“I do second guess myself, but when you can really believe in an idea and really get behind it, that’s what makes you a creative force.”
A week away from finalizing the designs for his streetwear collaboration with Doritos, and Mikey is facing his greatest critic — himself. Enter Shawn Rojas, the brand manager and designer for Illegal Civilization who Mikey often relies on to take his designs to the next level. Shawn has had a direct hand in every Illegal Civilization design to date and often works as a soundboard for Mikey to bounce his ideas off of.
Generally, Mikey will dream up a design idea and sketch it out while it’s still fresh and exciting in his head, then he’ll pass it on to Shawn to expand on his idea until they find a middle ground that captures that undefinable essence of next-level design. In this way, Mikey treats his approach like a filmmaker directing a movie, which would make Rojas his director of photography.
Despite the fact that Mikey always delivers when the pressure is on, he still battles with a small amount of doubt while working his way through his final design. “I don’t want to hear anyone say it’s wack,” says Mikey, echoing the kind of nervousness that every creative experiences before they finally reveal their work. A moment later, however, and Mikey is beaming as he realizes that he’s hit on a design that perfectly mixes the child-like spontaneity of Illegal Civilization with the iconic imagery of Doritos, his favorite snack from high school. An “ah-ha” moment that every creative craves.
Watch the video above to learn more about Mikey’s creative process and get a sneak peek of the near-final designs.