Drawing Outside The Lines: Papikodone

Written by Greg Harris

Drawing Outside The Lines has become the safe haven for artists to express their work in the finest hour and allows others to embrace their masterpieces as well. This has created an specific lane for creatives to display their work to the masses and it's allowed these artists to be held a higher standard due to their individualized talents. Among of our people that's been on here in the past including the likes of DryDurags, ArtByJeremy, and Ethan Ryan Punal, we bring another famed artists to the forefront this week with Papikodone being the star of the day. 

You may be familiar with his work from his cover art being on some of your favorite Soundcloud artists songs, LUCKI's "Watch My Back" art piece, Divine Council's material as well, and more. His famed pieces has garnered the eyes of many and he's one of the most sought after artists in today's time due to his unique abstract format for his pieces and the open elaborateness that he brings to his work.

The borderless designer had a chance to speak to us about his upbringing, being influenced by Salvador Dali, being an artist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and more. Read below.  

How’s your Modern Life?

Its treating me very well. I'm extremely busy nowadays and hardly have anytime to get on social media or even work on my own stuff but its rewarding nonetheless. 

What are three things you have to do when you wake up? 

Take a shower, dress up, smoke and I go straight into my office and start working on any projects I need to get done. I also leave youtube on my computer playing so I can gain some inspiration while working on stuff. Its usually on serial killers documentaries or modern art masters documentaries.  Maybe video game trivia type shit like Did You Know Gaming. I'm hella into gaming.

Being from Tulsa, the art scene is not very elaborate in that area of the South. So what things from your upbringing in Oklahoma influenced your art taste? 

I will say the Tulsa scene is getting way better nowadays but really what influences me around here is the people. Whether it be negative or positive. Usually negative because I use that energy to try and better myself each and every day. Its like karma to me in a way. People being negative brings me to the next step.

Living in such a rural setting, what are some things you wish people from Tulsa would be open to as far as the message of your art goes?

I just want people and mostly the younger crowd to see that art really can benefit you. You don't need college to make money and live the life you dream of. I want kids to see the shit I'm doing and try and do the same, or even better than me. I want to be able to grow older and hear people talk about "yo you heard that new rapper/artist/director/etc. blowing up? He/she from Tulsa." Being from a place like this everyone has a misconception that you won't make it in life unless you go to college.  I want to see more talent prosper here.

Not having a particular structure to your form of art, you’re inspired by artists like Salvador Dali. What characteristics of artists like this keep you going with what you do?

Dali just had the media under control with what he did. He loved the attention and he did it all with art. He was an icon and one day I wish to do the same as an artist. He was so eccentric and shocking but people couldn't help but be so amused by it. Shit, even Vogue contacted him to do one of their covers and thats so cool to me. Imagine if you saw a kodone cover for vogue haha Its just such an odd combination but it works so well. I want to be able to work to with these posh-like companies only to make it obscure and bring my own direction to it and fuck it up (in a good way that is lmao)

In your Chicago Sleepers interview, you mentioned your brand at DeathAt5 Clothing being banned in your local school district. Aside from the obvious hate on the brand from school officials, what do you think brand represent to the youth of Tulsa? 

Its a new beginning! No one in Broken Arrow seen or had anything like the shit I was doing. It was such a new concept and nobody understood it at first. I think thats why school officials were bugging out about it. They're just confused because they never seen this kind of shit. It really inspired me to see and motivate other kids in Broken Arrow to make their own brands and shit, not only to piss off school officials haha but also build a career with it. I hope kids see the shit I'm doing with DEATHat5 and build with the blue prints I left behind. 

Living in an age of copy and paste Soundcloud artists, your duties as an artists are minimized to a format for some artists that want to work with you. What are some things that you wish artist would ask for when they want you to do their cover art?

I really wish more artists would just let me do my thing with the covers. I'm getting tired of drawing the same ol' "draw me with backwoods, lean and a supreme shirt" that shit gets old and its not really letting the culture forward visually in my opinion. Its just further placing the whole soundcloud meme stereotype in effect. 

"Imagine if you saw a kodone cover for vogue haha Its just such an odd combination but it works so well. I want to be able to work to with these posh-like companies only to make it obscure and bring my own direction to it and fuck it up (in a good way that is lmao)"

Apart from the artists who want the iconic “Papikodone” cover for their image, who are some artists you like to creatively work with when it comes to doing their creative direction for their music?

My favorite person I liked working with was Lucki because he knew exactly what he wanted but still let me do my thing with the visuals. He's a really smart dude. Also Ron $o Cold. He's like my brother so we got good work chemistry and really be letting me go off with the cover art. 

You’ve played a vital role for the creative direction when it comes to LUCKI’s latest work, and it’s polarizing because you guys are one when it comes to the delivery of his music and you presenting the perfect imagery to match it. What makes you go beyond your creative limit when it comes to working with LUCKI?

Like I said before, he's just a really smart dude and he's also one of my favorite musical artists so I be relating heavy to his music. I feel like thats why when I work for him the visuals go crazy. It relates and if it relates its undoubtedly good. I just feel like dude really be bringing the best out of me artistically and mentally.  

You’ve mentioned that your introspective bodies of work differentiate from the material you do for other artists due to your influences. What are some things that are inspiring your personal work at the moment?

At the moment I've been really into M.C Escher and Francis Bacon. I've been wanting my art to mature a little more and start aiming to be more of a gallery artist. Less focus on cover art and focusing more on painting and more technical art techniques. I've been studying a lot on art and its most influential artists in the past history right now. Just to see how their paths were on the journey of being an artist.

What are some things you want to accomplish this year?

I want DEATHat5 to go big this year and be a full extension of my art. Also I want to do more pop up and art shows this year. I just want to get out of my city period haha.

What is your strategy to make the world get hip to more Kodone this year?

More art exhibits, more pop-up shops and putting out more art. Also I got big plans soon if you're into cartoons later this year #kodone #world

Follow Papikodone here and here.