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Spencer McMullen Converse Artist Series Tyler the creator
Courtesy of Converse

Tyler, The Creator enlisted this artist to redesign Converse’s Chuck 70

As part of Converse’s Artist series, the rapper hand-picked 21-year-old Spencer McMullen to reinterpret the iconic sneaker

Five years ago, Spencer McMullen, a then-16-year-old Florida native, flipped over his bike handles trying to show Tyler, The Creator some of his drawings. He had created a portrait of the rapper for a series called ‘Draw Me’, which the rapper had announced via his social media a week earlier. What happened next became a life-defining moment for McCullen, and something fans can only dream of. 

Helping him up, Tyler looked not just at McMullen’s portrait but through his whole sketchbook, taking a picture of one of the drawings to share on social media. Since this, he has kept an eye on the budding artist through the medium of Instagram – and now, the pair have come together again, as part of Converse’s Artist series. 

First launched in 2018, the series invites artists to reimagine Converse’s signature Chuck 70 shoe, with Tyler, The Creator curating the selection. With previous collaborators including Wyatt Navarro and Øyvind Lauvdahl, this time around the Igor mastermind handpicked McMullen for the scheme.

“After growing up with the brand, applying my artwork to this sneaker was really a dream come true,” McMullen explained. “But I didn’t want to disrupt the silhouette too much, because it is perfect in its simplicity.” 

Working over a few months from his studio in LA, the now-21-year-old creative mixes realistic portraits alongside doodle-like images for his redesign of the style. From a picture of a child playing with a dog to someone with a black eye, the miniature-sized drawings are pulled from real stories that have been documented around McCullen – “like books and photos on the internet of my life back in Jacksonville,” he says. And as for keeping inspired, the young artist revealed that he kept a new, blank Chuck 70 on his desk to “look at every day”. 

The shoe is now available on Converse’s website.