Foldabots - A Legacy Built On Art And All Of Its Wonders

Foldabots - A Legacy Built On Art And All Of Its Wonders
Authored By David Tan


Name:  John Dave Kuizon Salazar

Location: Bacolod City 

Foldabots - A Legacy Built On Art And All Of Its Wonders

Filipino Artist Profile: John Dave Kuizon Salazar

Growing up with art as one of the major driving forces of your life will certainly leave a lasting mark on you. In the case of John Dave Kuizon Salazar, it’s Foldabots. What was once a clever addition to a kid’s magazine a few years back is now a brand that aims to elevate art to a whole, new level. This legacy is now in his hands, and those who share the artistic vision of Foldabots. Learn more down below how their work is driving the brand to a bright future ahead.

How did your journey as an artist begin?

My journey as an artist began when I was in elementary school, and I was doodling on notebooks during recess or lunchtime. In my free time, I would read K-Zone magazine. From there, I saw robots you can transform into vehicles or animals and they were made out of paper or cardboard. They were called Foldabots at that time. I didn’t expect that at 10 years old, I would be working for Foldabots and continuing the legacy eight years later.

How did you come up with Foldabots and why did you choose that as your brand name?
That was bestowed upon me by the creator of Foldabots, Jomike Tejido. We went from a professional relationship to more of a personal one. I consider him a friend of mine and when I told him I had plans to continue Foldabots through different ventures, through animation, books, and consequently, through merch, he gave me his blessing.
Foldabots was a franchise that began in 2006. I continued that venture by wanting to move to different projects. He decided to let me continue with it and I was very happy with that. I’m also happy that the fans, the niche community have rallied around this dead franchise to bring it back to life four to five years since Foldabots ended. It’s still going strong, to be honest, and I have other artists contributing to the brand.

You’re not alone in cultivating your brand?
No, I have six other artists helping me with the illustrations, I asked around the community for people who can help me with this venture. A lot of artists stepped up. The first designs we released came from a talented artist named Rajo Cardona. We also have a bunch of other artists lined up to help with Foldabots, such as KC Dolera, Red Hernandez, and Bernice Soriano. So yeah, it’s a community effort to keep Foldabots alive.

How would you describe your style as an artist?
I’m very non-traditional. I like experimenting with different mediums and styles. I’m very fond of circles right now. I like a more rounded style. As an artist, I can describe my style as simple, but well-thought out.

What or who are the artists that influenced your style?
I like Bruce Timm’s style of animation with his DC cartoons, like Justice League. I like his sharp edge, but relatively simple style. There are times it can get detailed but I appreciate that. It’s angular, really disproportionate. 
If I need to be more specific, it’s my former employer, and friend now, Jomike Tejido. I also like the blocky style of Ben 10 or Justice League Action. I like the styles there.

What are the struggles you commonly encounter as an artist?
The struggles I tend to tackle as an artist usually revolve around feeling I’m not feeling good enough. I have peers who are younger than me and spend less time on their craft. In a way, I feel they’re more talented. It’s those insecurities that tend to wear me down.
I learned to cope with that. Not everyone is meant for a certain style or aesthetic. People are catering to different niches or mediums and that’s okay. My style might not be for everyone. If you look at my Youtube channel, it has a very simple style right now.

What do people usually say when they see your work?
When people see my work, they see it as different. That’s the best way I can say it because I don’t stick with one style. I sometimes go through an ultra-surreal style, or a horror aesthetic, I went through all the phases. Right now, I’m comfortable having a more cute style.

How do you handle criticism or negative feedback?
I tend to just say I’m learning and if this isn’t for you, then you can just move on to another artist. If you don’t like the way I’m growing, then maybe, I’m just not for you. And that’s okay, to be honest. There are other artists people like that I don’t tend to get.

Do you have any advice to talented individuals who want to start their respective journeys towards becoming an artist?
Talk to anyone you feel is an inspiration to you or someone you want to become. If you surround yourself with people who have this drive, in some way, you can get some of that to keep you going.

How did you discover Merchiful and why did you choose it as the platform for your work?
I was just looking through Facebook and then I saw some ads containing interesting artwork made by Asian Coffeegirl. I saw platform she was on and I found it convenient for artists to get their ideas out there. I decided I wante to expand the Foldabots brand onto this platform. From then on, I needed to do this more. I applied, and thankfully, I was accepted.  

What can Merchiful customers expect from you in the coming months?
I have a bunch of artists working on new designs with most of them contributing sometime soon. We’re going to be experimenting with different styles, like a Japan-esque style we’re going to show soon. I also have a more grotesque, hyper mechanical, robotic style we’re going with, among others. We’re all working on these styles together to create a platform, not just for us, but for any artist who want to contribute to the Foldabots brand and get their ideas out there.

In one word, how would you describe yourself?

With Salazar and his team of artists behind Foldabots, you can expect their awe-inspiring work on their mech soon. Check out their Merchiful store and see for yourself why you’re going to love their designs. You can also check Foldabots out in these different social media platforms.

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