When I was 13 I sent a signature basketball shoe design to Nike. It would take some years, and a less-than-direct path, but I would eventually find my way to footwear design.
I try to center my approach to design around mixing the familiar with the unexpected and injecting insight and play into my process. 
Currently located in Nürnberg Germany, I am a performance footwear designer by day and in my free time I enjoy exploring the conceptual side of my footwear ideas as Hek Lab on instagram.
When I'm not thinking about shoes, I hike mountains with my dog and my camera, or explore new cities.
Here is an interview I did with Gravity Sketch (VR 3D modeling software) where I talk a little bit more about my journey and work.
Always happy to give portfolio advice or talk design process - drop me a line.

Daniel Shirley
BFA Industrial Design - Brigham Young University
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