END. catches up with art director, Sammie Purulak, at home in London.
END. and Converse check-in with designer and art director, Sammie Puralak, to talk Chuck Taylors, creative expression, and whether talent or hard work is most important.
How would you describe your art?
I’m a designer and art director from the UK based between London and New York, creating work in the fields of fashion, art, music, and contemporary culture. The artwork I made focussing on the Converse ‘RENEW’ concept is made up of imagery of the shoe that I shot and made at home, combining it with scraps, test prints, collage, off-cuts, screenshots, photoshop tests, photos I took and distorted over the past seven years. Renewing and giving new life to work that’s sat on my hard drives or inboxes over the years that I had forgotten about and never shared. This process has really reminded me not to be so precious over the work I make, and to keep testing and experimenting for the fun of it. It doesn’t have to be something fully developed or have a huge concept behind it.
Did you always know you wanted to work in a creative field? What was your trajectory from deciding to follow this path to where you are now?
I don’t have a classic story of being surrounded by art or design as a kid, as that just wasn’t the case. As a teenager I spent a lot of time on the family computer and I started learning how to use photoshop and after effects at 13. It came as quite a shock and surprise to my parents that my interests were very much creative lead, but they encouraged me and it just naturally progressed and lead into wanting to study graphic design.
What silhouette inspired you and why was this your go-to Converse to create with?
I worked on the Chuck Taylors 'RENEW' which made sense because I've worn Chuck Taylors since I was a kid.
How has creating at home changed how you work?
Ownership. And a slower pace of working.
What does your creative process look like? How do you begin a new project?
With any project, whether it’s for a client, a friend or something personal – I always start with doing and making. For me those initial first couple of hours sketching and thinking through ideas are crucial. It’s very digital. It didn’t used to be, I used to be way more physical in my process, but I’m trying to tap into that again. I notice a difference in my decision making and development with a more slowed down pace of doing something physical rather than rapidly on screen. It’s also very conversational, I find myself just naturally speaking to a lot of my friends through any ideas I have. More so during lockdown, a lot of late night facetimes.
As a creative, what’s one piece of advice you wish you could give to your younger self?
How have you been staying inspired during lockdown?
Being back at my parents house with all my old books has been a nice experience. I’ve been spending a few hours every week just pulling out a few books at a time and going through them. Books that I only looked at when buying and have just lived in a box since. Stacks of magazines that I never actually read. Even the books I did take time reading or looking at years ago – it’s interesting to come back and see how your reaction or opinion has changed over the years. So either remembering or finding a lot of new information and inspiration.
What’s more important as a creative: talent or hard work?
Hard work. Night and day.