Plasma Imports: Ethan Punal
Hey man, how are you?
Sup dude, I'm doing good. I just got back from walking around a college campus all day so that sucked. I did put out some new shirts today though so that was cool.
Can you describe how music relates to your work?
It's weird but music actually influences my artwork a lot. Way more than other art does. Like I can see a really cool drawing or painting and be like, "wow that's sick," and maybe even draw some influences from that like the way they present it or the colorways they use. But very rarely has a piece of art made me feel the way a nice melody or really good bar in a song has. I think it'll stay that way until a painting makes me feel the same as "in an all pink fit looking like a fucking faggot, who the fuck you think you're fucking with, nigga?" does.
Who are you currently listening to?
My favorite artists are definitely Kanye and Tyler, the creator. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Faces/Delusional Thomas by Mac Miller, some Earl, Action Bronson, and Childish Gambino. I connect to certain things at random times. It all depends on how my life is going at the moment.
Tell me about what inspires you?
Songs where artists bare their true emotions and experiences really hit home with me. I like feeling like I'm connecting with them and it drives me to keep going hard knowing there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Human connection is real. Besides that my family and friends who are constantly growing, keep me wanting to grow myself and improve on a daily basis.
Who are your influences?
Way too many artists to name. I draw from different people depending on what I need at that time in my life. At the moment, I'm taking a lot from Tyler, the creator, childish Gambino, and frank ocean. Not just by their music but by how they interact with the world around them. Besides my family, my friends too, seeing their raw faith in themselves and in me keeps me wanting to go hard.
What impact does your city have on your work?
Not so much the city but the people in it, both negatively and positively. Seeing Pouya perform at the Golf Carnival was crazy. He lived 5 minutes from me man. Denzel Curry just did a song with Rick Ross, the man who made "Live fast, Die young", the best song in the world. I saw these dudes grow as I grew into my own artistry. My friends show me that there are people, besides those artists mentioned above, do have big dreams too and are taking genuine steps to achieving those dreams. Other than that Miami is kinda sus. A lot of fabrication and people wanting to look cool for Instagram. There's not a lot of genuine support of those who are really trying to do big things as people claim there is. Sometimes that discourages me, but at the end of the day, it inspires me to keep going so I can show them and inspire them that they can do it too.
What mediums do you use to create?
I'm mainly known for my graphic drawings right now. But I take a lot of film pictures. I write alooooooot and wanna be an author one day. I'm also in the process of directing a music video right now and I'm working on my first script for a feature film. Oh, I'm also doing some journalism on the side.
Do you stick to a particular color palette?
Not really, it changes as I grow. I started very vibrantly. Now I'm more natural tones. I love bright things though, lots of pink, blue, and yellows. Colors that make me wanna puke.
Do you have any rituals?
Nah. I usually see an image I really like or I'll listen to an album or watch a good movie and wanna use it as a subject. I listen to music while I'm drawing to keep me from getting frustrated though. So I think that counts.
Describe your workspace?
Me, my bedroom, a lamp, my laptop and drawing tablet, my desk, and some music. I also have a bunch of toys and action figures on my desk. I mess around with them when I get bored or frustrated.
What do you think about the current direction of the art world in popular culture?
I don't really know. There are some really sick artists out there doing their thing. But there are also people making the equivalent of trap music in visual art. Just get-rich-quick, cookie cutter things they try and pass with art. Hopefully, people grow to a point where that shit won't fly anymore and people will be forced to start being original. Then it'll be fun. Right now I don't feel challenged by too many visual artists in my local area and that sucks. I really want that sense of competition from someone on my level.
What are you working on right now?
Got a few shows coming soon, a magazine in the works, more clothes, I'm working on the script I mentioned earlier, and a bunch of other cool shit.
Anybody dope that you think we should keep an eye on?
My best friend Kaelin is working to give you all the music you can connect to and feel true emotion to by being completely honest with himself and his feelings. My little brother Fabio has been working hard to constantly improve his sound and I'm so proud of him. Angel has been shooting the best digital pics and videos in Florida and is always learning on a daily basis. Dillon has the hardest film pics and Julian straight up has the best mixes. My friends Danny and Gabe have both been working hard on their own individual projects for a while now so I'm proud of them for that. Oh and Tyler makes the weirdest music you've ever heard it's so tight. We're all trying to achieve our dreams while stilling maintaining our sense of self and trying to learn about the world around us. We don't know where it'll take us but as long as we can inspire those around us, we know we've succeeded. It's all love, but we're trying to kill the game in each of our own individual fields. So yeah.
Anything you want us to share with our audience?
Yeah. Always try your best to be yourself. I know it's hard but just keep at it. You'll be way happier with yourself and be able to see the beauty in the world around you when you're genuinely feeling those emotions. It's a beautiful thing. Also, always keep growing and trying to be the best you that you can be. It's worth it. Always try and make the world a better place every day. You never know how your actions will impact a person.
For more on Ethan you check him out on social media @Ethanryanpunal or at his website here.
Written by Jordan Neal (@Urban_Jordan)