Interview: Flipz5 of Rok The Spot
Rok The Spot is a two-man collective of artists living in Florida. They are equally handsome, talented, and cool. And did I mention that they are brothers?
Meet Flipz5 and Carlo$. They paint, draw, take part in photography, and even cut hair. You can see their work on clothing (t-shirts, hats, and shoes), bags, female bodies, canvases, munny’s, and anything else that they see fit. And Flipz5 agreed to let me interview him for CrayonBeats, so check it out…
Tiffology: Tell us what Rok The Spot is and why you two choose that name…
Flipz5: I had the name in my head for a while and I thought it was dope. It’s kinda like, in your face sucka BAAMMM! It can apply to pretty much anything.
Tiffology: What do you each do artistically?
Flipz5: We both paint and draw. I also have graphic design and some photography skillz. I’m teaching my brother the basics of those also. We haz mad skillz yo.
Tiffology: RANDOM – If your style was a song or a band/artist, which would it be?
Flipz5: Andre 3000 as the MC. Cymande and of course Hendrix on guitar. DJ Craze on turntables. Stage design by Gwar/Parliament Funkadelic.
Tiffology: Rok The Spot is made up of you (Flipz5) and your brother (Carlo$). I understand the reasoning behind Carlo$’ name, but why did you go with Flipz5?
Flipz5: Theres no cool story behind it, it’s just derived from my gov. name. But I now have nicknames for my nicknames, so I hear all kinds of things, it’ss funny now that I think about it. As long as I know you’re talking to me, we’re good.
Tiffology: Did either of you go to art school?
Flipz5: I went to a magnet school for 1 year during elementary school for art. I also learned how to shoot and develop film but didnt get back into photography until 2-3 years ago. I dont think I learned a whole lot from college art classes but I didnt have to pay for the classes so no complaints. Except for the Graphic design classes, I learned a lot. Carlo$ hasn’t had formal art training besides regular art classes.
Tiffology: Where or who do you pull inspiration from?
Flipz5: Music, movies, dance, original artists, life. If it gets my attention and its innovative then its an inspiration for me to keep creating. Sseeing dope artwork is exciting.
Tiffology: RANDOM – Pet peeves, what are some of yours?
Flipz5: Cigarette smoke. People that act brand new. Generic graffiti fonts. People that dont smile. I smile at you, youre supposed to smile back. FAAAACK!
Tiffology: When it comes to paint: what kind of paint is most used and are there any favorite colors?
Flipz5: I “acquired” most of my paints at a discount price of free. Paint markers, spray paint, lots of cheap acrylics. I like to work with what I have, I feel it sharpens my skillz. I wanna use oils, I’m sure I could do a lot more with them. I’ve never really toyed with oil paints because I thought they were high maintenance, I should look into it though.
Tiffology: Munny’s, the female body, clothing, shoes, hats, canvases, etc… what’s your favorite thing to paint on?
Flipz5: Munnys are dope because theres no limit to what you can do with them. There are some insane customs floating online. But of course, its always nice to paint girls. I keep it stricly professional though, kind of. But I like that it gives me a chance to practice model photography.
Tiffology: Describe your creative process. What do you do to enter a creative zone?
Flipz5: “Fuckit, time to get to work”. That’s pretty much how it starts. And then loud music. I like to loosen up by scribbling and doodling, or writing things out like a brainstorm cloud thing depending on the point of the project.
Tiffology: Do you pay Carlo$ to cut your hair?
Flipz5: No, but its kind of a mutual agreement that at some point I’ll have to run an errand for him or something in return. sometimes the designs take mad long so I think its fair. He designs whatever he wants and I get a dope haircut.
Tiffology: RANDOM – Top 3 favorite food spots in Miami?
Flipz5: I’m not a going out to eat person but here are a few spots I know.
-Fritanga Managua: nicaraguan food. Breaded chicken, white rice or rice n beans, and of course the FRIED CHEESE! It’s probably gonna give me a deeelicious heart attack but its worth it.
-Vegan Place on 107th and Flagler. I didnt think vegan food was a big deal until I tried it. Oh yeah.
-Theres a Colombian restaurant on 40 st and 90something ave thats really good. Its more seafood than anything but mmm good.
-Don Pan is a chain bakery but they have “pandebonos” and “buÃ±uelos”, they’re traditional colombian baked goods. You need them in your life.
Tiffology: When you’re doing live paintings, do you sketch out your plans beforehand?
Flipz5: I’ll usually have just the background done before I start. The rest is usually off the top of my head. I wouldnt do the “live painting” anymore though, seems like theres no point in doing it. Promoters at clubs try to lure us in with the “free exposure” deal but I think it looks kind of dumb. Plus I always end up wanting to drink and party it up.
Tiffology: Is there any live painting show that you’ll always remember? Perhaps because of the artists on stage or the audience?
Flipz5: We painted for a latin rock indie show at a spot called Churchills. There was a girl who just seemed to understand my paintings without me saying anything and was kind of explaining to her dad. I thought that was cool. She asked me to make her a lesbian pride shirt, so I did. And she never picked it up.
Tiffology: What was the concept behind the “Art Bastard” shirt? And was it made exclusively to be handed out at the Art Basel event or what?
Flipz5: I fucked up my drawing hand almost a year ago and it hurt to paint. I knew I wouldnt be able to create new work to try to get into any galleries for Art Basel. I still wanted to create something though. I came up with the concept and when my brother showed me the drawing. I thought it was perfect. People really dug the design and were actually stopping to ask where we got the shirt. I was kind of surprised. We saw Russell Simmons at a hotel party and he told my brother the design was dope, that was an honor. Danger Mouse, Iggy Pop, Fab 5 Freddy were a few of the people with Art Bastard shirts. We’ll see how far we take the character.
Tiffology: RANDOM – How do you like your eggs?
Flipz5: With ketchup
Tiffology: What do you do when you’re not doing anything artistic?
Flipz5: Listen to music, work. I actually try to make everything I do involve creativity, I’ll lose my marbles if I dont. No artistic driving tho, shits dangerous.
Tiffology: Have you ever had any biters? Or are they smart enough to not fuck with Rok The Spot?
Flipz5: Ehhh. nothing blatant. I notice people try to make certain moves AFTER we do, or try too. I just see it as them trying to keep up, which won’t happen. I saw a painting at a fancy gallery during Art Basel that looked a lot like my Rok Boks munny but who knows?
Tiffology: What’s your proudest accomplishment as an artist?
Flipz5: Hmmm. I had a painting go to Spain with the rest of my class in 4th grade, at that age I was like, meh. Working w/ Vitamin Water was cool. We each did a sketch and painted it on a canvas, we had the main pieces in their charity show. Shaquille O’neal’s mom bought the canvas my brother sketched out. The next year they called us and we to drive to Orlando and paint on their float during the Citrus Day Parade. I was up 20+hours including the drive to orlando before starting the parade but it was dope. Sleep is the cousin of death, nah’mean?
Tiffology: RANDOM – Do you read books? If so, what are some good ones?
Flipz5: When I was a youngin, I loved to read. After that it was just college required books, I really like them too. Now I dont read at all, not sure what happened there. I’d like to read Through the Looking Glass and The Painting of Dorian Grey?. I think theres a book about how evil Disney is, I wanna check that out.
Tiffology: What’s a typical day like in the life of Flipz5?
Flipz5: A typical day is not that all that exciting. When working on a project though…
The days leading up to art events are heeeeeectic.
Day job, design, design, paint, draw, day job. Then looking for a reliable place to send the prints/stickers/shirts to be made. Approve the artwork.
Art Basel basically starts around 7pm: art show, drink, meet people, network, more artshow, more drink, after party, meet more people, network, party with new people; ends around 5am. Theres plenty of walking involved. Repeat that for about 5 days straight. Sprinkle a few zzz’s in there.
Tiffology: What do you listen to when you are working?
Flipz5: It ranges. If its regular drawing time I’ll put on whatever I like at the moment. For shows or big projects I can always count on pre “95” hiphop. Or anywhere from At the Drive-In, De La’s Stakes is High, DnB, Motown. Right now, I’m listening to Gil Scott Heron and Three Dog Night.
Tiffology: Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve done, or do you not play favorites?
Flipz5: Food for Thought, I think is the most popular. It was the first piece I had in a show. It has a message that reflected what was happening and people really felt it. I think seeing how it was received made me want to take the painting and gallery thing more seriously. I decided it would be a 3 part piece. It’s at 1 1/2 right now.
Tiffology: RANDOM – What’s on your desk?
Flipz5: Computer, blackbook, boxcutter, sticky notes.
Tiffology: What was the last thing you painted?
Flipz5: I made a painting for girls that run a cupcake shop in downtown (2 Girls and a Cupcake). I gave it to them right before they had a student art show in the store. They said everybody liked the painting and asked about it so that was cool. They hook it up with cupcakes, cookies, brownies. Holler.
Tiffology: Are there any events, shows, or anything coming up that you want to talk about?
Flipz5: Nothing thats set in stone, but I have a few ideas brewing. I have a good feeling about it.
Tiffology: Last words, shout outs?
Flipz5: TO YOU!!! Thank you so much for reaching out. Sorry for taking 37 years to respond, I re-read and re-write the hell out of everything. Carlo$, duh. DJ Deelah (Keep It Gully) Keep it Scummy. Yoyi, Escucha, Luis from G.u.a.v.a, aaaaaand you again!
This is the first interview I’ve done that I think will actually see the light of day. The others will probably surface when I’m a guest on conan o’brien or some washed up celebrity’s 4am talk show.
Tiffology: RANDOM – If you could paint on any females body, whose would it be and why?
Flipz5: Thats a hard question, no pun intended. For bragging rights I’d probably go with Beyonce. Rosa Acosta is the flavor of the month right now, her body is reeeediculous. There are a few godsgirls up there too. Rose McGowan, yoow. Oooh, or maybe Janet Jackson. But I’d probably end up drooling on myself hyponized by her angelic voice. Ms. Jackson if you nasty.
To see more of their work, go ahead and visit any of their websites below.