Revolution’s Children is an interview series with creative young people from all over the globe.
We publish the series because young people are and will always be the future.
They are the children of revolutions past, and the agents of revolutions to come.
They will shape the future and as such should be treasured, respected and importantly – engaged with.
After interviewing American artist Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Hernandez last year for the debut Revolution’s Children interview, we turn to the Land Down Under aka Australia to interview 17 year old artist Rochi Strum.
Hailing from the beach side suburb of Nth Bondi, in the city of Sydney, Rochi creates surreal pop-art and also works in the mediums of sculpture and fashion.
You can read our interview with Rochi, below…
When and why did you first start to make art?
… and any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?
I have been making art my entire life just as I sleep and eat, I really have to be doodling constantly, my dad – Michael Strum – is an artist and he is my main inspiration.
He has taught me everything I know and has made art a big part of my life for as long as I can remember as he is creating full time.
Please describe the usual process involved with producing your art?
– your digital art?
The process with creating my digital art currently entails me sitting on my bed jamming to whatever music I’m in the mood for and drawing on my iPad for hours at a time.
– your traditional art such as drawings and paintings?
…Sometimes I watch movies with my sister in the background as I draw too.
The process when I paint is me on my paint balcony sitting in the sunshine painting, usually my cat accompanies me because she loves the sunny paint balcony too.
– your sculpture?
I used to make sculptures when I was younger but haven’t delved into the pottery world for a while even though I do love it.
Favorite artist(s), writers and musicians / bands?
My favourite artist of all time is 100% my dad Michael Strum because I think he is incredible and I also adore Tara Booth‘s work.
What usually inspires you to create?
My brain really just vomits all my art out so I think just my existence inspires me, I can’t really think while drawing or its not Rochi its forced.
My dad’s art 200% subconsciously inspires me tho and you can see many similarities in our art style.
Any projects you want to hype?
I want to hype my digital work as I only recently got an iPad to draw on and I’m loving using it and loving what I’m able to create with it.
If people wanted to work with you, have a chat or buy something – how should they get in touch?
If anyone wants to get in contact with me, I’m very happy 2 chat, my email is email@example.com and I have an Instagram account – @goosecandle22 – where I post all my little doodles and recently the digital stuff as well!
If there is anything you see and like and want a print or a sticker or bag or shirt made please get in contact because I would absolutely love to start to sell some of my work ! ! :]
Generation Z Questions
You and I have discussed previously how the death of rapper Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy aka XXXTentacion was a divisive moment for your generation – care to elaborate on this for those reading at home?
I don’t really know anything about XXX to be honest all I know is that there are a bunch of lame boys with rip jah in their bios and controversy surrounding that as I think he was an abuser or rapist or something like that I’m not really sure I was never a fan.
Does the forever nature of the internet influence how you, your friends and other people your age portray yourself online and live your lives?
…and if so, in what ways?
Personally I don’t think when presenting ourselves on the internet we think about how forever it is at all, we focus on creating a little universe based around ourselves and telling a story and sharing our lives with our friends.
I think we create pages that show our vibe so we can connect with others with similar vibes and build friendships! I have an entire friendship group whom I met through Instagram as we share similar aesthetics and music taste and from that we linked and I now have some lifelong friendships!!!
Please define what ‘cancel culture’ means to you and your thoughts about it.
Cancel culture entails when someone does something that someone else doesn’t like so person number 2 goes ahead and publicly shames them on their social media pages therefore encouraging their peers to also shame them and stop being their pal.
I DESPISE CANCEL
CULTURE, I think it’s disgusting and I know way too many people who cancel
culture fiends and cancel anyone and everyone.
The sad thing is people really do get cancelled and lose all their friends when sometimes what they are being cancelled over is not even the “truth”.
I strongly believe if someone has upset you or done something you don’t approve of or think is right you give them a text or ring and talk to them about it not post about it, cancel culture is immature and stupid.
Who are some of the biggest celebrities in your world? – not necessarily celebrities you like and admire, but celebrities you, your friends and other people your age discuss.
… and what is it about those celebrities that makes them such a topic of conversation?
Right now celebrities that have just gotten big and are everywhere on social media are up and coming tik tok stars aka pretty american girls who dance haha, like Charlie Damelio and Addison Rae.
What and who are some of the biggest influences in your life?
Celebrities I personally follow are Princess Nokia and Jameela Jamil, they are both strong, feminist, incredible woman who show love to themselves and teach girls everywhere that they are perfect the way they are which is a nice contrast to how the media treats women.
They love to oppose beauty standards for women and call out awful brands and companies that do the opposite and its awesome.
How would you explain the concept of personal privacy?
… and what aspects of your life do you choose to keep private?
I’m stuck on the question about personal privacy so I guess that says a lot; because although I definitely believe that I keep alot of my life private I do have a Finsta which is my private Instagram account where only my close friends follow and we kind of use it like a photo diary for our friends to interact with, I share a lot of my life on that to my close pals.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years to the day I will be 27, honestly, I have not the slightest clue what I’ll be doing but I feel like I will either be in Melbourne, Nimbin or Israel.
Whichever of those three places I’ll be happy with, hopefully I will have a cute house/flat living with people I love.
I see myself being a landscape designer but still making art in all my free time, I also see myself have two cats, one hairless and one with hair.
In your opinion, how has growing up surrounded by the internet and smart phones affected your generation?
For the first decade of my life I lived in Nimbin which is a little country town and I really wasn’t exposed to much technology at all which I’m thankful for, I’m glad in my very first years I was immersed in nature not the internet but now that I do have multiple personal devices and am very engaged on the online world I don’t think its negative at all.
I don’t really know how it’s affected our generation but from what I have observed it’s made us more accepting as we are exposed to so many different types of ways to be a human. It has made us express ourselves and really find our true identities as eg. even if there is not a single person in your town who is also a non-binary identifying person that is obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Led Zeppelin within minutes you could find many people alike on the internet and within finding your people you are immediately validated and accepted.
COVID 19 Questions
Covid is impacting us all, bringing with it fear, sickness, financial stress and showing both the best and worst aspects of humanity…
Please share how Covid is affecting the various aspects of your life, namely:
– Your art practice?
Covid – 19 is affecting my art practice in the best way possible, I am able to draw all day because I simply have the time, comfort and can.
It’s really the rainbow in this awful storm for me.
– Personal relationships?
I still feel very connected to all my friends due to the internet but I do miss just being in their company and straight vibing.
I am getting closer to my family that I live with for sure but also the family I don’t live with I am in way more contact with too.
I think in wack times like these we bound together and become more compassionate and closer.
– Mental health?
I have never been this anxious in my entire life. It is affecting my mental health in a very negative way because the impending doom floats in my mind quite constantly.
But I think I’m handling it well and have many positive coping mechanisms such as yoga, going for walks, facetiming my friends and drawing!
And what lasting affects do you think Covid 19 will have on humanity in the short, medium and long terms?
I really believe that as a whole humanity will have a consciousness shift in the direction of being way more thankful for what we have, greater compassion and much more seeing the world as a single unit.
On a lighter note, what is your lockdown outfit of choice?
[Please include a photo or drawing of it!]
Odds and Ends
If you could live in any place, during any historical era – where and when would that be? …and why would you choose that time and place?
I would choose to be born in 2022 not only because 22 is my absolute favourite number but so I can skip the corona virus tbh.
What role did toys play in your childhood(s)?
I love toys, I have no clue what role they played in the childhood.
I have a couple of toys I still have from my very early childhood and I treasure them, I think they hold memories and meaning.
I still buy plush toys because I find them aesthetically pleasing and have them to make my bed cute and also very comfy!! I have a life size pink panther doll which is cute and comfy as hell.
What are the top 3 items you own?
I could not choose the top three items I own. I own so many objects. I love objects so much.
Pre-corona I loved finding wack objects at vinnies and markets, my room is filled to the brim.
In a battle between classic cartoon superstars Bart Simpson Vs. Betty Boop – who would win in a fight and why?
Betty Boop because I love Betty Boop, I grew up on her black n white cartoons and I just love her and the shows entire everything and also because Bart is annoying.
Please describe your last dream in detail…
I only remember bits and pieces of my dream last night but it heavily included me doing the everyday things I used to do that I miss like catching public transport with my pals and going to school, but of course as dreams don’t make sense my school was overflowing with an assortment of really pretty bigger than usual snails and I don’t remember why but it was my job to count them.
Of everything you have done so far what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
I don’t really know but I hope it would be for my drawings as I don’t really do much else.
I would also hope to just be remembered as a lovely person who cared about lots of people and had many beautiful friends.
- Rochi Strum – Instagram
- Rochi Strum – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org