Who are you, and what do you do?
We are Foot Canvas, and we make quality insoles with custom designs.
Art is a Podiatrist and has been in practice for over 30 years, specializing in orthotics and insoles. Zack is a graphic designer based out of New York City, and is an avid Sneakerhead.
Where were you when the idea for Foot Canvas came about? What sparked the idea?
Art and Zack were having a conversation in Akron, Ohio about the status of footwear. Art presented the idea of developing insoles specific to jobs that require you to be on your feet. Zack had the idea to allow anyone to put any design on the insole. This grew into designs for sneaker enthusiasts.
What is your creative process?
AA: My process of creating is to take an existing technology or product and modify it and adapt it to create a new and significant use. In this case I used my contacts in the insole industry to develop a new and unique product.
ZA: When I am designing or want to be in a productive environment. I typically start out with some green tea and listen to some relaxing music (I recently have been listening to Ta-Ku). I then will check out Reddit or Google to get me started on some inspiration. I also like to shut off the notifications on my phone to avoid distraction. After that I typically send work to some friends for feedback or put it on Instagram to see some reactions. Then I will iterate on each design until it feels right. This is my typical process from start to finish.
What is your secret sauce?
Our secret sauce as a company is the father-son relationship. We have complimentary skill sets that have allowed us to thrive in the insole design industry. You get a totally different sense of working together as this type of duo.
When did you realize this would be your career? What led to this decision?
AA: When I was in college I took my Aunt to the Podiatrist and I had a conversation with the doctor. I told him I was unsure of what I was going to do for a career. He recommended Podiatry because he loved what he was doing. He explained the diversity of opportunities in the profession, that would fit my skill set. This conversation took place in the mid 70’s and I have been more than excited about feet and foot care since.
ZA: My dad had a lot of influence on me at an early age when it came to sneakers. I loved the styles of sneakers growing up in the 90’s and I still do. I also picked up Photoshop skills in middle school and thoroughly enjoyed designing on my own. As I got older I was able to merge my passions for design and footwear. The result is where I am today with Foot Canvas.
What is something you have had to learn on your own that you would like to pass on to the next Creative?
AA: In difficult times you must learn to relax and draw on your problem-solving skills. In my case, I was trained to develop a differential diagnosis and then evaluate treatment options. I’ve learned that this approach can be applied in any problem solving situation.
ZA: I think the hardest thing is putting your work out there. You need to be confident in your own designs and concepts to be able to thrive as a creative. If you do not believe if your own work neither will anyone else.