TYPOE x TOYS FOR BOYS MAG

Meet Miami’s finest master, a true Contemporary genius, whose experiential and interactive works are subsequently hanging on the walls and gracing the collections of some of the world’s most influential art collectors.

At fifteen years old, Michael Andrew Gran was not the typical Miami boy. He had major aspirations and dreams. Most kids of that age look forward to a crazy party life, mixed with a great college education followed by a future of a 9 to 5. However, Michael, who is known as TYPOE among the vast international community of fashion designers, artists and collectors, well, he was a gentleman whom had his very own vision.

In becoming the hugely successful artist that he is today, TYPOE’s approach to conquering the contemporary art market was not that of the average master of this generation. He believed in teaching himself through self-education, sharing “I really wanted to learn the world. I did not believe in going to school and paying someone to show me the way people did it. So, I dove face first into my personal and extensive collection of art books,” and the rest is history.

Q&A

Meet TYPOE, the critically acclaimed thirty-three year old, with a story to be desired, and a man with dreams that have not only become his reality, but surpassed all of his, and our, expectations.

TFB: TYPOE, tell me about how this all began. Where did you study and learn the tools to become the artist that you are today?

Typoe: I didn’t go to college I felt like if I went to college, I would be doing a safety job. I was always infatuated with the old masters’ ways of doing things. I had a fascination with a Belgian artist named Jan Van Eyck from the 1390’s. I had also decided that I really wanted to learn the world through experiencing it. I did not believe in going to school and paying someone to show me the way people did it. I went and bought the old books, and I have an art library. A local artist Tao Rey taught me early on not to reinvent the wheel nor recreate the same sort of works as everyone else.

TFB: So, has creating art been your only job in life? When you were young was it all that you wanted to do?

Typoe: No, it is actually funny. Growing up in Miami, I worked in various jobs, like in construction. I also worked at Don Pan, and even at Parrot Jungle for one day, but I quit. I sold furniture for two years at West Elm. I also volunteered with DFYIT, a drug-free youth program in town, and mentored middle school kids on how to paint murals. I explained how important it is to be an artist without getting fucked up. 

TFB: How beautiful that you give back to the local community! Tell us about your sobriety.

Typoe: I have been Sober for thirteen years. To me, helping kids, helps me with my sobriety. When I got sober at the age of twenty, that was when I got serious with my work. I realized I had purpose, and the meaning of life had become so different

TFB: And have you always lived in Miami?

Typoe: Miami was a different world. I nearly moved to New York City, but I ended up staying because I love Miami SO much.

TFB: So considering you are a local of the Magic City, what galleries here represent your work, and speaking of your work, aside from art, tell us about the TYPOE collaborations.

Typoe: I am a free agent, so I have no representation. It has been so amazing, I have been commissioned by private clients to art dealers from different cities, so I am just working on constantly creating.

Regarding my collaborative projects in fashion, they were all unique and I loved every single project. I love what I did with Del Toro, where I designed a dress shoe with him in 2014 and that led me to a few projects that are in the works. Getting into fashion and having brands interested, is what keeps me going. Oh, and fresh off the press, I think you must know that I have a sneaker coming out in the near future with Haitian designer Fabrice Tardieu.

TFB: TYPOE, over the past years, you have been doing many projects with the hottest family in the hospitality world, the Alan and Ximena Faena. You first worked together in Miami than in Argentina and most recently at the Faena Art Center during Art Basel. Tell us ALL about it!

Typoe: The first project I did with the Faena’s, was at their property called Casa Claridge on Miami Beach. I took the opportunity to recreate the stuffy elevator experience by outfitting the entire space in iron, so it was magnetic and so, I covered it with magnets. I believe in engagement and playful experiences. As people played, they would leave messages, and future people who would enter, would see it.

After the elevator project, they asked me if I wanted to do a solo show in Buenos Aires. I was like ‘why are you even asking me, you know its yes?!’ (he hysterically laughs). When I saw the space I knew what would go in there.

TFB: OH WOW! A solo show. Superb! How long did the project take to execute?

Typoe: The whole project took five months, and I fully understand what the term ‘it takes a village,’ means.

It was a really awesome experience. I had met the right people, and everything fell into place. The platform they gave me made me feel majorly accomplished. I finally got to execute my work on a scale that I had dreamt of, and until you can actually create your works on a massive scale that they afforded me, you just never understand it.

My show in Argentina had a huge purpose, which was to respond to the world. Currently, it is off. A big problem is how we learn and retain info. As children, we learn, a lot of information. Some are right, and some are wrong, hence my building blocks. The whole point is learning how to play with space, interact with others, create and live. Many people get lost early on and take too much or don’t work together. Not to be an asshole, but people can be fucked up, and it is the parents’ responsibility. Like, if your parents are racist, you may be too, and especially in the times we are living in today, it is SO important for us to educate. I created an adventure for adults, so people can go on a journey of self-discovery and reflect and respond to their world. How do they choose to build it?

My exhibit also consisted of Ravens and tombstones, hourglasses, to reference life, time and death, referring to ‘what the fuck am I doing with my life.’ It was the first time that I have gotten any sort of political view out. My work had been more personal. It is my voice and what I have to offer.

TFB: So, back to Miami, tell me about your Art Basel project.

Typoe: The Faena’s asked me to design a functional space at the Faena Bazaar. I had never created a space that was catered around eight brands, and so that was a whole new experience. It was all around fascinating because, by nature, I am a collaborator. This is why I like working with brands, teams, people, other than myself.

TFB: So what is happening now?

Typoe: I am here in my studio is in little Haiti and I just renovated my new house, so I am in the nesting phase with my rescue pup Emma, who is the best assistant ever!

I am currently working on a few new things, including a new series and some commissions. I am also just creating works, in the form of sculpture, light boxes, text, and it is all exploratory, not for a show but for myself.

TFB: And last but not least, explain a bit about your role in Primary Projects.

Typoe: Primary Projects, a gallery owned by a group including Cristina Gonzalez, Books Bischof, and myself. I am a partner, and work mostly with the artists and on shows, but we all work on it together. Our paths cross between creative, business and vision. Right now we are working with Kelly Breez, a female artist who is local and her show opens this month. She has a show at Locust Projects, that is also opening at the same time as ours. It is across the street and we will all work together as a community.

TYPOE x OCEAN DRIVE

Miami-Based Artist Typoe Reveals His Latest Project, Primary & Why He Wants to Give Back

In 2006, three budding artists took it upon themselves to establish an outdoor gallery in the then-isolated warehouse district known as Wynwood. They negotiated with landlords, begged fellow artists to contribute, and battled the city to make it happen. Typoe Gran was one of the three. He, Books Bischof, and Cristina Gonzalez called themselves Primary Flight. “We hustled day and night to get each and every wall—it was a full-time job,” says the artist now known simply as Typoe. “We had no idea that it was going to be a catalyst for gentrification.”

As Wynwood developed into the city’s first outdoor museum of street art, Typoe’s name became synonymous with the movement. But the multidisciplinary artist never considered graffiti his medium. “For me, it was more like a sport,” he says. In reality, he had been creating fine art since he was a child growing up in Coral Gables. Unfortunately, Typoe had some other adolescent interests as well: drugs, alcohol, and getting into trouble. At 15, his parents sent him to the progressive Hyde School in Maine, which “pretty much saved my life,” he says. He finally checked himself into rehab at 20 years old and has never looked back. “Going sober was my defining moment, when I said, ‘Goals—I’m going for it.’”

He focused on sculpture, learning as he went. “I would just use things around me. Then I would put it together and make sense of it.” By 2010, the newly christened Miami Arts District was the country’s hippest neighborhood, the same year that Typoe—guided by gallerist Anthony Spinello—sold a piece at Art Basel Miami Beach titled Confetti Death. It was another life-changing moment. Since then, the artist has had exhibitions in Mexico, Cuba, and Argentina (at the Faena Hotel in Buenos Aires). He has designed a line of shoes for Del Toro, toured with Skrillex as his art director, created an installation inside the Faena Bazaar, and designed a collection of jackets. And today Typoe’s career is coming full circle as he returns to the outdoors.

“Right now a big focus of mine is public art,” he says. “I want people to be able to drive by my work, or go to a park and see it.” Behind the scenes, he and his partners have retooled Primary Flight as Primary, an art collective and gallery, which he views as a way of giving back to the city that made him. “Miami has been going through this renaissance, and we’ve been doing our best to push it in every way we can.” Also ever-changing is the art world and the growing role played by social media.

“A lot of my sales happen just because of that,” says Typoe of his carefully curated Instagram feed. “There’s nothing wrong with doing what you love and making money from it… It’s artwork—there’s art and there’s work. But I stay true to who I am. I’m not going to sell out and start making things that don’t make sense.” Next up? A furniture company, debuting in Little Haiti, where he now lives. Expect it to reflect who Typoe is as a person and extend his work as an artist. “I always ask myself this question: If I die next week, if I die tomorrow, am I happy with what I’m leaving in the world and my contribution?”

NOIR JACKET COLLABORATION

The NOIR COLLAB was a project between TYPOE x JOSIE BRUNO x NAT ROSENFELD released during Miami Art Week 2016 at the Soho Beach House Penthouse. A limited edition run of 16 jackets along with complimentary accesories. In conjunction with NYLON MAG and STYLERAC.

TYPOE x ROCHE BOBOIS x LOTUS HOUSE

The “FURTIF ART PROJECT” is a one-of-a-kind artistic collaboration created by Ocean Drive and  Roche Bobois who called upon talents to reimagine the iconic FURTIF desk. I responded to my desk by flipping it over and adding new sculptural elements to the equation. The piece was available for auction with proceeds benefiting the charity organization, Lotus House. 

Walshy Fire of Major Lazer

Walshy Fire x TYPOE

TYPOE x Heidi Klum

FAENA BAZAAR

I was comissioned to create a functional retail experience. Curated in collaboration with Kelly Framel and Zachary Lynd and based on the promise of discovery, Faena Bazaar is rooted in cultural integrations and presents a new retail paradigm: a modernistic souk, and a stage for the worlds most remarkable brands to present a high-concept, experimental version of themselves. 

 

With brands: Maiyet X Lily Kwong, Sybilla, Anndra Neen, Carolina K, Marane, Edie Parker, Figue, Dezso by Sara Beltran, L' Objet.

TYPOE x THOMPSON HOTELS

Thompson Hotels Miami Influencers X TYPOE
INFLUENCERS

Controlling Chaos One Piece of Art at a Time

“I have always been very curious,” says the artist TYPOE. “Even as a young child I would find any object and explore its capabilities. I have a natural tendency to take in the world around me and then respond to it.”

We are certainly glad the Miami native never stopped absorbing, and reflecting on, the world around him. TYPOE’s work pays homage to the gritty urban underground while conversing with (and subtly poking fun of) celebrity culture, all while nodding to the academic foundations of art history and the vibrant energy of street art. Here he shares the story behind his acclaimed gunpowder floral series, why there’s no place like Miami, and more.

What’s the driving impulse behind your work? 

I get inspired by everything from interactions with the people around me to then the atmosphere of shapes and color and things that I take in on a daily basis.

How does Miami influence your creativity?

Miami is huge in my artistic influence. If I was born in another part of the world, my work would look nothing like how it does‑especially because Miami is such a specific place. I mean, it’s like we are our own little planet. It’s kind of amazing. Growing up here seeing the colors, drugs, neon lights, violence, lavish living, low living… It completely affected the way I see everything.

How and why is the rose so significant in your work?

I started doing my floral series about 3 or 4 years ago. I paint the florals with gunpowder using a technique that took me about 8 years to come up with by using a series of different adhesives and burning methods. Originally I was really drawn to gunpowder as a medium because of how difficult it was to control, because when you ignite it on paper, it literally goes everywhere. So in one respect, I was trying to master controlling chaos. Now I was using the flowers as symbol for loss. They were sort of these beautiful funeral arrangements in the beginning that were commemorating the loss of dear friends of mine. The gunpowder was a sort of symbol of the out of control life style we all had growing up that some never got out of to experience anything else. As the series expanded, it started to take on many meanings, not just loss. It was a symbol for life, love, control, inner peace. It was something I grew with that took many awesome unexpected turns. That’s the beautiful thing about art, sometimes it has to be alive for a little while to realize itself.

Where do you live in Miami? Can you share three of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I live in the midtown area, but I am happy to announce that I just recently bought a home in Little River and am currently in the middle of renovations and building my new permanent studio there. But my three places in my current neighborhood are as follows:

1) Gigi – just for the simple fact that you can get a different type of bread pudding every day. I have a huge sweet tooth and this is a pretty epic situation.

2) Lemoni Café – because they have all amazing food and they are the sweetest people ever. Also, the chicken parm there is seriously a revelation.

3) Pace Park – I would say this is my happy spot. I workout in this park every single day and it is probably one of my favorite places to get away. It’s on the water, everyone is outside being active and going after goals, and there are cute dogs everywhere to look at. Nothing better than that!

Do you have any exciting art projects coming up that you can share with us? 

I do have some major collaborations, projects and series of work coming out that I am SO excited about. But all too soon to share any details. Stayed tuned, many amazing things on the horizons that I can’t wait to share with everyone  :)

http://blog.thompsonhotels.com/2016/03/thompson-hotels-miami-influencers-x-typoe/

TYPOE x FAENA ART CENTER

Faena Art, the international nonprofit organization that supports and produces multi-disciplinary and time-based experiences, announces the commission of an immersive and participatory installation by Miami-based artist Typoe. The work, titled Forms from Life, will be presented at Faena Art Center Buenos Aires from July 20 through 31st.

When Faena Art Center hosts Typoe’s first exhibition in Latin America later this July, Sala Molinos will be transformed into a surrealist world of labyrinths and fantasy. Comprised of blocks and towers, Forms from Life brings to mind the both ancient Rome as well as the Art Deco facades of Miami, the artist’s hometown.

Typoe’s latest creation explores basic geometry, order and beauty of the physical world and reimagines basic building blocks of tropical colors and classic faux-marble that tease the imagination and invite visitors to construct new worlds for their wildest dreams, generating new experiences of communal creation and social interaction. At the same time, by conjuring up ruins and losses of deferred dreams, this work becomes a contemporary memento mori that elicits the inevitable passage of time and a personal journey through youth and beyond.

Forms from Life draws upon Typoe’s previous commission for the Faena Art Elevate series—a program of rotating site-specific commissions installed in the elevator of Casa Claridge’s in Faena District Miami Beach. For Elevate, Typoe created a playful and experiential work titled Getting Up that encouraged viewer participation and recalled the childhood pastime of playing with letter-shaped magnets; ultimately serving as a transgressive act of auto-definition and a reclamation of public space for social interaction.

TYPOE x TIDE

 
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Armed with a razor sharp aesthetic and an arsenal of refined techniques, Miami based artist Typoe has been slaying the Miami art scene for nearly a decade. With an extensive background in graffiti and street art, Typoe now employs elements of his basis in urban art into modern and contemporary pieces. As result, Typoe’s work embodies a distinct energy, excitement, and boldness that other, more “classical” pieces lack. In addition to his unorthodox approach, Typoe’s chosen media is nothing but ordinary. Ranging from spray paint and neon, to gunpowder and women's cosmetics, Typoe’s work has amassed critical acclaim for his innovative use of materials not commonly associated with art. His images, based on ideas of satire, art history, and extravagance have been extensively exhibited in both group and solo platforms. Though true to Miami, Typoe often also travels abroad where he continues to exhibit his work. To date Typoe has displayed his pieces in New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, Chicago, and Mexico. In addition to showing in the gallery space, his work has graced many large scale venues including MIA Art Fair, Zona MACO, Art Wynwood, and has headlined Scope art fairs in Miami, New York, and Basel Switzerland. He has been featured in publications such as The Miami Herald, Live Fast Mag, juxtapoz Magazine Hyperallergic, and Art Forum Magazine. Typoe is also a collaborator, having worked with recognized brands including Beck's beer, Del Torro, and Royal Caribbean. In 2014 Typoe was the recipient of the Star of Design Award for his achievements in visual arts, presented by the Design Center of Americas. Aside from his own work, Typoe is also the co-founder of the Miami based creative space Primary Projects. Along with friends and founder Books Bischof and cofounder Cristina Gonzalez, Primary Projects displays cutting edge contemporary art from emerging and mid career artists. Primary has also completed work with the Arts Initiative at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, The Soho Beach House, superstar Dj’s Skrillex, Boys Noize, and more, creating award winning specialty projects. As a founding member of Primary Flight, the world’s first and largest open air street art exhibition, Typoe continues to maintain a strong presence on the street by taking part in or organizing mural projects such as, Primary Flight, the Raw Project, The Greenway Project, Beck’s Urban Canvas mural project, and the Words Travel Fast mural project. As Typoe’s world of wonder, decadence, and calculated chaos ever expands, he continues to craft his commentary through his home base of Miami.

www.tidemiami.com

TYPOE x CASA CLARIDGES x ELEVATE

ELEVATE
A VERTICAL PLATFORM, AN ASCENDING GALLERY FOR ARTISTIC INTERVENTION. A PROGRAM FOR ROTATING SITE-SPECIFIC INSTALLATIONS OF EMERGING TO MID-CAREER MIAMI BASED ARTISTS, ELEVATE PROMOTES THE CREATION OF ACTIVE, PARTICIPATORY AND IMMERSIVE ART PRACTICES.

For Getting Up, the artist moved away from his signature gunpowder paintings in order to create an entirely immersive and experiential installation that encouraged the public to play and stay a while. The installation required viewer participation in what was both a childhood pastime and a transgressive act of auto-definition. Audience interaction became a means of communicating with the world and of marking one’s existence. Typoe succeeded in elongating time spent in transit, transforming this in-between space into an autobiographical time capsule of history and geography.

Here are images of the opening after the jump:

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http://worldredeye.com/2015/08/typoe-getting-up-at-casa-claridges/

TYPOE x O, Miami

An original poem for Miami-Dade in the form of a t-shirt. Created for O, Miami by TYPOE.

Modeled by TYPOE (with Emma) and by poet Cherry Pickman at the JC Penney photo studios in the Dadeland Mall.

This t-shirt is a limited edition. For fit and feel, think American Apparel.

For more info: www.omiami.org 

JOSE DE DIEGO MIDDLE SCHOOL

House paint and spray paint on wall. I created this mural of a single rose on marble and donated art for auction to Jose De Diego Middle School to raise funds for their art program. Curated by RAW Project & Wynwood Map. Wynwood. Miami, Fl. 2014

TYPOE X APT606

Miami, FL – December 1, 2014 – What do you get when you merge two creative forces? One epic collaboration. On Monday afternoon, Miami Design District boutique APT 606 and Spinello Projects teamed up for the opening reception of new works by Typoe, a Miami-based multimedia artist. With a new vision in store, APT 606 has executed a clean new look to their conceptual menswear boutique, which provides an exclusive collection in minimalistic nature featuring some of today’s most coveted designers. The exhibition of multimedia works at APT 606 will be on display and open to the public, free of charge throughout Art Basel week from 11am-10pm.

http://worldredeye.com/2014/12/apt-606-x-spinello-projects-present-new-works-by-typoe/

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DAVID CABRERA STUDIO VISIT

 

David Cabrera continues his “Studio Visit” series where he visits a local visual artist at their studio and place of work.

For this edition, David chooses the infamous TYPOE where you see a few of his works in progress, his collection with Del Toro Shoes and some pretty cool neon sign pieces.

Check the photos below. And make sure to check out the rest of David Cabrera’s studio visits on his website: davidcabrera.info

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DCOTA STARS OF DESIGN AWARD

WinterMarket 2014
Stars of Design

Florida is home to many of the design industry’s most celebrated creative minds and each year, the DCOTA recognizes distinguished professionals across all disciplines of art and design with the Stars of Design and Stars on the Rise awards.

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TYPOE x MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT AMBASSADOR

Typoe for the Miami Dedisgn District Ambassador.

Typoe is part of a group of Miami bred artists changing the city's cultural landscape. Typoe, has grown from graffiti artist, to a more traditional gallery artist represented by Spinello Projects, and along the way he has helped to cofound the much loved space, Primary Projects. Earlier this year, he collaborated with local brand DelToro to design shoes. Amongst the floral wingtips fans is the Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade. Mr. Wade is just one of Typoe's fans as the artist proves to be a talented curator and producer and a caring collaborator known for supporting city and local artists. 

 

What's the first piece of art you fell in love with?
The earliest things I remember visually are my moms paintings and a Picasso flower print that was hanging in the back of my parents house when I was little. I think the first time I saw a piece of art and felt like it changed my life was definitely a Robert Rauschenberg. He is the man. The way he assembles and makes marks is perfection. His process took art into a new direction. I like when people challenge the process.

 

Who are your favorite designers?
Alexander McQueen, Marcus Wainwright & David Neville, Matthew Chevallard, Tadao Ando, Carlo Scarpa.

 

What is the best piece of style advice you've ever heard?
Your style is an extension of you. Just be yourself.

 

Who are is your favorite writer?
Dr Seuss

 

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What is inspiring you these days?
Everything inspires me... Everything I see around me, my family and friends, my past, my possible future. Most of my work is very personal so I like to pull inspiration from all my own experiences.

 

What is your motto?
Excellence takes no breaks.

 

What is your favorite indulgence?
Ice cream. Specifically a little place on south beach 'Emack & Bolios'. Enter at your own risk.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I would say learning how to master my craft and finding my visual language as an artist. Maturing in my process. There have been many monetary and material things that I have accomplished but this is the most important thing to me: style and being the best at what I do.

What career other than your own would you like to attempt?
There are so many things I want to do. Besides being a full time artist and being a partner on the Primary projects team, I want to do more in fashion design, and so many other creative ventures. I just love collaborating and working with people.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Stop thinking so much so I can sleep at night.

Who are some of your favorite local artists?
Agustina Woodgate, Sinisa Kukec, Emmett Moore. These are a few of my favorites, not only because they are amazing people but also because their dedication to mastering and understanding their craft.

2013 is almost finished and we're all looking ahead to 2014. What are you looking forward to next year?
I am very excited about next year. There are so many projects coming soon that I can't wait to share with everyone. I can't talk about them just yet but it is going to be a lot of fun!

What are you excited about at this year's Basel festivities?
I'm just starting to see all these emails for events and there are so many that it is impossible to pick. I'm most excited about seeing a lot of friends coming to town that I usually only get to see when I travel to different fairs.

http://www.miamidesigndistrict.net/blog/entries/488/typoe-artist/

TYPOE x OCEAN DRIVE

As Miami artist Typoe matures, his unpredictable work is catching eyes well beyond South Florida.
 
Until he was 20, Typoe was an artist of destruction. The Coral Gables-born artist was smoking crack by age 15, robbing people, and landing in jail for vandalizing property in the name of street art. “It wasn’t really art; it was just destroying things,” he says. “I did that for a solid decade—just destruction—but I think that kind of helped fuel what I’m doing now.”
 
Today, at age 30, and 10 years removed from checking himself into rehab, Typoe retains a street-honed edge in his art, but he’s making waves in cultural circles well beyond the spray paint community with paintings and sculptures that capture the dark side of his youth and the playfulness that comes with success by turning everything from spray can tops to milk crates and toy guns into art. After linking up with gallerist Anthony Spinello, he became a hit in the art show world, and by 2013, Typoe had collaborated with Del Toro shoes on a shoe design, curated a major public art project in a high-end retail mall in Chicago, and wowed crowds at multiple Basel-week shows with work created in a downtown studio accolades beyond anything he expected in his youth. With his rising level of success, one would think Typoe would hit the delete button on Miami, but he’s opted to stay put and help continue to build the art scene in the city he once enjoyed destroying. “I want to help Miami grow as much as possible,” he says. “There’s something major happening here.”
 
There are major things happening for Typoe, too. His current Art Basel show, “Game Over,” is bringing a dark humor to the “life and death” theme through drawings created with gunpowder, sculptures parodying death and consumer culture, and an installation that features a giant Twister board, a “Have a Nice Day” face to face with a bleached skull, and a neon text sculpture that quotes Walt Disney’s “To all who come to this happy place, welcome” inside a room within a room made of full black plexiglass. In the coming year, he’ll also unveil a cookie he’s creating in conjunction with Om Nom Nom, venture deeper into fashion by designing a women’s line with 10 Corso in Los Angeles, and show his artwork internationally. But no matter how far he spreads his wings, Typoe always plans to return home, and no matter how much he grows, that defiant kid inside of him will call the shots. “My work is going to be changing as I change,” he says. “If I end up making work about me going to Bed, Bath and Beyond when I’m 70 years old, it is what it is, but I doubt that will ever happen because I’m fucking insane.”