Jeff Cole, also known as @jcolegraphix on Instagram, is an artist from Chicago currently based out of Los Angeles. He is best known for his incredible sneaker graphic art, which pairs hot sneakers with characters like Mario and Darth Vader. While the combination sounds a bit out of the box, Cole’s work brings the two together in a creative and seamless way. Nous Culture talked to the artist behind the animated sneaker graphic art that has blown up on Instagram.
Tell me about yourself.
Since I was 6 years old I’ve been illustrating and painting. As a kid I was in many local art shows. In grade school I was printing my illustrations on shirts and painting designs on phone cases for my friends. Most of my early work was sports focused. But I took many studio art classes outside of school growing up so it was always in my plans to create art for a living. In college I majored in studio art. It wasn’t until after college I got on the computer to design. Since then I’ve done everything from mixtape covers for def jam, corporate design, starting clothing brands, production design for big brands, branding, conceptual development, UI UIX for tech companies.
What do you specialize in?
I’d like to think I specialize in everything. I’m extremely versatile. The world only sees very little of what I create. My instagram sneaker art is only 10% off my output.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Chicago. Currently live in Los Angeles.
What is your mission?
My only real mission is to get better everyday. Always trying to surprise myself with my capabilities. Push the limits of design for all designers..not only through execution but conceptually pushing the boundaries of thought and process.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Life. Anything I see. I spark most my ideas from just being out and about. I really enjoy taking different forms of design seen through movies, architecture, music, etc and interpreting them in different mediums but having that same feeling.
What are you plans for the future?
Right now I’m trying to build out my art company IKONICK. But I’m constantly trying to build with people who have similar values and work ethic.
What should people who have never heard of you know about you?
A lot of people only think about me as a sneaker artist. When in reality that’s a small percentage of who I am as an artist. It just so happened to be a hobby I really enjoyed doing in my free time. When I was finish with my 9-5 work that is usually when I would try to challenge myself with stuff I am not good at yet. That’s how I picked up photoshop…I was weak in that department being an illustrator my whole life. So doing these was a way to get better. And now we are here!