In the attic with CRCKLZ
“Beers, flames, robot chicks, monster trucks”
Ever wanted to get into the head of a robot master? Well now you can…we get into the Attic of the artist ‘CRCKLZ’, graphic designer who has collaborated with the likes of underground music giants Keep Hush UK. We talk all things robot and delve into the inspirations of the fashion conscious yet very heavily armed robots that he creates
How did you get into graphic design and illustration?
Well, all started when my cousin gave me my first graphic tablet. This was happening in my high school days. At that time I didn’t know what graphic design or illustration was. I was simply calling my designs “drawings”. After high school I followed a graphic design college and then all these terms formed a meaning.
How has your illustration style developed over time?
At the beginning of my illustration journey I was super inspired by old Disney characters and I was trying to create my own characters in that type of style. After that stage I was experimenting more with colors, lines and forms. Basically, I didn’t have a style. I was drawing anything that came out of my mind. I wasn’t chasing the idea of having a style but I kinda wanted it so I started to look back to my characters and I found this guy with long legs wearing a mask and I simply enjoyed it. From then I was drawing this character in a future-punk style with robots around him and yeah. That’s how Cracklez appeared.
Who/what are your inspirations for your work and why?
Things I found myself in. Music I can vibe on, metal, rap, trap, r&b, disco etc. Groovy shit! I cannot say how much I love old movie posters, old comics, old toys with packaging. I’m also inspired by skate culture, I grew up skating with my friends listening to Korn, Pantera, Metallica etc. I’m inspired by fashion, streetwear and all that stuff. And video games. This is my bible.
Your robots all seem very on trend - why do your robots wear trainers?
The guy with the mask is human. Kinda reminds me of myself because low-key I’m shy. Well, as I said, I’m inspired by streetwear and young lifestyle. I want my characters to look like the kids nowadays or at least how I would dress myself. I love crazy pants with things embroidered or printed on them or vintage sweatshirts you get the idea. My character low-key is wearing white Converse because I love Converse. I wish I could do a collab shoe with them one day in this life haha.
We loved your cartoon cereal illustration - If rice krispies wanted you to take over the role of ‘crackle’ (from snap crackle and pop) as ‘CRCKLZ’ What would you bring to the table as the new persona of the rice krispie gang?
Probably a figurine with a robot in each cereal box. Or a robot spoon.
Why are robots your most recent primary models?
I’m in love with them. I like robots. When I was young I used to watch Transformers, Megas XLR and all robots related shows.
I think they look cool, extreme and give you that figurine/toy vibe.
What would be your dream robot photoshoot?
Photoshoot on Mars. Beers, flames, robot chicks, monster trucks, you see it.
How did you get involved with Keep Hush?
One of the team members contacted me via email looking for a tee graphic and I was down with the direction and the concept he had. I think the graphic turned out great! And also I want to thank them for the opportunity. Much love!
Fav set they've put out recently?
I’m gonna be honest. I haven’t heard about them until the tee graphic project, but I know the boiler room experience and I know what they are doing. I have massive respect for every DJ, camera guy, editor etc. that is behind all that magic.
What kinda tunes would a robot play for their keep hush set?
Probably some Playboi Carti stuff. It may sounds dumb but this artist inspired my art so much. The mindlessly, the happiness, the feelings of his music affected my concept of drawing. Don’t overthink.
What’s the robot scene like in Romania?
We have a lot of corrupted robots here.
Favourite commission you’ve done?
Almost all. Most of my clients come to me because we share almost the same vision and for that I want to thank them for their trust. It really means the world to me.
Is there anyone you would like to turn into a robot?
Never thought about that but I think I’ll go with my dog. And he will have some rocket launchers and some golden teeth. And a tattoo with his ex name.
Your robots carry a lot of weapons - what are they preparing for? Who are they fighting?Do they know something we don't??
I can’t think about one robot without a gun or ability. That stuff to me is essential. Is like Pokemon, each one has a different skill set and look.
It’s a message not to mess with them. 😈
How long until robots overpower us and take over the world?
It’s already taken and that’s sad.
DEATH OF ROBOTS
In the tradition of Alone in the Attic, we ask all our guests variations of the next 5 questions. We’ve included a brief bio to help you answer them - be as figurative and abstract as you like.
What is your ‘attics’ physical form?
I think my attic’s physical form would be a pair of dice.
What are the thoughts in your attic?
Sometimes they can roll happiness, sometimes fears. Sometimes both on the same day.
How do your more abstract and masked/secret ideas influence your creative processes?
I think they add that spicy thing to the design.
What/who is hiding under your bed(s)?
My worst drawings, my skate shoes and my Cracklez bucket hat.
The year is 2050, the natural world has been demolished. Everything is made of concrete. You can go back in time and bring one piece of nature with you - what do you bring?
A FUCKING BANANA TREE.