by Lex Celera
I’ll admit it: the first time I got wind of Patrick Ondevilla and his work, I thought he had a hand in Blond, Frank Ocean’s latest drop, and then I thought he worked on Frank Ocean’s zine, Boys Don’t Cry. Just to clear things up, he almost did, but it didn’t push through.. “No, I didn’t make the logo, they just sent me that artwork to be used for merch,” he says. “They gave me two days only to produce the merch so that’s kinda impossible from how busy I was then.”
While I’m still not over Andre 3-stacks verse in “Solo (Reprise),” I’ve also chatted with Patrick via email to talk about himself: dropping out from UST and moving to LA, working with local skate apparel brand WSH, and designing merch for the likes of Pink Floyd, Justin Bieber, and Grimes as a designer for Church of Merch.
Can you give me a little background on Church of Merch? Does it offer official tour merch or something more?
We do a lot in Church of Merch besides designing and producing merch for music/visual artists. We do e-commerce and handle warehouse and fulfillment too and do tour support for our clients. It’s a pretty cool company to work at.
What are your current projects at the moment?
Right now I’m working on Pink Floyd and ACDC merch and a special one off shirt for Justin Bieber.
Do you interact with the artists regularly? Are there any cool memories with them that you can talk about?
Not really, some of them visit the studio once in a while, sometimes they do photoshoots at the studio. But I don’t really interact with them in person on the regular. Just emails and phone calls. So far, some of our clients that I met were cool, like Dallas Clayton, 12th Planet, Krewella, and Dada Life. I remember when Dada Life came through for a photoshoot, they were just these 2 energetic dudes, and they started to play their music loud in the studio like there’s an EDM party going on while they were shooting. They even asked us to stop working on our computers and join their “photoshoot/party,” but unfortunately, we got deadlines to meet for other clients. So yeah, you can’t party and work at the same time, i guess.
I heard you studied in UST; when did you make the move to LA?
Yes, I went to UST for three years then I dropped out to move to Chicago in 2013, then a year after I moved here to LA and now working on a merchandising company in downtown LA.
What was the journey like between moving to Chicago and now working for a merchandising company today?
It was a tough one, moving from the Philippines to US, especially to Chicago where the weather is far different from home. Trying to figure out what’s my life gonna be far away from home, working on shitty jobs just to pay bills. Then I moved to LA a year after, and fortunately got a job that I like on a music merchandising company. I had to leave college to move here.
WSH got started by this fucking homie named Peewee Bisnon, one hell of a designer with a fucked up beautiful mind and vision. He started WSH 3 years ago, and I was a fan of the brand since I saw it. I met Peewee when I went back to the Philippines for a vacation back in 2014. We were skating and drinking with the homies and just discussing common interests and whatnot. Then he just asked me to collaborate and work on some designs with him and we just kept on doing that since then, that’s how i got involved on WSH.
Did you have a hand on the latest collection?
No, I wasn’t able to work on the last collection. But I’m filming a few skate clips for a short skate video we are working on for WSH.
On a personal note, do you plan to stay in LA for a while? How often do you come back?
I’m planning to stay here in LA for a long time, trying to keep up with the phase and make ends meet. I went back to the Philippines twice already since I moved here but no plan on visiting home soon.
What does your weekly schedule look like?
Just working/chilling at the studio from Monday till Friday. Weekends are for beach, family and friends, and for cold beers of course.
Do you get to do passion projects? Any stuff for the future?
I like working on designs/production for artists that I really like or I really listen to like Pink Floyd, every time I work on something for Pink Floyd it gets me going, it’s the fucking Pink Floyd of course. Besides Floyd, I also like working on stuff for ACDC, Grimes and Dallas Clayton.
Do you have any tips for trying to start a clothing brand?
Just start something different from the rest, maintaining it is the hard part I think. Everyone’s starting their own clothing brand these days and doing the same thing, then if they feel it doesn’t click they’ll just let it die, easy come easy go. And always remember as the saying goes, “never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.”
Check out more of Patrick Ondevilla’s work at his website.