Tuesday, November 27, 2012


As a child, my parents always encouraged me to play with toys that, in a way, forced creativity. Construx, Erector Sets, K'nex, Lincoln Logs, Capsela and most memorably, LEGOs. With each one of these sets of toys, there were two options as to how to play with them. You could meticulously follow the instructions and use them to build what they were "intended" for, like an airplane or a castle and be totally stoked that you built a castle. OR, you could accidentally piss on the instructions, light them on fire and then flush them down the toilet and sit there staring cluelessly at a pile of random shapes and screws, with the only remaining option being "Make something out of this pile".

The latter is what I often chose.

One of the things that I always loved about that approach was that it encouraged me to think outside the shape and imagine what other uses a "rectangle" or a "saucer" could have. That type of thinking recently emerged when mobile app-developer FRANKY AGUILAR and myself were knocking around ideas for a new art-based iPhone app a few months ago. The result was a creative art-based iPhone app called WAYCOOLER .

On the surface, Waycooler is a silly app where you can add weird eyes and mouths based on my artwork to your photographs to make your photos "way cooler". However, when we created it, and what we were HOPING for, was that once users got used to the simple interface and got bored of just adding 7 eyes to their dog, that some creativity would be jostled out of people and they would actually start seeing these eyes and mouths as OTHER SHAPES and start creating brand new artwork and FULL ILLUSTRATIONS using nothing but noses, mouths, hands, etc.

In a way, we wanted to make a digital version of LEGOs but with an artistic and creepy twist. What soon followed after the app got released a few months ago was INSANE.

Almost immediately, the art that people were creating using only the iphone app was appearing online (search #waycooler and #waycoolerest on instagram) and blowing my mind in ways that I couldn't have even pictured. Artists were sharing photos with each other, building on each other's pieces, challenging each other to outdo each other, and so forth. It's awesome.

But one artist, named HOEKS ONE, has caught my attention numerous times. I don't even know how he does it, but he is using the WayCooler App and his iPhone to create some insanely creative work.

HOEKS ONE, part of the Bay Area-based GroundSick Music collective and the apparel company Twenty Four Karat has created all of these renditions of iconic pop-culture characters using ONLY the free WayCooler app. And as a bonus he did the same with the Halloween questionnaire that I was passing around for Juxtapoz last month. And it's one of the coolest feelings I have ever had. Word! Thank you.

(All pieces on this page created by HOEKS ONE)