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“Everyone needs a polar bear in their pocket.” Interview with Cole Gerst

Cole Gerst couldn’t be more right. A polar bear in your pocket will make you very happy indeed. He speaks with us about his LPP x Poketo wallet design, the myriad of awesome work he does, and his interesting relationship with electricity. Read on!

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Hi Cole! How are you?

It’s a beautiful day. I’m Fantastic. Thank you.

What’s the first thing you thought about when you woke up this morning.

Oh I guess it was this dream I had the night before of one of my dogs wrestling an alligator. The other dog was in a microwave. It was so vivid.

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The array of work you’ve done with your design firm, option-g is pretty incredible. They range from all aspects of music industry design, illustration, animation, and the list goes on. How do you balance all the projects that you do?

It is really hard balancing it all. Sometimes I actually forget that I have a t-shirt company or something. I get so involved in the project at hand that other things sometimes slip. I hate leaving things unfinished so I’ll work on a drawing or something from start until finish without stopping. I can’t wait to see the outcome. Its also hard for me to say no to someone who wants to work with me because I just love what I do.

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Are you always creating, and is it easy for you to get inspired?

I guess it easy for me to get inspired. I’m inspired by my surroundings and music. Music always inspires me. I work fast so that makes it easier to juggle multiple projects.

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The wallet you designed for Poketo is really fun! Why did you choose this design for Poketo?

I personally love this image. Its kind of dream like. Everyone needs a polar bear in their pocket.
               
Can you tell us a bit about what’s going on in the picture?

It could be interpreted in a few ways I guess. When I set out to make this image it was just about awareness of the polar bear’s struggle. You could view it as just a fun swimming polar bear, a happy flying polar bear that doesn’t need ice to land on, or a polar bear that’s drowned and gone to polar bear heaven. That’s sad.

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Amongst all the posters you’ve done, what’s your favorite and why?

The Elliott Smith poster means the most I think for obvious reasons. A tragic loss.

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A few years ago, you did a show called “Kilowatt,” in which you displayed work you’ve done focusing on your fascination with electricity. There are some great pieces out of that collection. Can you tell us a bit about your interesting relationship with electricity? 

When I was in 4th or 5th grade I got shocked pretty badly. I wouldn’t go near an outlet or plug anything in at all. I am still to this day extremely frightened by electricity. I have mustered up the courage to jump my car off a few times though. I started thinking about what electricity really is and how so much electricity, or energy, is in life and nature. Some animals struggle everyday to eat to get the energy they need to survive. I’m fascinated by hummingbirds. They need to eat all the time because it takes so much energy for them to fly. They fly to eat and eat to fly.

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How do you describe your style?

Controlled Randomness. I have a graphic design background and I’m really drawn to clean well thought-out design and architecture etc. On the other hand I’m extremely influenced by untrained art and folk art so I kind of try to channel both of these influences together.

Thanks for your time Cole!

For more information about Cole, please visit: www.option-g.com

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