Interview: NunchiDesigns

For the summer 2019 drop we collaborated with our friend and artist: NunchiDesigns. We sat down with him days before the release to talk about his work and our collaborated release.


Who is the person behind NunchiDesigns ?

My name is Joshua van der Zanden and I’m based in The Netherlands (The Hague). I’m currently working at a restaurant to save money,  for investments like computers and cameras. Eventually want to be my own boss and own a business.

We at Roiyaru have a strong admiration with Japanese culture. Do you have any affinity with this?

First of all, I find all cultures interesting to a certain degree, they all have their beautiful and weird sides. To be honest, I’ve never been to Japan but I interact to Japanese culture a lot. There is something admirable about Japanese culture, because I feel like it’s very modest, mature and kind. I love Japanese food and I watch a lot of anime. My favourite anime is definitely Naruto. I like the Japanese clothing style as well, what I’ve seen is very modern and simple, I’m attracted to the simplicity as in my head I’m quite chaotic. Seeing something simple calms me down. Music wise I listen to a lot anime intro songs, my favourite band is probably Tricot, it’s a chill rock band. I listen to Tricot often while I’m drawing, it’s stimulating while I’m working.

Could you tell us something about how NunchiDesigns started?

I used to draw for a long time and people told me to start an art-account on Instagram. Nunchi is an specific art style to have the ability to listen to other people’s moods and emotions. I believe that there is a possibility to transform a negative mood into a positive mood. That is the goal behind my work, to make people see the beautiful positive side of a negative emotion. I want to help people with achieving a stable emotional life. To me it’s always possible to create something beautiful from negativity. That is what I stand for.

You told us you want to help people. Is there something you do to ‘trigger’ this emotional change in people?

People have struggles and usually bury them deep in their thoughts which makes hard to talk about. I believe it’s very important to talk about struggles and problems, because everybody has to deal with them in their own way. Talking about these issues creates bonds and connects people. I want to spark these conversations and create an environment where it feels ok to share these emotions with each other.

Is there a secret behind a ‘Nunchi Design’ ? Do you have a special working process?

I just feel the vibe or I don’t, there isn’t really a consistency in my work, I draw when I feel inspired to. I use Nunchi Designs as a platform where I can express myself, so when I feel like I have something to say, something to express, I draw.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

One of my biggest inspirations in clothing is MXDVS, a clothing brand from Belgium. I’ve been following them since they started, 5 or 6 years ago I was scrolling around on Tumblr when I found Max, the owner.  I found it cool to follow someone from the beginning and follow his progress towards better things. I also like MXDVS because it’s simply aesthetically pleasing to me. It has a nice combination of attention to detail and simplicity. I also like Rick Owens. The main reason is the unique way of his thinking, when he creates a new collection he looks back at his previous work and see what he can do different. And so he gets inspired by his own work. If I were to pick a favourite piece it would be the sock shoes, I like the variability of the collection and love the leather ones the most.

I also get a lot of inspiration from trap music, I love XXXTentacion, Trippie Redd, $uicideBoy$ and Scarlxrd, and some more relaxing music like Matt Corby and Mumford&Sons, but I especially love XXXTentacion. Lots of people feel negative about him and looking at his past, I can understand. But it’s his change from someone negative to someone positive that I love so much. He’s a big inspiration for me. Furthermore I love old soul music like Stevie Wonder. Movies and series wise I am into Fantasy and Science-Fiction, like Game Of Thrones, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I love how they create a world that isn’t real and yet it feels so real to me. They do this by giving this world human emotions and behaviour. My favourite Sci-Fi movie is definitely Avatar, I’m really attracted to the visual aesthetics. The movie feels really well put together, the way the humans and especially the animals interact with each other feels so real and authentic. As to more casual Sci-Fi I love The Avengers and classics like the Terminator. Also when I was 12 I was really into Warhammer, they also have characters from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Warhammer also has this thing called Warhammer 40k which is more focused around Sci-Fi aesthetics. Warhammer really activated my interest in these genres.

Is there anyone who is like your role model in life?

My parents, for sure. I came from a family of 5 and my father makes it possible to provide for all of us. He has a good job without a high education because he worked himself up the ladder. That’s perseverance in its best form and the proof that anything is possible, as long as you go for it and give it your all.

We are very proud that we have been able to collaborate with you. What would you like to achieve in the coming years for yourself?

I never want to stop developing and I want to explore myself as much as possible. Apart from NunchiDesigns, I would like to do an internship as an assistant of a movie director, just for experience and all the ins and outs. As Nunchi, I would like to use my art in music videos or fashion. So the collaboration with Roiyaru Clothing is hopefully the start of much more.  Helping people out and making them happier is very important to me and will always motivate me. I really enjoyed the whole process and I’m very proud with the result.