Transcript of Sushi Fridays EP003: Galanacci The Creator

A: What is up friends, happy Sushi Friday. As you know, Sushi Fridays exist to share the stories of creatives. And as a child of Filipino immigrant parents, I share my own stories in my work. So it's always interesting and inspiring to me when I get to learn about the stories of other Filipino immigrant families like mine.

Like how they relocate, where they set up roots, how they build. And that brings us to our guest today, who I'm super excited for you to meet. Galanacci, The Creator. He's an artist, designer, creator based in the UK who I've been following for quite a while now since we first connected on socials. Mind you, I [00:01:00] filmed this episode on a summer afternoon back in July.

It is October 2023 now. It has been a couple months, but it was worth the wait. Not only did I learn about podcasting. I also got to learn about Galanacci's journey from the Philippines to the UK, to what schooling was like, the kind of life and business lessons he learned, and how passion projects led to where he is today.

His favorite artist is Nipsey Hussle, his fave song is Victory Lap, and it surely shows by the way he makes moves. So without further ado...I introduce to you, Galanacci, The Creator, let's get into it. I just want to talk to you about everything basically about your journey. I know that you were born in Manila.

Can you share with us how you went from Manila to the UK and how that affected or inspired your creative journey today?

G: Yeah, so I was, yeah, I was born in Manila. I'm like the eldest of four, but back then it was just three of us. And...Yeah, I was in Manila until like I was seven, so I still have memories of growing up in Manila and going to school there.

At a young age, I started drawing too. So like I think my very kind of youngest memory of me picking up art was when I was like five and that was like when I was drawing Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. And during that time my mom actually was already in the UK working as a nurse.

And it's only like my dad, I was taking care of my sister and my brother and myself, and he would send those drawings to my mom all the way from Philippines to the UK, but yeah, that's like the very, very, very first memory of me. Like just being in touch with art. So when I moved to the UK, all I remember when I first kind of went to school is that I would enjoy the art lessons that we have.

Like I didn't know how to talk. So I kind of communicated through my art. And then that's kind of like when I realized that wow, I have something. That most people don't really have because every time we had art lessons, they would kind of crowd around my table and be like, wow, did you draw that? Did you draw that?

Because it was just like the way I drew was higher, a higher level compared to my peers. That's because I was already like practicing when I was like five, because that was like the thing that I was doing and passionate about. I would get into the zone as you call it and. Before, you know, I have like a, I’ve completed like this portrait and it, it was very frictionless for me to do, because I just get into that mindset in that zone and it just flows, you know, there's no, there's no resistance to it.

And I think most people find it hard to even get into that stage where they go into that kind of flow, what you call a flow. So I'm grateful that that comes very natural to me. Especially with the, when I do art, but then it's also during what you call high school where I discovered design as well.

So there was like a lesson, a subject called design technology, and it was like woodwork and all that stuff. And that was when I was introduced to the whole kind of concept of design. So I kind of excelled in design also. Took that on to, oh, we call it six form. We have six form. It's like a preparatory years. Like two years that you do before you go into university. So, yeah. So during that time I pushed to do art and design, but then I failed like the first year. And during that first year, I wasn't even, I wasn't able to do art because not many,not enough people took art, so during that time I had to take design instead, and then like, I did like, maths and physics, because I was like, preparing myself to get into architecture, because I was thinking what, what kind of career path would kind of like, utilize my career.

Kind of like the creative side, and obviously in a Filipino household, it's either like a doctor or engineer or like an architect, like somewhere within those kind of range.

A: So did you actually go into studying architecture or you started and you just thought, no, this is not for me. Did you finish in it?

G: See, the thing is the architecture degree here, it's like seven years long. So yeah, I ended up doing my undergrad, which is three years. So I went to Cardiff University to study architecture. And yeah, I did, I completed those three years, but it was like, it was up and down. It was like a love and hate relationship with the subject because for the first year, everyone starts off in the same level, right?

Because they teach you the fundamentals of design principles and everything. Then it was like the second year comes along and then that's when it's like the real stuff where it gets technical. And I struggled, I struggled and I failed like two modules, but then I managed to pass it eventually. And then third year, I pushed even harder, I ended up graduating that first three years.

But yeah, it was definitely like a love and hate relationship with architecture, because it wasn't something I was about to even like, pursue as a career. I thought it was just something that maybe could lead into something that would satisfy my creativity.

A: Wow. So, what are you passionate about today, creatively?

G: Yeah. Creatively. Actually architecture, just going through that route, it kind of made me realize, yeah, buildings, that's not really the thing that I'm passionate about. But what I did find out was I do like the design side of it. I do like conceptualizing and I do like modeling these things, creating these concepts.

Creating a story for it and whatnot. I actually went to go and work in an architecture firm for a year. And I think it was during that year that I found out what I really wanted type of thing, because it was like a nine to five, but I did dream of working in central London, so that kind of fulfilled.

That dream. But then I also noticed things where, okay, the 9 to 5 life isn't for me, like, I would look around and I'm like, can I see myself here in 10 years? I was like, no, definitely not. Like, I couldn't, I couldn't see, I couldn't see past 5 years or let alone. 10. But it was through that journey where I really kind of like found out what I really wanted to do.

A: What resonates with me is the fact that Galanacci looked around that architectural firm and questioned whether or not he could see himself there five, even 10 years in, and he couldn't. What comes next? He discovers what truly ignites him beyond architecture.

G: The funny thing is. During my time in architecture school, I was doing fashion already. I was doing like, me and my classmates, coursemates, we started like a brand. It was like an architecture fashion brand. So it was like clothing that was inspired by architecture. And we actually made this jumper from scratch, so I sewed it and made the pins and everything and actually made a garment from scratch.

And then on top of that, I would be doing like paintings on denim jacket during that time. So instead of actually doing architectural work, I'll be doing things on the side, which kind of pulled me away from what I should be doing during. But it was, yeah, it was those hobbies then that ended up being what I'm actually passionate about and like really pushing on now because I've always kind of like think longevity.

If I can't, if I'm not passionate about something and especially in a career aspect, right, then what's the point of pursuing a career where you're not really wholeheartedly passionate, because then you're just going to be there and you're going to be miserable, miserable every single day, being able to create something from scratch.

Those are the things that I'm very, very passionate about. And maybe that's why I am where I am right now, because I realized that, okay, I need to really do things that I'm passionate about, because then I could really push those as far as I can without being miserable. Or all of those things. Cause it's either I take that career path or I'm miserable.

I'm just gonna be demotivated every single day. Or, I do something that I'm passionate about, and then face challenges, but then overcome them because I'm passionate enough to really keep on pushing.

A: Can you tell us about how that led to your fashion brand, Galanacci?

G: Yeah, Galanacci. Actually it's funny because I came up with the word Galanacci.

It wasn't even meant to be a fashion thing, it wasn't even meant to be like, closely related to what I'm doing now. It was simply like, because back then it was like, what, 2015? 2014? I wanted a one word Instagram username, and during that time I was watching like Prison Break, and I heard the word Fibonacci.

And that's like... It's like the Italian mathematician who coined the whole like, uh, golden ratio and then the Fibonacci sequence, which is closely related to, like the, the golden number. So like the spirals on a snail or like the, how a leaf looks like in nature. And then I just combined that with like my surname Galan, and then that's where I came up with Galanacci.

So, literally, back then it was just four Instagram name, that's it, because it was one word and it sounded cool. But then, fast forward maybe, what, five, six years, it ended up becoming like my artistic alias. And then, becoming my actual brand name. Because, when I started... Galanacci, I didn't even have a logo and I didn't even know what I was going to do, but I did know the purpose behind it.

So I wanted to create and motivate to basically have it as a platform for me to feed in all my creations, but more tailored into that fashion route. Because during the time of the inception of Galanacci, I was already looking up to like Virgil Abloh, Samuel Ross, if you've heard of him.

And the funny thing is, um. It was during uni where I came across these guys. Imagine, wow, what if I took their path and I did the things that they were doing, that would be like, so cool. And something I'm actually quite interested in because I already, I was already interested in fashion in the first place and all the things that they were doing, streetwear, luxury, and all of that.

But from there, I was sort of just thinking I need to step foot in fashion in a different way where, because obviously I didn't have any background in fashion whatsoever. I just had a background in architecture and arts and design.

A: Passion and purpose many times go hand in hand, and we see this in Galanacci's work. He also acts on passion and purpose, and he's living proof that acting on it leads to opportunity.

G: So, I follow my gut feeling, and that gut feeling was to just... Draw for a straight month of like these illustrations of looks from A Cold Wall. So, uh, works of Samuel Ross, I would be, uh, illustrating and posting them online and tagging Samuel Ross, because I wanted to go and work for him. Right. So then maybe that way I could step foot into,  into the industry and learn more whilst I kind of build my brand on the side.

But the crazy thing about it is, this guy named Reece Yeboah, during that time, was actually being mentored by Samuel Ross. And he contacted me through the DMs because he saw those illustrations that I was tagging Samuel Ross. But then it was him that saw me. And then... During that time, he was starting his own, uh, luxury streetwear brand.

And he previously had a brand also that he was running for almost 10 years. So when I kind of looked into him, I was like, wow, okay, this is it. Cause I actually wanted to at least jump, jump on a startup clothing brand where they're upcoming. They already have like experience so that I can learn from them.

And then this all happened in the span of that one month of me, like, having that gut feeling to start  illustrating. So it was like, it's just mind blowing how things lined up back then. So it was through there where I learned to actually like incorporate storytelling purpose within, within your brand. So I've been working there two years. Actually, today is my last day there. I sent my resignation letter like three months ago and during that two years, I literally, I went from not knowing how to build a brand or even knowing anything about like how to build a fashion brand to being in there in those rooms where decisions were made because with Reece Yeboah, he has a brand called Yeboah. And it was about, the whole message is helping others and it's like a street luxe brand and they recently at the beginning of this year they had like a collab with Cos I don't know if you've heard of Cos is like a Swedish fashion brand so they collaborated with Yeboah. So that was really such a dope experience. Like that was when I really really learned a lot. I saw how an established brand, corporate level, how they kind of like move and how they do things.

And then I found out that it was quite similar to how an architectural firm moves. Not only that, it's that they also, we did a fashion show at the Tate Modern. Yeah, for that, for that collection. So that was like an even like crazier experience to have because I was during that time I was like what one year into my kind of like fashion journey of like building a brand, my own brand because I was building Galanacci on the side whilst working for Yeboah.

So everything I learned, I had to apply it straight away because that's the best way to learn. And that's the way you would retain the information more. So I was just applying everything I learned and building Galanacci on the side. And just experiencing all of those things, it boosted my learning by like 5x at least.

Because if I kind of like think back now, if I were to go the traditional route of like going back to uni or maybe interning at a corporate fashion brand, it would take a lot longer and I wouldn't even probably have access to those specific experiences that I have now. It's just a crazy amount of experience that I wouldn't even be able to like pay for in a way, you know, like money can't buy that type of experience because it kind of.

It manifested naturally and so organically, so I'm very, very grateful because then now that helped me set up the foundations for, for Galanacci

A: So what's your next step for Galanacci?

G: Yeah, so for, for Galanacci, I think it's, so during that whole time with like, uh, the Yeboah, it's, it's, I learned that one of the big things about starting a brand is having a community to back it up.

Right. So I think for me, That the main focus is to, to build that community, to attract those people with the same values, or if not people who are starting that journey with the same kind of like mindset, because Galanacci is about the self discovery of one's greatness. I'm kind of encapsulating this whole kind of thought where everyone has the potential to be great, but then.

It requires self discovery, and that whole self discovery takes time, so not, not everyone is able to, to go and find how great they can be, because obviously life, you just get bombarded, you just, you just don't have the time. What I'm saying is like, with this brand, is at least question what you could be great at, what your purpose is, and just try to go on that journey of self discovery.

So yeah, it's definitely just building a community and then at the same time refining my my technical skills, it's like, I want to be able to design the clothing, create the clothing, make the clothing and all of those things like being able to just sketch an idea, create the idea, and then scale the idea by forwarding it into a manufacturer and then marketing that.

And then pushing it to the, to your community, if they like it, they love it and all of those aspects. It's just the whole journey is something that really kind of interests me. But yeah, definitely community building is my main focus and my brand ethos and values are also evolving with time. So it's just pushing those and being able to also live by what I'm pushing.

So by doing the whole kind of 365 series that I'm currently doing for Galanacci, which is designing a look every single day for 365 days. I think that's one way of living up to my brand's slogan and ethos and hopefully inspire creatives like, Oh, if he can do it, then maybe I can do it too. So yeah, that's what I'm really pushing for, for the brand currently.

A: When you talk about your brand values, I see that in your messaging and I see that in your posts and it's so prevalent in just how you present your brand. So I think that's super admirable. Also because I feel like a lot of people who get into fashion are just doing it for the sake, this is just my opinion, like a lot of people are like, Oh, I'm in fashion, but I'm just thinking, what do you stand for really?

And I feel like you're legit because you actually care about those things. So I admire that.

G: Thank you. Yeah, no, I share the same, uh, same outlook because there's just so many brands popping here and there, but then when you think about it. Time will filter them out like the ones that are really serious about it.

They're gonna withstand time. They're gonna be here in five years. They're gonna be in ten years because yeah for me purpose is important because yeah Once I found that purpose, I was like, okay. Yeah there's no stopping me, man. I don't care if it takes five years, ten years to really, like, get the results that I imagined in the top of my head, but it's gonna come with time, so I'm just gonna keep my head down and keep it, keep it moving.

Finding purpose. Purpose, finding purpose is the hardest thing, and it's a luxury for you to know what your purpose is, because not many find out what their purpose is, even throughout their lifetime. And I consider myself very, very lucky to, to even have found it at the age I am.

A: Looking back at your journey, is there anything that you would do differently?

G: Yes, I saw this on your, when you sent it over the question and I was like, I was thinking about it. And I was like, would I really change anything? Because whatever happened, happened for a reason. And if I did change a certain aspect of it, then the outcome would be very different. I wouldn't even, I might not even be the person I am now.

Or I might not even be doing the things I'm doing now also. So I think I wouldn't change anything because everything had to happen the way it happened. In order for me to be standing or sitting here today. Mm hmm.

Cool. And I feel that. It's like every, every event or every decision you made, everything led to where you are today, and I truly believe that.

Yeah. How do you find inspiration for your work? And how do you prioritize, Am I going to be drawing today? Am I... Going to create video today, like how do you prioritize your creative tasks and where do you find the inspo for that?

G: It's funny because in terms of inspiration, I usually deeply pull from my interests.

So art, design, fashion, boxing, especially for like the ethos and values of Galanacci, I pull a lot from boxing. Because I think boxing is like, uh, the best metaphor for life. Like, no matter how many, how many times life knocks you down, you gotta get up, you know, every single time. That's where I pull from, boxing.

But then in terms of like, design, and inspiration in general, I think it's just through life, living, you know, like, I'd say I have a good kind of like, photographic memory, where if I see something that I like, it's kind of just stored in my mind, so. For example, like the 365 days, if I, if I saw something that I liked a couple of days ago, and then I was like, Oh, okay, cool.

Let me do that for today. I would just draw that flip from my memory, but usually it's through Instagram. It's the same thing. If I like something, I'll just store it. And I mean, I could, I also like screenshot things that I like, whether it be in a movie, a K drama or anything really. If I'm walking and then I see an interesting wall, the way the graffiti was sprayed or the way the wall is decaying, I'll just take a picture.

But yeah, I like to pull from life really just by living because then that's more kind of personal to you, you know, like it's authentic. Like no one can take that away from you. Like it's, it's part of your journey.

A: So with all of this creative work that you do. Do you find time for self care outside of boxing?

Like, do you find time for yourself and for your mind and for your relationships? Like, how does that work into the picture?

G: It's funny that you say that because I've sort of tailored my life around the things that I am passionate about. So yeah, there's a dedicated time for me to draw and all of that.

Ever since I was young, it was always like that, so people around me knew I'm that type of person that just enjoys creating. I'm a person who likes solitude, you know, like, I like my own time, my free time. And luckily, my girlfriend right now, she also understands because she's pretty much the girl version of me.

Like, she has that hunger, that passion, the same things, but it's just, it covers a different realm of creativity. But the great thing is she actually, she's basically like the co-founder for Galanacci. So we're, we're working hand in hand. She oversees everything and always run things through her just to get that second opinion.

But yeah, I think. I just sort of tailored this whole creative, creativity, this whole, that personality of being a creative person and just build my life around it. Cause if you don't, then that's when you don't find time to do those things. Cause you're just going to build your life around life. So around your nine to five, so you're, you're, you're not actually building it yourself.

You're allowing other things that happen in your life to basically control and navigate where you go, but I kind of took the control I was like nah, I'll be the, I'll be the captain of that ship.

A: If you had one message for aspiring young creatives, what would that be?

G: I think the best one would be stop aspiring and just be, you know, because back then I had like a tagline called aspiring creator and I had the tagline for like years.

I would always put it on my social media just to show who I'm my artistic person. But then I had that sudden shift in perspective where I'm like, why am I aspiring? Like. Let me just be, let me be a creator, because I already am, because I, I create these drawings, these artworks, these designs, and whatnot.

So yeah, that would be like, forget aspiring, just get down and be, become it, you know, just be it, and then you start from there. Okay,

A: I just want to end it off with five rapid fire questions, so whatever comes to your head Whatever comes to your head, answer however you want. Number one, fave fashion designer of all time.

Virgil Abloh. Yes, you have the architectural parallels. So I can see that. I can see that. Last meal on earth.

G: Ooh, kare kare. Oh, I love my kare kare. Oh my gosh. Too good man with the bagoong. Oh my days. It's my favorite, my top, my top favorite food.

A: Only from your family or do you, do you eat it outside?

G: Only from my mom's cooking or my cooking or my girlfriend's cooking.

Other than that, it just tastes different.

A: Exactly, exactly. I ordered that at a Filipino restaurant once. It wasn't the same. Number three. Fave musical artist of all time.

G: Ooh, it's got to be Nipsey Hussle. It was him that kind of put into my mind his whole consistency, like his uh, branding. The marathon. So like the life isn't a sprint.

G: It's a marathon. So it's him pushing, pushing that message of longevity and also independency because he, he owns all his, all of his masters and all of those things. So yeah, it's definitely Nipsey Hussle.

A: What's a fashion trend you'd like to see disappear forever?

G: Tracksuits man. I'm not a fan of Nike Tech Fleeces. So like the tracksuits in the UK. Wow. I'm not, I've never been, you've never seen me wearing that. Like I was never into it. Especially when it's a big part of the UK culture growing up. Especially. Yeah. I was never into it. It looks, wow. It looks trashy. I'm sorry. I prefer the 90s Adidas tracksuits, you know? Like the Adicolor, those type of tracksuits, but like the Nike tech fleece. I just couldn't, I can't.

A: Last question. Dream travel destination?

G: Ooh, dream travel destination. That's a hard one. There's a couple.

Like, I'd really like to see like a proper African country. But it has to be like deep there, either, oh come on, either that or somewhere in South America, like Brazil, those, those type of areas, like very dense jungly forests.

A: And there you have it friends, I want to sincerely thank my very first Sushi Fridays guest, Galanacci The Creator, who shared with us his journey from Manila to the UK from architecture to passion projects to fashion to growing his brand And living in passion and purpose. I myself have learned a lot from him including consistency grit and just staying on track.

A: Let me know what you thought about this episode. You can send me a DM on IG at @sushifridayspod or send me a message at SushiFridaysPod (at) gmail (dot) com. Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. I am your host, Andrea Pascual and I thank you again for listening to Sushi Fridays. I will talk to you again next Friday.

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