We had the good fortune of connecting with Ethan Punal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ethan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think anyone who gets up everyday and follows their dreams is taking a risk. By pursuing what makes you happy, you are essentially taking a gamble on yourself despite the odds. In my artistic career, I have snuck into record labels just for the slight chance I would have the opportunity to get some of my artwork to anyone who works there. Everyday I take risks by putting all my effort towards my work. Anytime spent drawing, designing, organizing my work, I am risking those hours spent assuming they will make me happy and progress me in my craft. As an artist, you may encountered family and friends who don’t support you, you will receive an insane amount of “no’s” and closed doors. Getting back up on your feet and self motivating is a risk. In order to succeed, you’ve got to put the work in and do the leg work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I create digital illustrations of pop culture subjects such as, rappers, movie stars, and athletes. My style has seen many evolutions over the years but no matter what era I am in, I always strive to create works that can be recognized as an Ethan Punal piece. I am most proud of my commitment to my work. I started with digital illustrations in 2015 and have not stopped since then. This path have provided me with the opportunity to work with Def Jam, Rolling Loud, Lil Durk, and other notable pillars in the music industry. At the end of the day, I got involved in this realm of art because I am a fan first. So to be able to achieve these feats strictly off of hard work, dedication, and God’s blessings, is something I am very proud of. This path has not been easy. There have been times when I wanted to quit, or to cry. Following any dream is difficult and will bring you lower than you can imagine. But if you stay committed and do things with purity, you will reach heights you never imagined, and overcome these challenges as well. Thankfully I have strong work ethic and a solid foundation to provide love, guidance, and support for me. These are things that not everyone is blessed with. I have learned that you need to be your own self motivator. You need to be your biggest fan. Learn every aspect of your work and your industry. That way, even if you can, you won’t have to depend on anyone to further your career. I want the world to know that I do what I do because it makes me happy. I love the feeling of creating a piece I love and the anxiety that comes with the anticipation of releasing it to the public. I am my own biggest fan. I would do this whether there was one person who enjoyed my work or a billion.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am not really the going out type. On my down time, I like to chill at home watching TV or buying shoes online, If a friend came from out of town I would for sure take them to get some Cuban food. We might pass by some shoe stores to find some fire Jordans or Nikes, and then meet up with my other friends to play basketball. After that we gotta call it a day cause I’ll wanna get back to work haha. If they’re staying for a week I hope they have other friends cause damn that’s a long time haha.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost I always give thanks to God. With each opportunity, achievement, or failure, I thank God for blessing me just with the ability to take another breathe and wake up each day. My girlfriend, Maraya. She is always there to pick me up when I am feeling down or not as confident in myself and my work, and she’s always there to keep me humble when my head is starting to get too big. She reminds me to keep going no matter how high or how low I may get. She inspires me to be a better man overall. My friends and family have always provided me with a solid foundation over the years and have seen me grow as a man and as an artist. They have pushed me to continue down this path, inspired me with their own artistry, and have always kept me in their hearts.
@dilmcd took the photo of me. All other artwork was credited by me.