Art has long been linked to cultural expression. From paintings, to murals, to sculptures, art is an outlet to share beliefs, emotions, history, and more. In soccer, art also exists as a link to various cultures around the world, as evidenced by things like player murals and match posters. In this week’s spotlight, we’re highlighting one of the leading American artists whose creativity and vision is born out of a love for soccer and the culture that makes it a global connective tissue.
Geoff Gouveia began making art in 2009 as a way to fill up the white space alongside the words he wrote in his journal. Almost a decade later, Geoff has blossomed into one of the leading American artists whose inspiration is drawn largely from soccer. Citing Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss as early influences, Geoff sought additional work from his peers and has blended inspiration from not only the two children’s literature artists but also Vincent Van Gogh and Andre Derain, as well as contemporary muralists like ARYZ and Pixel Pancho.
Despite growing up a soccer player, it took Geoff traveling the world to realize that the confluence of soccer and art was his next logical step – why not pair the visual language he was creating with the world’s most spoken language of soccer. He’s been exploring that synergy ever since, citing the game’s relevance and importance long after the final whistle blows as what drives him. For Geoff, soccer isn’t just a game – it’s a lifestyle and obsession lived by the individuals who take identity in the team(s) they follow.
Culture is a mixed bag of art, music, food and community. It only makes sense for the game to permeate all aspects here in the U.S. because we recognize it as a chance to speak a global language. For me, art is my creative outlet to share the sport with the world.
Long-term, Geoff wants to continue focusing on the cultural side of the game and not be known for art attached to a particular team or entity – he wants to be known as the go-to Soccer Artist. To achieve this, his strategy is two-fold. He wants to work with the top brands in the game, while simultaneously helping out lower league teams and youth clubs. In 2019 he’ll be releasing a kids line, Pitch Shredders, to help target a demographic not being targeted directly – the young fan whose parents did not grow up with the game.
With a portfolio including clients like Facebook, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and adidas, Geoff has already made inroads in the brand world. His art is eye-catching, creative, and playful – all intriguing to brands looking for art as a way to reach and connect with soccer fans. If you ask Geoff what his favorite project is to date, his work painting a futsal court with adidas in August (partnering with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and LAFC) tops the list.
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My vision when I started to #create #art for the soccer world was that I felt the sport needed more inherent #creativity. That the current state of the sport is based on play on the field, and not off of it. But my relationship with the game of #futbol has always been tangential to the pitch. It’s a place I’ve created community, learned new languages and forged lasting bonds (whether on the grass or in virtual #FIFA19). I’m not a great player (though I’ll still destroy anyone of you reading this) but the game has inspired me to take the sport into my work. I painted the ground of this #soccer court for @adidasfootball, @redeyeinc, @ussoccerfoundation and @lafcfoundation. It was a dream come true and I praise God for allowing this opportunity to happen. This is just the beginning. photo by @ts_xiv
I believe soccer needs to emulate what the skateboard industry has done. Our greatest asset is our weakest link to the game: we’ve not been around long. But that allows us to approach it in a new way, much like skateboarding. It’s a chance to grow based on creativity and fun. Painting that fustal court was a step in the right direction. That’s a place kids can now go and treat like a skate park and that’s where the next players will be brought up.
Through studying to be a pastor, doodling in his journal, brewing in the coffee industry, and loving the beautiful game, Geoff has carved out a great niche in the soccer + art world and continues to grow. For him, a life revolving around God, the game, and a good cup of coffee is all he needs as continued inspiration to put pen to paper and brush to canvas.
To learn more about Geoff and his work, we encourage you to visit his website.