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Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Shoe is a shoe is a shoe

Since I already used one rose reference. These were crafted for a lovely lady. I wanted to give her a rose, and she got this half dozen.

She has had these for about six months or so, and they have held up pretty well so far.

turns out, she just wanted them for her cat. (wink emoticon) I'm kind of scared of that cat, he's cute, but he looks like Hitler.

Imperial Walkers

Shout out to Smythers who came up with the name for these. As an experiment I use 10$ Walmart shoes (called no boundaries). I am wearing these RIGHT NOW (as I write, not as your read).

A shoe by any other name...

People have been asking me what type of shoe to use. Up to this point I have mostly worked on vans (which have a customizeable option). Specifically I have mostly worked on white vans and blue vans, mostly of the slip-on variety. (I get them here, but you can also get them here). There is no reason why I use vans other than there is a vans store near my house and they make a canvas shoe. However I have worked on other types of shoes, other colors, and other cuts (see more coming soon). I have done shoes for children and shoes in a size 16, which I loved with lots of canvas.

The truth is that other than the simple styling, I don't love vans. Their color and fit and inconsistent and even though I have more than 10 pairs I still have to try them on each time. The good news is even if they don't fit, they are slip ons which is a very forgiving design.

I have worked on Chucks and just to test a theory, I tried a pair of vans knock-offs from Walmart. They worked pretty well, but bled a little bit. you'll see those soon. I'd like to try some on Tom's Shoes more becaus of what they are doing. I don't think their design is ideal for drawing on. I'd really like to try some designs for men and women on Treetorns, (I think I want to figure out a medium that works on rubber boots). The key is minimal design and a lot of canvas to draw/paint on.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The YargBott 2000

Direct from the year 2000 comes the Yargbott.

These are a custom design for my brother Ethan. We did an extreme brother makeover the other day and I threw in a free pair of shoes as part of the fun. It was fun flipping through sketches and deciding on what he liked, and what fit his personality. He definitely didn't want "hipster" shoes and definitely no Star Wars. I like the idea of a screaming robot. Ethan gets full credit for the speech bubble. It was a fun collaboration.

His feet are different sizes and while shopping at the Vans store in Fashion Place mall we learned how inconsistent Vans can be in their color and their sizing.

Darth Kicks

I tried these fellows out over the weekend and the force is strong with them.

The buttons are the chest plate of Darth Vader's costume. I like these shoes, but I think they lack the strong linear quality of some of my earlier designs. I have some other SW themed shoes that I will probably create soon. So far the main reason for creating them is fun names. Friends have suggested the following :
Bobba Feet (mine)
Imperial Walkers (Adam)
Ewalks (Cam)
ShoeBacca (Cameron again)

The Ewalks or ShoeBacca could be cool with gold on brown shoes. I already drew on my brown pair (pics coming soon), but you can never have too many shoes, can you? (Imelda Marcos, I am not talking to you).

Some of the names are better than the designs. But I have a white pair of vans aching to become storm troopers, and I will probably do some Bobba Feet for Adam's kid Gunner (if they get me the shoes). If anyone has other idea go ahead and throw them out.

Price Point and Priming the Pump

So to start off, I based my pricing on a lot of custom shoe doodlers on Etsy. Many were charging 100-200$. While I thought that a big bag of money would be nice (especially if it had a dollar sign written on the side) I thought, well I don't need that much money.

50$ might not be the right price point, and since this blog is as much about this process as it is about shoe designs I'd like to get your input (loyal readers). To prime the pump, here is my special offer, for the next 10 designs I will customize your shoe for 10$. The next 10 comissions will be 20$. I hope this will be a nice experiment in capitalism/craft. I don't really need the money, I'd just like this hobby to be able to pay for itself.

Also, you can get in touch with me through the email in my profile or order a pair of shoes through this new email:


I hope that fools the internet bots.

Sho(e)ut Out

Thanks to the Haleks who blogged about some shoes I did. I did some Ick's Kicks for Brandon. These were the first of the feathered shoes that I did, and I liked them so much that I have now done three pair. I'd like to try the same design with gold feathers on a brown shoe, any takers?

and some Kitty Kicks for Annie. It was challenging to work a design into the smaller shoe space. I have another Cat-themed shoe I want to try. Maybe I should start posting shoe sketches and get some feedback to what people think.

Monday, January 19, 2009


After I made a few shoes for myself I started making them for friends. Enter the Kickzilla, a shoe tearing an unsuspecting city to pieces. I made these for my friend Rebecca. I think she liked them.
Here is me, enjoying being a cobbler:

Cloud Kicks

These are some of the first vans I did. I have worn them all over this world of ourn, including one coast to coast USA trip and they have held up pretty well.

I was learning a lot back then about what works and what wears down and what not and I am still learning. I have been wearing them for two years now and the designs have held up better than the shoes.

It kind-of typifies what I like to do. A simple graphic with a strong linear element. I sometimes call these my skywalkers but George Lucas is going to get mad a me (But if he isn't now, he will be when he sees darth kick, coming soon). Turns out "Cloudkicker" is also a trademarked name (Thanks Tailspin). I'm going to update this design soon.

Ick's Kicks

Icarus made a pair of wings and flew too close to the sun. To keep it a little bit safer, I put the wings on the feet and didn't use wax.

I have been drawing a lot of feathers lately so they started making it onto some shoes.

He wants a shoehorn, the kind with teeth

Hello world. Welcome to the toothy shoehorn. I am starting to customize shoes for people. I have been doing it for fun for a while and I have been enjoying it. It gives a fella something to do whilst watching Battlestar.

This is where you can come to see my latest designs as well as contact me if you are interested in a pair of kicks. Currently I work with Vans shoes, for no other reason than there is a Vans store near my house and they have a lot of canvas on them. I have also worked on Chucks as well as keds. While I am getting my store up and running. I am going to charge only 50$ on top of the price of shoes (which is about 40$). Right now you will have to put up with one of my own designs, because I like to draw what I like to draw. Check back to see new designs, or contact me if you have an idea that you you would like to try out we can figure out a new price for that.

so let me know if you are interested in a pair of custom kicks.