An Interview with Callen Schaub | Saucony 'Artists Series Pack' - The Drop Date

An Interview with Callen Schaub | Saucony ‘Artists Series Pack’

Callen Schaub

The viral Montreal abstract artist, Callen Schaub, debuts his exciting collaboration with Saucony – welcoming the inaugural ‘Artists Series Pack‘. After launching his design studio in 2016, the talented creative has seen his experimental work attract the masses across social media, garnering billions of views across the board.

Prior to the launch of his first project with innovative label Saucony, we sat down with Callen to chat all things career, motivation and of course, the colourful collaboration at hand. Continue reading for the full interview!

The Callen Schaub x Saucony Artists Series Pack is AVAILABLE NOW at SAUCONY & SELECT STOCKISTS! Shop now via the banner below…

Career Highlights

Lovely to meet you! So, you’ve done over 125 live shows, and numerous exhibitions. A big question to start us off, but what would you say the highlight of your career has been so far?  

It’s hard to say a specific event that would be a highlight, but, I think that my online presence and connecting with my audience is just a huge opportunity to inspire, and it’s my mission to make the world a more colourful place. And where better to do that on the internet?!

I just feel very humbled and grateful to connect with my audience continually over socials, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and all these platforms. I think that that authentic connection with my audience is the highlight in itself! 

That’s a very good answer!

You mentioned social media, which has helped you grow a huge amount. You’ve reached a lot of audiences, and obviously with that kind of exposure comes a lot of good things and some not so good things.

As I mentioned earlier, I watched your talk and I loved how you turned the negatives into a positive. But what’s it been like for you, as someone that’s from Montreal, to just watch your art explode and reach so many people globally? 

Coming Up on Social Media & Turning Negatives into Positives

It’s been wonderful. I mean, I had my first viral video and I was so excited to see the numbers climbing. That was, I guess like 10 years ago now on YouTube. And then I sort of saw the negative comments start to roll in. And, at first that, of course, dampened my little creative spirit.

I was like, oh no! You know, as I thought about it more and continue to work with that idea, it’s like, those comments aren’t really necessarily about me. They’re people projecting their own insecurities or their own pain, or their own fear. And so it’s an opportunity to sort of, take that negativity and switch it around.

And so that’s really what the Fake Art movement is about. Literally changing a negative comment, like “anyone could do this”, and then emphasise the can. Like, anyone can do this! You could do it in your garage with your kids or do it yourself, you know. Encourage people to splatter paint around and everything like that.

So I think oftentimes it’s when somebody says a negative, it’s not really even a negative. It’s saying more about them than who it’s directed at. And so, I’ve been using my platform to encourage positivity and anti-cyber bullying. When I say I’m all about all the colours, that’s part of what it’s about, really bringing positivity to the world.  

Yes, I love that. I mean, honestly, sometimes you’ve just got to kill them with kindness. And you’ve come out on top! I hope it’s given a lot of these people some inspiration, maybe to get up and do something with their lives instead of leaving hate comments. 

Collaborating with Saucony

I think your work is just a great example of that, and I’ve loved seeing your creative process, which brings us to the next point, you’re working with Saucony, which is a brand that’s been in the industry for a very long time. When they gave you a call and said, “we’d really like to work with you!”, what was it about the brand that made you think, yeah, I’m game for this.

Oh, man. Well, it’s amazing. They’ve been around for so long and they’re established in that world. I think a lot of what I do as an artist is about bringing colour to the world, but it’s also about movement. My pieces are about movement and colour.

So partnering with an athletic brand like Saucony, and pairing those two things like movement through art and then movement through athletic wear and shoes, is such a wonderful connection. It’s just elevating what I do, and bringing it into a fashion sense. And that’s really an achievement to say that I’ve established colours and my presence online to a degree that I had the opportunity to work with this amazing brand. So it was quite humbling and very exciting to get that call.

The process of working with them to get to this point, we’ve been working on this collaboration for the last two years.

Oh wow!

It’s been amazing to work with their designers and choose the fabrics, and the leathers, and going to visit their atelier. You know, the embroidery and just all the details, not on the shadows, but on the ProGrid Omni 9.

[picks up ProGrid Omni 9] I just love this. The fact that the sole has my art all the way down to the bottom. And the integration of the jacquard, and the fabric, just all these like details that I really like! I believe in detail and am aesthetically geared, it’s very clear that Saucony is as well. In addition to being very supportive and a great shoe, like their style is on point. 

A Closer Look at the Callen Schaub x Saucony ‘Multicolor’ Pack

I’ve got both of them with me right now, and I can vouch! The details are insane and I love the construction.

Going off of the back of that, what do you feel that your art has brought to the ProGrid Omni 9 and the Shadow 6000?  

The Shadow 6000 is their more classic look. And we tried to consider that with the application of the art, to not over-do it. We wanted to keep it simple and clean, and embrace that sort of, almost a gallery aesthetic – bringing the white walls of the gallery onto the shoe in a way. The art and the colour just kind of pops in subtle kinds of elegant ways. You know, I love this embroidery detail, which is really special there.

And then, I like the logo. The Saucony logo is originally influenced by a river, and the three dots represent three stones and with the palette I chose, it’s going off of that water, aquatic theme. I think that was nice, like the flowing of the logo, and then referencing that with the colours.

And then the ProGrid Omni 9 is more all over. The shoe has been literally dipped in my colours and I love that it’s just more of like a technical application here. Just the subtle details [pointing to Aglet] . It’s crazy! In fact, it’s not crazy, it’s wonderful. 

That was actually like one of the things that we picked out! It’s a cute little detail and it looks so good. I love it.

I don’t want to get too crazy about it, but even like the boxes, just nice art coming through that I love. The attention to detail is kind of profound and I think that once you have them in hand, you can notice that there’s only so much that a photo or video can capture, but there’s a really clean, really simple, beautiful design. 

So, from the sounds of it, this process with Saucony has been really incredible. From picking out the materials to the whole design process. 

Callen’s Highlight of the Collaboration

If you had to pick just one highlight from this entire collaboration, and, I’m sure there’s been a few, what would it be and why? 

I guess I’m all about authenticity, and being my most authentic self, and sharing that. I think that sometimes when working with a bigger brand, it can be hard to have that voice maintained through such a process. They [Saucony] really respected my art and came to me like, “hey, you really are embracing colours and are very sensitive to the emotional side of it” – the effects of colour and motion. They really embraced my branding and mission throughout the whole process. It’s been amazing to see my art elevated into a new athletic context.

I’m a big advocate for mental health and mental wellness, and a big part of that is physical health and physical wellness, so I think this is a nice, subtle way of acknowledging that fact. Yes, it’s important to make art and explore colours in the studio. But, it’s also important to go for a run and enjoy nature. And that’s something that I believe in.  It’s a really nice collaboration. I think that our values really aligned and that alignment of values and honouring each other’s branding and messaging has been the highlight for me. 

Yes! And honestly, it really does translate through the collaboration. Really beautiful pairs of shoes, you’ve done an amazing job and so has the team at the Saucony. 

Thank you!

Shop the Callen Schaub x Saucony Artists Series Pack here!

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