Justin ‘JC’ Conant
TRAINER LEVEL: 40
FAVORITE POKÉMON: Litten
CLAIM TO FAME: Spiciest AR Photographer on IG
THE INTERVIEW - POP IT LIKES IT HOT
G2G: First, can you tell me your in-game Trainer name, level, and your favorite Pokémon? Is there a reason it is your favorite? Also, what do you do in your daily life?
JC: My in-game name is HavocBandit, and I’m Level 40. My favorite Pokémon is Litten (cause of the Sun & Moon episode #7: That’s Why The Litten Is A Scamp.)
In daily life I just work a lot and play Pokémon as much as I can. GBL has destroyed my dust . When I have the time and money, I save up for some kind of adventure, which usually involves long flights to a far off land.
G2G: What got you into Pokémon/Pokémon GO? Were you into Pokémon before GO was released? What do you like the most about Pokémon in general? Do you have a favorite feature in PoGO?
JC: In 1996 I was 11 years old and Pokémon was ALL the rage. I had the games (started with Blue), the cards, the comics… basically everything I could get my hands on. 20 years later, in the summer of 2016, the nostalgia was real.
Pokémon GO was a helpful tool to a problem I’d dealt with my entire life: depression and anxiety. When GO launched I was living in Florida, and literally everyone played. We frequented local parks and downtown spots as much as we could. The streets were constantly flooded with players all desperate to race to level 40. I remember running through neighborhoods looking for wild Bulbasaur and Gastly.
What I love most about this game is the community and how it forces me to go outside every day. My favorite feature in the game currently is the Team GO Rocket PokéStops and GO Snapshot.
G2G: What made you decide to upload Pokémon GO AR Photography? Was it just something you wanted to do, or is there more to it?
JC: What made me decide to upload Pokémon GO AR photography was honestly just the fun of it. I didn’t want to post this kind of content on my main photography Instagram, so I figured it deserved its own channel, thus PopPunkPokémon was born. I love the creativity of it. My challenge to myself was to do everything on my phone, edits included, and I’ve accomplished that with every post up until now.
G2G: You call yourself PopPunkPokémon. Can you tell a bit more about the origins of that name?
JC: The origins of PopPunkPokémon are very simple. I LOVE pop punk jams, and I love Pokémon. The two meshed together just fit my vibe. So much so that people have been taking to calling me “PopPunk” when I’m at events. It’s actually kind of great. My love for each of these things began around the same time. Neither ever left my soul and I doubt either ever will.
G2G: I love the way you create a story behind each AR photo you upload. Where do you get your inspiration? Can you give us an idea of how you came up with your latest storyline from Pokémon Red & Blue?
JC: Cheers for the love on my story mode with my posts . The idea was simple: I wanted to snap them all. But photographing every Pokémon and posting them in Pokédex order seemed super lame and boring to me. So I started playing through my old copy of Blue and decided to do a GO Snapshot photo journal alongside my journey. It was honestly so much fun and took me 13 months to complete.
The story mode gave me a reason to shoot in various different locations around where I lived. I had to get creative for things like Mt Moon, Seafoam Islands, the SS Anne, Route 16, The Pokémon Tower, Safari Zone, and ancient Mew’s lair. If I ever do something like that again I’ll be sure to be more organized with it haha! This was a bit sporadic and chaotic, but ultimately super fun and very well received
G2G: You used to create AR technique tutorial videos on your YouTube-channel, is this something you might consider doing again in the future?
JC: My YouTube channel PopPunkPokémon has been dead for like a year or so. I’m desperately trying to get back into making more content including more edit tutorials. I don’t have a lot of free time but in April that may change. Hopefully I’ll be posting there more frequently in the very near future.
G2G: Is there anything else you want to share? Hidden talents? Thoughts about the current state of the game?
JC: Some folks know that I was a touring photographer with an international band for 7 years. That’s where my passion for photography really flourished. I’m more of a home body these days, so it just was easier to photograph Pokémon instead of musicians.
As for my thoughts on the current state of the game, well honestly, I fully trust Niantic. They have the community’s best interest in mind when it comes to updates and new features. I love this game so much and can’t even imagine what it will look like in another four years but man am I looking forward to it.
This game saved my life in more ways than I can count. I’m grateful for every person who works on it and is involved in this wonderful community. I also really love talking to people especially within this community. I’ve been considering starting a podcast for a while now, so time to reach out to my Lured Up and GoCast homies for the right tools to get it going…
SPICIER THAN CHILI
No curry or cayenne needed here Trainers, cause PopPunkPokémon makes his AR photos VERY SPICY! He’s a very talented AR photographer who distinguishes himself with a very unique and enjoyable style. The stories he creates for his AR pics show the creativity JC has within him.
Behind all that talent is a kindhearted and genuine person, someone who I wish all the best for the future! Subscribe to PopPunkPokémon’s YouTube channel below, and be sure to give PopPunkPokémon a follow on Instagram and Twitter as well!