Ivan Gomez - scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
Department Of The Future is a young independent company that works across a number of creative disciplines. Our sectors include DOTF — bespoke video content for
 education and corporate, Speaker TV — a pop culture entertainment
 platform complimented by branded content, Speaker Amplified — activation and events, and Cheap Thrills — bespoke fashion design for
 brands with high quality 
merchandise production services.

Why do you do it?
Department Of The Future allows me to explore my interests across both fashion and video content. With fashion I have used my many years of experience to develop properties for clients like Flume, Bliss n Eso, Carlton Dry and I really enjoy doing that with them. The video production side of things is our core focus and that is through running Speaker TV (a segment-based, platform-based online and in a half hour show), which is independent music-based content which is quite unique in the sense that we have full control. The focus is on the artist and not the presenter and we feel that that is an interesting voice to have in this country that we want to continue to develop.

I personally quite enjoy working across the corporate and education content with our video production company. And why I love doing that is after all my experience, whether it be fashion or music, it's really about honing in on these skills and taking them to industry, whether it be corporate or education and how we capture content messaging and how we deliver that through a visual medium that allows them to tell a story that they would traditionally do through a brochure. Our insight is proving to be one that works well.

What do you love about the city you live in?
What’s there not to love about living in Melbourne! Especially for me, a lot of people whinge about the weather, I don’t care. It can be raining, hailing, sunny; weather is just part of the parcel in Melbourne. And regardless of the weather there is just such an amazing array of things you can do in this city, just pick your mood and there’s just no shortage of possibilities. Whether it be across arts, culture, food, sports, even just exploring some really interesting things, whether it be in the suburbs or going to the city, walk down a laneway and walk into the most kick ass gallery or restaurant or bar.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
At the end of last year I went to Colombia for my little sister's wedding and then we took our daughter to Disney Land followed by a week in Hawaii. Hawaii was a real treat; it was more of a holiday, we had a week to relax and do pretty much nothing and I really enjoyed going surfing. I even made the local papers, people thought there was a beached whale on a surfboard but it was actually me.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?
Not one item as such, but my favourite category would have to be shoes. I love shoes because they can change a complete look. You could wear a really flash pair of shoes with a basic tee and pants but that shoe just makes it and gives you that swagger when you walk into a room. It just dictates what direction you’ll take that day. Or at least that’s how I see shoes.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
Depends on the age but growing up I would have to say one of my favourite shows would be Skippy. I also enjoyed Prisoner and I Dream of Jeannie, but I think we’ll go with Scooby Doo. That was probably my favourite cartoon show.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
I would like to go back in time and hang out with Jesus and go, ‘Mate, I need some shit sorted out — which bits do you want kept in, and what wrongs can we make right because there are so many things that are a little bit fucked up and skewed and it would be nice to clarify'. And then I think we’ll just hang out, have a few beers and just sit with each other.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook for us?
I would cook a smorgasbord; that way if I fucked a couple of things up then there’d be something else that you like. I’d make a few pastries with veggies, maybe some three-cheese pastries; a couple of salads, a rack of lamb and maybe a stew. Desserts, I’d just buy those, just 'cause they aren’t a strong forte of mine. I’d get some kick ass ice cream, some nuts, some fairy floss.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
I will always back the underdog, it’s just in my nature. It’s how I see myself, like a little bit of a stray dog my whole life, because I’ve always just done my own thing. I’ve always worked hard to succeed but never really looked too far for reassurance, because again, as a stray dog you never really belong. I did that in fashion. I got offered a job on my first day of uni, took the job so therefore I didn’t have a degree, but nevertheless my first collection sold out nationally and in New Zealand and it just grew and grew and grew. Sold my company, started the next one, went all over the world and it got picked up.

Some things never change. People couldn’t understand why I was so successful and didn’t have a formal education but little did they know that I worked twice as hard as anyone else. I would be working until 3 or 4am in the morning and then getting up at 8am, day in day out. I wasn’t staying up learning how to make a pattern or how to correctly sew in a zip. I was learning my craft, my craft was to develop products for the market and at the time the market was casual wear. I was at the forefront of street wear, which everyone loved 15 years ago.

Look, ultimately, I will always back the underdog, if I can feel it in my heart; it’s something that I’ve always been.

Are you happy with your work/life balance?
Fortunately I am happy with my work/life balance. I seem to work to live and live to work, but if that’s a crime, lock me up. I love what I’m doing and there may come a time when I learn how to relax, but I don’t want to relax until I’ve achieved a hell of a lot more. As I get better at what I do, then I can build the trust of people around me. I’m in the process of building an environment where I can trust the people around me and they know they can trust me. To me, it’s all about the client, as long as I can make the client happy then you’ve basically got a formula for success.

What's your spirit animal?
My spirit animal would have to be a jellyfish.

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