I recently had the chance to chat with one of the most talented (and one of my personal favorite) conceptual designers, Joe MacCarthy. It’s rare that a concept designer delves into the world of footwear, but when someone with Joe’s skill level and imagination does, chaos is sure to ensue. If there was ever proof that footwear design is art, this is it. Check out what Joe has to say about what inspires him, his thoughts on the current state of footwear design, as well as view some of his super creative artwork, including his latest piece, ’Furina’ (the last image) who is from a set of Heroins he will be releasing as a limited edition print later this year (Stay up to date with the releases and latest work from Joe on his facebook page).
[highlight] How did you first get into design & concept art? [/highlight]
I graduated in 1994 from UW Stout with a BS in Industrial Design. I left with a passion for toys and shoes and ended up doing primarily toys over the next 17 years. I started doing Concept Art outside of my ID profession in 2009. I was self taught and then dipped into several week sessions in Hollywood at Gnomon Studios to learn from the best. I continue to observe everything around me on a daily basis with lots of photography and constant sketching.
My main programs are Photoshop for 2D and Pro-E Wildfire for 3D. My preferred rendering program is Bunkspeed. I have tried many other programs over the years and this is where I landed. I like to keep the workflow really simple. A lot of initial ideas start out as a quick burst of an idea that goes down on a sketchpad with a permanent marker. These doodles are not that pretty but the initial energy of the idea is really strong. I try to keep that energy in my final renderings and not tighten it up too much. Fine tuning can really exhaust the spark.
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