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20| people | the roar

friday, may 13 , 2011

PERSONALLY PAINTED FOR YOU

Footwear designing hobby provides artistic outlet, financial benefits BY ALINA DATTAGUPTA, NEWS EDITOR

As the multicolored fine-tip Sharpies lay out in front of her, sophomore Maddie Gaines anxiously picks up a new pair of white canvas shoes. After choosing a color, she begins to sketch fragments of a design. “[Shoe designing] it so relaxing to me,” she said. “I can kill hours on them, while being totally absorbed and entertained. The greatest part is remembering that I have a pair in my bag, ready for me to work on. It makes me all excited.” Junior Jacob Wilson began designing shoes when he was in seventh grade at a time when he did not have enough money to buy an elaborate pair of shoes. “I bought an inexpensive pair [of shoes] and began to draw on them with Sharpies,” he said. “From that point on I just kind of kept doing it and got good enough to where other people were requesting and paying me to do their shoes too.” Unlike Wilson, Gaines unexpectedly came upon her hobby. “I went to Target one time after school and saw a pair of white canvas shoes and spent the rest of the day drawing on them,” she said. Senior Alyssa Halcombe, who used to avidly paint on shoes, feels that inspiration for the designs can be found in the most unexpected places. “Mostly, beautiful, natural, and simple things [give me ideas],” she said. “Also, lately I’ve been experimenting with different color schemes and texture, so I might incorporate those into shoes as well.” Wilson feels that inspiration can be found almost anywhere. “A plethora of sources give me inspiration such as the movies I watch and the people I’m around,” he said. “However, for the most part, people generally want

something specific when they drop off their Vans, so I have guidelines to follow.” People discovered Wilson’s hobby after he wore his shoes to school one day. “At first they saw the shoes I had on, which were some topsiders with a realistic pit bull drawn on them,” he said. “So, one friend wanted a pair, then another, and then another. Before long all kinds of people were texting me and messaging me on Facebook asking me if I could design a pair of shoes for them if they paid me.” Halcombe is not sure whether she will continue the

“Designing shoes has especially influenced the amount of doodles and chicken scratch on my school notes. Instead of drawing over those, I just transferred it to the shoes,” Sophomore Maddie Gaines hobby in the future. “Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll continue painting shoes, but I would like to still paint commissioned pieces of art,” she said. Although her orders get backed up quickly, Gaines feels that the hobby does not negatively affect her. “It has not interfered with activities to a scale that it becomes a problem,” she said. “Since it’s pretty casual, I don’t have to have the shoes back to the person at a certain time; therefore, they don’t have to be a first priority in my life.” For Wilson, the hobby does interfere with other activities at times.

PROSPECTIVE PAINTERS

Jacob Wilson MEDIUM: SHARPIES AND FABRIC MARKERS SHOE TYPE: ANY CANVAS SHOES (VANS &CONVERSE) CONTACT INFO: SHAKEARTIST60@YAHOO.COM COST: $25

“Balancing everything is probably the hardest part,” he said. “There’s only 24 hours in a day, and it never seems like enough to do everything.” Halcombe feels that the reverse is true. “Other activities interfere with decorating shoes especially now that I’m supposed to figure out what life looks like in the fall,” she said. “Also, life is beautiful, and I guess I get distracted with the glorious yet small things in life, as well as people. Another interference is AP art because it’s almost time to turn our portfolios in, so it’s time to get down to business and finish up.” Gaines feels that the hobby has greatly influenced her schedule and schoolwork. “I’m a lot busier now,” she said. “Also, it [designing shoes] has especially influenced the amount of doodles and chicken scratch on my school notes. Instead of drawing over those, I just transferred it to the shoes.” Wilson feels that the hobby has helped him grow as an artist. “[Designing shoes] has really broadened my styles,” he said. “Since the orders vary so greatly, I’m constantly being challenged to try new things and expand in a lot of different areas of art.” Halcombe’s favorite part of decorating shoes is being able to make art that represents a person. “I love how I can make art personal for someone, something unique for someone to own that says a little bit about who they are,” she said. “I haven’t been very consistent with this lately, but, along with painting the shoes to fit the person well, I sometimes like to write a little note to them.” Wilson’s favorite part of designing shoes is being able to make a pair uniquely unite. “My favorite part is when I get to get creative and really tie the two shoes together,” he said. “Not literally of course, but artistically. Everyone knows that shoes come in a left and right side pair, but when I do a pair of shoes, I do my best to really make it feel like one shoe couldn’t survive without the other and that they are bonded together forever.”

Maddie Gaines

MEDIUM: FINE TIP SHARPIES SHOES TYPE: ANY WHITE CANVAS CONTACT INFO: XXVOLLEY.BABEXX@YAHOO.COM COST: $20

Alyssa Halcombe MEDIUM: ACRYLIC PAINT SHOES TYPE: ANY CANVAS OR CLOTH ESPECIALLY KEDS, CONVERSE, AND TOMS CONTACT INFO: SOCCERGURL1309@GMAIL.COM COST: $25

PHOTOS BY ALEX HALL

Vol. 16 Issue 6  
Vol. 16 Issue 6  

The last issue of the Roar for the 2010-2011 school year, including senior pages.

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