Nike Zoom Kobe VI Illustrations by Tracy Tubera

By Tracy Tubera

The Nike Zoom Kobe VI is continuing the trend of dominance that Nike and Kobe have been basking in when it comes to the basketball sneaker market.  The kicks also sparked the artistic creativity of Tracy Tubera, whose full-time job is working as Creative/Art Director for Wild Grinders, Rob Dyrdek’s toy line and soon to be animated series.  As a talented artist and fan of Kobe Bryant with the ability to transpose ideas he visualizes in his mind into works of art for the world to enjoy, Tracy juxtaposed his passion for art and sneakers into a series of sick print illustrations.  I had the pleasure of sitting down with him and digging a little deeper into the concept and inspiration behind the art.

Kicksologists: “What was your inspiration behind creating these prints?”

Tracy: “I’ve always wanted to draw a picture of Kobe, I just for some reason didn’t know what to draw. I just felt as if it should have some sort of theme or something behind it besides just a plain old picture of Kobe. And then when the Kobe VI’s came out, at first I think I was mostly like everybody else and thought they looked a little weird, but when they finally came out and I saw them, I loved the way it looked, I loved the idea and concept behind the skake skin and everything to play off the whole Black Mamba thing. So I thought, why don’t I just combine the projects together where I draw Kobe and his shoe.  And then when all these colorways started poppin off for the shoe, it got me all excited because I just had this idea where I would draw a picture of Kobe, but change up the colors to match all the new shoe colorways that are coming out.  It was just one of those things where I’ve been a Laker fan, I’m a Kobe fan, I like his shoes…let’s draw a Kobe picture.”

Kicksologists: “You’ve obviously seen the Kobe IV’s and the Kobe V’s so what was it about the VI that drove you to create these prints?”

Tracy: “I love the fives, I still do.  When the Bruce Lee’s came out, those were my favorite fives, I wore those throughout the Finals.  That was my superstition – same yellow Laker hat, my Los Lakers jersey and then my Bruce Lee Kobe V’s, I had to wear those all the time and those were the days they won.  I thought back then when those shoes came out, it would be a funny picture if I drew Bruce Lee in the Kobe shoes, but I just never had time to do it.  I just feel as if the sixes just have such a unique look to them that in a drawing or even pictures, they’re just eye-catching. It seems to be more of an artistically driven shoe than all the others that have come out so far.”

It quickly became clear that art, basketball and kicks take up a huge space in Tracy’s life, but being that we’re all about shoes here at Kicksologists, I wanted to delve a little more into his love for sneakers.

NEXT: Sneakerhead at heart

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