From throbbing, hypnotizing eyeballs to warped Rugrats characters, Distortedd’s art takes people to another dimension. Born Anhia Santana, the Dominican American illustrator continues to break artistic boundaries with her psychedelic interpretations of modern day culture.
Most recently, Santana took her multi-colored talents to a new canvas: a Reebok silhouette. Distortedd is the latest designer to release her own interpretation of the Instapump Fury as a part of the “It’s A Man’s World” campaign. The Philly-born designer was personally selected by Jazerai Allen-Lord, who consulted with Reebok on the group of designers selected for the effort and also created her own Reebok shoe (which was selected for our Snobette Sneaker Awards 2019 list).
Distortedd’s slip-on silhouette (available to purchase on reebok.com) is detailed with graffiti-style tentacles, oozing eyeballs and sharp teeth filled in with pastel colors—a rendition that accurately showcases her signature style.
In the midst of promoting her shoe, we had the opportunity to chat with the Philly-born artist to discuss her design process and how the collaboration came to life.
SNOBETTE: Tell us what motivated you to choose the Instapump Fury silhouette for your Reebok collaboration?
Distortedd: “The style of the sneaker is one of my favorites from Reebok. I felt like that sneaker gave me enough room to put a crazy design on it. When they gave me options, I was like ‘I want that one.’ To me, the Instapump Fury was the silhouette that stood out the most.”
SNOBETTE: Can you walk us through the design process for your shoe? Did you experience any creative blocks while designing? If so, how did you overcome it?
Distortedd: “I was flown out to the Boston headquarters, which was cool because I’ve never designed a shoe in my life. I didn’t know what to put on it or where to put it. I designed the sneaker with the help of Chris Hill, a designer at Reebok. We picked a style that represented who Distortedd is. With Chris’s help, I was able to freely design the shoe; it was fun to be honest. It was a long process, but I learned so much.”
SNOBETTE: What inspired the color palette and illustration seen on the shoe?
Distortedd: “I love pastel colors; I use them often in my art. The illustration is inspired by everything that inspires me. When you look closely, you can see all of the details; it represents my childhood, teenage years until now. It also represents skate culture, my favorite cartoons and my favorite colors.”
SNOBETTE: What motivated you to write the message that is found in the shoe’s insole?
Distortedd: “I wanted to express what it has been like for me as a woman in a male dominated field. Hopefully it gives motivation to those who want to pursue the same thing.”
SNOBETTE: Can you tell us a little bit about how the Reebok collaboration came to life?
Distortedd: “Through my good friend Jazzy [Jazerai Allen-Lord], she called me one day about over a year ago and asked me if I wanted to be a part of the campaign. I was like hell YEAH. It feels awesome to be a part of this. She’s watched me grow over the years; I’ve known her for a long time. She’s always supported everything I’ve done, from art and animation. She knows it’s a very male-dominated field and felt like it was a perfect fit for me to be a part of this.”
SNOBETTE: What are some key takeaways from a successful collaboration process that you can share with us?
Distortedd: “I love how Reebok allowed me to create freely, it made the process fun. As long as there’s space for me to be myself as an artist, that’s what makes a good collaboration. I’m not saying I have to run the whole thing because I like collaborating with other people and taking advice. With Reebok, they allowed me to be completely myself while designing the sneaker.”
SNOBETTE: What does your Reebok shoe represent for you?
Distortedd: “My Reebok shoe represents all that I am as an artist. My style has been the same over the years, I’m honored to have it on a sneaker, finally. I’m excited to see everything unravel with this drop.”