Charlotte Vs. The World!
UsVersusWorld's own and one of my best friends, COLESROBOT has been in the conversation as one of the most creative artists hailing from CLT. I've been following his work for over 3 years and his constant progression is something I've been able to see first hand. Many have wanted me to pick the brain of this 19 year old trendsetter and now here is his first published interview. Read the full interview below and check out my favorite pieces of art by Cole right here:
- To get this interview started, let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. Who are you? How old are you? Where are you from?
"My name’s Cole Klapheke, I’m a digital visualist and I’m 19. I’m from Charlotte, NC but I live in San Jose right now."
- Where did the nickname “colesrobot” come from?
"So I had ‘@colemanklapheke’. That was me. That was my personal account. Colesrobot was supposed to literally be 'my robot'. Well I had different passwords, and I guess someone happened to know the colemanklapheke password, hacked me on twitter and instagram and deleted my accounts. So I just kept colesrobot and built from there."
- You’ve worked with a lot of artists whether it’s cover art or even some wild ass edits. Who has been your favorite artist to work with?
"I think one of my favorite people to work with is honestly WesX. He has really good direction and I feel as if he has a good sense of how people's styles work."
- Many know you’re the co-creator for UsVersusWorld. How did you and Jay come together and how did this blog come to life?
"So about a year ago I was getting into all this. I knew no one. I knew the locals in Charlotte, but I did not know there was this whole scene where even if someone doesn't know you, they know of you. So one of my friend who raps, Sleepy said he was managed by this dude Jay Danza and my friend Delux was too. So me, not knowing shit, I’m like 'I need a manager, man.' So I hit up Javon and he knew who I was already and he said he was down. I feel like a lot of people overlook it but Javon really took me under his wing and I’m still under there. I'm still young as shit and going through the dumbest shit all the time and he’s hella patient with me and really helps me get a sense of strategy in all this. Us Versus The World is just the start of amazing ideas me and Javon got."
- I’ve seen that you have been working with different landscapes in your most recent work on your social media. Is there a deeper meaning behind that or am I digging too deep?
"My more recent work has actually been more focused on taking the skills I have and making this almost painting-like digital collage style. I’ve been trying to convey more feelings and depth. I honestly might even be a little emotional when I’m creating. I’m glad you noticed. I really like having this aura of mystery and cloudiness in my work. I feel like it leaves a lot of room for people’s brains."
Cole's work is meant to leave us wondering; keeping interpretations up for grabs. It's more than art. It can be a conversation. He's trying to grab admirer's attention by trying to showcase a certain feeling or emotion. The mystery is what makes Cole's work so captivating to his fans.
- I know you were a huge fan and even met Lil Peep. Having said that, if you could create artwork for anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
"Lil Peep was super crazy to meet and I feel like he was one of those people on a similar brain wave as me. I really would’ve loved to work with him. Honestly if I had to pick someone I think that it would be Montell2099 . If you havent heard of that guy he's ridiculous. His music is insane and I have a feeling my visuals would go great with it."
- Could you give an explanation behind the videos you make. They’re all so atmospheric and trippy. What is the purpose behind them?
"Honestly a huge part that goes into a lot of my art is me getting pretty high and just going to some place in my mind that I think is beautiful at the time. The videos are for aesthetic pleasure and to create something high quality for people to be exposed to. It's so important to spread quality art."
- Who are you biggests influences when it comes to your art?
"I’m honestly influenced by the designer Math and I fuck with Jackson Pollock. I go to a lot of ravey shit and certain substances take me to dope places in my mind. I really try to find a lot of real world, natural stuff that inspires me."
- What’s the biggest difference between North Carolina and California?
"Honestly people are supportive in california. They know the difference between quality and bs. They understand how a cohesive society should work and execute it well. NC is a beautiful place but everyone kind of minds their business and sticks to themselves."
- What’s one word you’d use to describe yourself?
- I remember when you were putting your art on clothing not too long ago. Are you going to expand on that any time soon?
"That's a little hush hush. I’m sorry."
Translation: Expect some crazy Colesrobot clothing this year.
- What advice can you give any artist trying to make it?
"The most important thing to do as an artist is keep going. Life is not easy and if you don't have passion and hard work behind your shit it really feels like nothing is going anywhere. You can't stop, you never know when youre about to get subbed in to the game."
- What’s an excuse artists use that pisses you off the most?
"Any excuse pisses me off. Everyone comes from everywhere and is going through some sort of struggle. Being an artist isn't easy for anyone."
- What can fans expect from you this year?
"This year I’m working with as many people as possible. I feel like with the new style I’ve been using I could collaborate with a dope drawing artist. I’m gonna really work on getting my name out to a lot of bigger artists and continue to build my platform."