from music to directing and fashion. I want to explore multiple mediums and  areas in art, and gain more knowledge from my artistic experiences and be an overall “creative” instead of being limited to one type of art. In the near future, I hope to pursue in the realm of fashion as I continue to create innovative wearable sculptures.

I do have a few collaborations with clothing brands lined up, the majority of which are based in the US. I am also working with some local names and I will be working on a fashion show this year for a brand I cannot disclose yet. All I can say is I am extremely excited about that.

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Celia Lee

Staff writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, Celia is passionate about culture, food, and different happenings in the city. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her scouting for new and trendy restaurants, getting lost in a bookstore, or baking up a storm at home.

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