Drawing Outside The Lines: Ethan Ryan Punal
Written by Greg Harris
The Florida creative scene has been one to watch with the likes of Robb Bank$, Pouya, and Fat Nick breaking the borders of the South Florida to what rage you see now from younger artists such as Smokepurrpp, XXXtentacion, Wifisfuneral, and more. Another aspect that has sparked up the Miami creative scene is the designers. It being one of the designer havens in the country, Miami have grown many artists who go beyond their limits such as Ethan Ryan Punal.
The abstract rooted graphic artist derives from the same area where Salvador Dali built his foundation and that’s altering what reality presents to us, especially in the form of appearance. He’s done this with the likes of Frank Ocean, Tyler The Creator, Young Thug, and more showing the alternate perspective of their personas.
Going above and beyond to dare is why we wanted to feature him on MLM, we recently had an opportunity to speak to him about his influences, Florida, origins of work, and more.
Read the interview below
How's Your Modern Life?
My life is cool. I've been able to relax a lot more lately now that I have some free time before stuff starts to get crazy again. I'm in the, "calm before the storm" phase right now so I'm just trying to take that in stride.
What are three things you need to do when you first wake up?
Post a new drawing for the day, exercise, and meditate.
Do you remember the moment when you first fell in love with art?
Not specifically. Art has really always been a part of my life. My mom always had my sister and I doing some creative stuff and my dad is a drummer so I was always around creativity. Cartoons are what really amazed me as a kid though. Like that was my life man. Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, all of that, I just loved watching cartoons.
What inspired you to become the graphic artist you are today?
It kinda just fell into my lap. Before I even knew anything about graphic design or digital art, a friend told me he wanted to get rid of his drawing tablet. I bought it off him cause I figured if nothing else it would at least be something cool to play with. Before that it was all monster and cartoon drawings in my sketchbook that I would scan onto my computer and just upload to Tumblr.
Your style has a lot of abstract elements especially in the exaggeration of facial expressions. What inspires you to make this a key part of your work?
.It just looks cool and funny to me. To see these really cool people in a not so flattering way is tight. I like resizing the hands and the width of the arms sometimes too. Just to give it some extra abstraction. I think I can still take it a lot further though. Even if it's not in pop art anymore.
Who were some artists that have inspired your style over the years?
.Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and George Condo are my biggest inspirations right now. I've also drawn inspirations from musicians like Tyler the Creator, Pharrell, Kanye West, André 3000. I went through a phase of watching a lot of Metro Boomin interviews recently just because I admire his work ethic.
"My mom always had my sister and I doing some creative stuff and my dad is a drummer so I was always around creativity. Cartoons are what really amazed me as a kid though. Like that was my life man. Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, all of that, I just loved watching cartoons."
What advantages and disadvantages you feel like you have being from Miami?
Some advantages are that the "scene" is getting bigger and bigger so there are more opportunites coming because a lot more people are looking down here for the next big thing, and that its never cold. Some disadvantages would be people are lame a huge amount of time and that its always hot.
What separates you from other designers when it comes to you being from Miami?
I create my own stuff just like they create their own stuff. We are all separate.
Miami is becoming a haven for many creatives and artists, how does the city influence you and your work?
Miami is fueled off gossip and whatever is trendy. My art right now is focused on who or what is trendy and who or what the people are gossiping about.
Out of all the work you've done over the past year, what has to be your favorite piece so far?
All my pieces are my babies and I love them all, but I still haven't made my favorite one yet.
If I remember correctly you did an art series on Young Thug called "No It's Jeffery", what compelled to come up with that art concept?
That was for a Young Thug based art show in Atlanta earlier this year. The name comes from Young Thug changing his name for a little to, "No, my name is Jeffery". He's also the greatest and one of my favorites to draw. I'll probably draw him 1000 more times before I die.
Living in a city where it's an open range of opportunities to showcase your work in real life, what has been the best reaction you've received about your work?
All the attention is always great. Weather they like it or are confused about it, it's always fun to see people's reactions in real life rather than just a retweet or like online. I've seen people really not like how I draw and just keep it moving or try and be polite, and I've seen people spend long periods of time just looking at all my prints and talking to me about them. The best reactions though are the ones that end in either a new opportunity being provided in the future or artwork being purchased. As an artist you depend on the support both financial and feedback to keep you going.
On the path of achieving great things, what are some things you have in placed for the rest of 2017?
I intend on doing a lot more shows. Looking to put together my first solo art show soon and always trying to make better artwork. Outside of that just trying to find the right balance in my life with everything going on. It's a process.
In this age where art is distorted or misrepresented, how do you feel like you’ll be making a difference with your artwork?
By continuing to do whatever I want and showing people that thats okay.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a good person who made cool stuff sometimes.