SPENCER MCMULLEN FOR CONVERSE ARTIST SERIES presented by Tyler, The Creator
words Filipe Phitzgerard - images courtesy of Converse
Tyler, The Creator has been a long-time supporter and advocate of the youthful arts and has been spearheading a movement that discovers and showcases young talents. This time around, in partnership with footwear and apparel giant, Converse, Tyler handpicks 21-year-old artists Spencer McMullen to customize the iconic Chuck 70 style.
The relationship between the multi-disciplinary artist and McMullen dates back from when he was only 16-years-old when Tyler, The Creator put out a call on his social media asking his fans to 'draw him' showcasing their unique artistic abilities; a week after the social call, Spencer shows an illustration of Tyler which he had done over the handlebars of his bike. From that moment on, Tyler looked over Spencer's sketchbook reviewing and helping the youngster to get his career as an artist off the ground. Tyler went further and insisted on taking a photo of the portrait and immediately shared it on his personal Instagram. You could surely call this a 'once-in-a-lifetime' interaction that has helped and informed McMullen's work since.
Tyler, The Creator has been a recurrent contributor at Converse and has been pivotal in the development and application of initiatives that bring fresh contemporary designs into the classic aesthetics Converse is globally known for. This time around, Tyler was on the look-out to nominate a new creative for the opportunity to design the new Artist Series in partnership with Converse. For the past few years, he has been keeping an eye on the evolution of McMullen's work and the decision to work with him was just a no-brainer.
Spencer was invited by Tyler and Converse to translate his art into the iconic canvas shoes where each of his illustrations sought to tell a unique story where the world and the many individuals who compose it, both near and afar, become the subject of exploration and design. The 21-year-old tells that he grew up with Converse and this was an opportunity he could not miss; “After growing up with the brand, applying my artwork to this sneaker was really a dream come true,” said McMullen. He continues to talk about the starting point for him when developing the pieces and how he sought to preserve that which made the Chuck 70 so special and unique; “I didn’t want to disrupt the silhouette too much, because it is perfect in its simplicity. So, over a few months, I worked on new drawings and paintings to feature on the canvas, pulling inspiration from real stories that are documented around me – like books and photos on the internet of my life back in Jacksonville. I also kept a new, blank Chuck 70 on my desk to look at every day and I spread all my work on the floor around me to assess and arrange in different ways.”
For the first time, Spencer's characters are positioned across the parchment canvas of the Chuck 70 through hand-drawn prints. This is a modern ode to Chuck Taylor All Star crafted with premium materials, deliberate nuance and extraordinary attention to detail. The young creative composed each scene in his LA-based home studio and designed a split-side execution on the silhouette that is imaginative, colourful and personal. Every illustration is packed with youthfulness and colour making this a showstopper when it comes to customization and design.
The campaign assets for Converse Artist Series Presented by Tyler, The Creator was created by McMullen in his home in Los Angeles, in support of Converse’s new #CreateAtHomecampaign, which encourages the creative community to share their talent on social media for the opportunity to work with Converse on the creation of brand content and campaigns.
Converse Artist Series Presented By Tyler, The Creator is now available globally for £90 at Converse.com and select retailers.