Colorful footwear that captures the eye and the imagination has become increasingly popular in recent months, showing up on fashion runways and famous feet. Artists who have been inspired by this growing trend have taken their brushes to a different kind of canvas by creating painted shoes.
Blake Barash is an artist who began painting professionally for TOMS Shoes in 2010, and eventually created his own business, B Street Shoes. He describes his style as street-style realism, and runs a successful website store and Etsy shop. Over the last 3 years, he has seen the demand for his custom-painted shoes triple. Blake attributes his success to word-of-mouth marketing, and his customers’ desire for art they can wear. He says, “Imagine if they carried around a canvas you painted for them everywhere they go … Everyone sees the shoes, unlike if you had a painted canvas hanging in your house.” Blake works with the Princeton Summit 6100 Series for acrylic paint.
Sal “Kickstradomis” Amezcua, also a Los Angeles-based artist and designer, paints custom shoe designs for an extensive client network. Sal works with two of our brush lines, Princeton Select™ #3750, and our Mini-detailers Series #3050. He says, “I like both the lines of brushes because of the way they take the paint and how the detail brushes meet my every need in the artwork department. I haven’t had any issues. They also are very easy to clean and the quality is amazing.”
Also pursuing the creative and business opportunities in the realm of shoe painting is Kendra Thomas of Kendra’s Customs. Though Kendra has been creating arts and crafts for most of her life, she has a business degree, and has turned her passion into a business. Initially a traditional artist, she started out painting on traditional canvas and paper. With a drive to challenge herself creatively, she began to expand her creative portfolio to include unique canvases such as handbags, coffee tumblers, and shoes. Her custom-painted shoes have gained her a considerable Instagram following and increased sales in her successful Etsy shop.