How does Ryan Bubnis squash self-doubt? (Full interview)

Sock It to Me presents Artist Collaborations. Fresh and stylish new looks designed by artists Ryan Bubnis and Bouffants & Broken Hearts.

Ryan Bubnis answered some questions for us, about the differences between making art for a sock versus a mural, how he stays focused on his goals, and a whole lot more.

Sock It to Me: How would you describe your style? What inspires you?

Ryan Bubnis: My work is fun, playful, flat, graphic and deceptively simple. Some sources of inspiration for me have always been nature, skateboarding, music. And of course, hanging out with friends and family, and checking out the latest work by other image makers.

SITM: How should people feel when they wear your socks?

RB: I hope that people feel good, positive and optimistic when wearing them. Connection is a big reoccurring theme in my work. I love the idea that someone would connect enough with my work to wear my images on their feet.

SITM: What’s the biggest difference between creating art for a mural versus creating it for a sock?

RB: Working on a large-scale mural is very physical. Your whole body is involved in the process. Working on a smaller scale or designing graphics for something like socks, the execution of imagery is mostly done with your arm, wrist and hands. It’s a different kind of motor control. There’s also a concern about readability when working between these two extremes. A detailed image might work well on a wall, might not work when shrunken down…

SITM: How do you overcome self-doubt and remain focused on your goals?

RB: There are times when thoughts of self-doubt creep in. There is a certain amount of vulnerability that goes along with being an independent artist. It’s encouraging to hear that some of the most accomplished people struggle with these very same issues. I try my best to remain optimistic and use the adversity as motivation to keep pushing.

SITM: Why do you think you and SITM make such a great match?

RB: I’ve been a fan of Sock It to Me for some time. A few of my illustrator friends have worked with them. I think what it comes down to is that the designs are fun, playful, accessible and inclusive and those qualities are very much in line with my own.

Check out more of Ryan’s work at his website, ryanbubnis.com.

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