Friday, May 11, 2012

Dragon for Dragon

My cousin, Rosa wanted me to do a pair of sneakers for her son, Ryu.  Immediately, I thought about Street Fighter, but this was not the direction that would make any sense to this 7 month old later in life :) "Ryu" in Japanese means "dragon" so that was the appropriate theme for these customs.  Ryu turns 1 in October, so these are an early birthday present for the little guy.  

Rosa let me have free range on the kind of dragons and the colors.  She just asked that I have his name and birthdate on there.  On an infant shoe, there isn't a ton of room but I was able to utilize the space pretty well.  At least "Ryu" is only 3 letters! Haha!  As I was brainstorming and sketching ideas, I started drawing letters that looked like dragons.  I thought they came out playful and cute.  On the inside, I have another dragon in a "field" of fire with a little smoke ring puff coming out of its nose.  On the other sneaker, I have a happy flying dragon with some more flames and a few trees to set the scene.  Then inside has Ryu's birthdate "10/31/11" with a meaner dragon dividing the month-date-year with it's teeth.  To add more detail, I drew dragon teeth on one toe, and a curled dragon tail with "RYU" on the other toe.  Also, on the back heel strip, I repeated Ryu's name and his birthdate.

These little size 6 infant Stan Smith sneakers came out fun and playful.  Infant sizes are always a fun challenge.  Ryu isn't walking yet, but has started crawling.  It'll be a while until he can fit in these, but soon enough he'll be running around in them :)  I mailed these off the Las Vegas today, so I'm excited to see how Rosa likes them and when Ryu eventually wears them!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Let's Get Rauschy!

Earlier in the year, my younger cousin talked to me about doing a pair of customs for her friend Sydney's 21st birthday in March.  As a fellow March-birthday, I was happy to do it.  This is actually the 2nd pair I've done for my younger cousin, the first being a pair 4 years ago for a hip hop dance competition.  

Each pair I do is unique..."custom", duh! :)  These in particular were the epitome of just that.  These sneakers were to be "all-things-Sydney"!  Obviously, each pair I do has elements that the client likes, a general theme of an interest or hobby, but this pair wanted to included all of that and more.  I remember having the conversation with Andie, my younger cousin.  I asked her, like I ask every client, for basic theme and colors.  She sends me a text with "...pretty much a collage of everything she likes..." and then sends me the longest, most thorough email! lol! She wasn't messing around!  It was awesome because now I had this huge pool of ideas to pull from and really fill up each sneaker.  That was also the challenge: to still have it flow together.  

From the email, I got her favorite color (purple), mustaches, Portlandia, inside joke phrases, her twitter handle, Jason Mraz, her sorority, last name (Rausch), peacock feather, and date of birth to make the customs.  On these all-white Superstars, I was also able to customize the 3 stripes by giving some stripes shades of purple and some others text with inside jokes.  Even though I'm not in on the jokes, seeing "so many tacos!" and "1 classy son of a f*ck!" on a sneaker is pretty funny.  I added purple laces and lace holders as additional details as well.  

I sent these off to the University of Oregon, where Andie and Sydney are Ducks! Sydney received the sneakers just before she left for Spring Break and "absolutely loves them" (via text from Andie), so another successful client & delivery in the books :) Happy Birthday, Sydney!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pacquiao vs. Pacquiao

So back in May, I helped out my cousin Jim with an event celebrating Jose Rizal's 150th birthday. I donated my sneaker customizing services for a silent auction and displayed some Jose Rizal sneakers too.

My cousin Paul won the silent auction and "cashed" in on his win this Christmas. We talked over the theme and came up with a pretty unique pair of sneakers. Paul's kids have a kitten named Pacquiao, and he liked the other Pacquiao boxer sneakers I've done, so we combined the 2 to create "Pacquiao vs. Pacquiao"!!

These all-white Stan Smith kids sneakers have their kitten face-to-face with Manny, a "title fight" sign, boxing gloves, and stars on the back heels. I gave them to Paul when I saw the fam over Christmas. These were actually the last pair to close out the 2011 year, and it marks me doing custom sneakers for 5 years. As a fun personal commemoration, I'm almost done making a photo/portfolio book with all the customs I've done. Coffee-table-book! LOL! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Purple-flavored Cupcakes for Hailey

Happy Holidays! Closing out this 2011 year, I have 2 pairs of customs. This first pair is a craft-trade that I'm pretty excited about. So these sneakers are for a friend's daughter. Hailey loves cupcakes and purple, so that was definitely doable, and I love cupcakes as well. Shout out to Cups in La Jolla! Aaaaaaanyway, since the theme was pretty simple, I made sure to add little fun details like sprinkles, the "H" and mini cupcake on the back heels, and "Hailey" and another mini cupcake right at the base of the laces. I added some dull-purple laces so it didn't over-"pop" the rest of the design, but it still tied it all together. Both sneakers were the same with variations of cupcake flavors. I dropped off these freshly-mades yesterday, so I'm excited to see how little Hailey likes them :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

California Love

So a few months back, my buddy Shannon wanted me to do some customs for her friend. Her friend's from Europe and had fallen in love with California after a visit. Shannon was traveling to visit this friend and a pair of Cali-Love sneakers were a must. This was a tall order: there's so much awesomeness about California and only 4 sneaker sides.

I didn't want it to look crazy, but a nice clean representation of some of Cali's finest and iconic landmarks. Shannon was kind enough to give me free artist expression and let me do my thing. So these all white Superstars have the Golden Gate bridge, palm trees, a beach scene with a lifeguard tower (think Baywatch, haha.), the Hollywood sign, and the outlined state of California. We Californians like the shape of our state.

These were a lot of fun to do. I've lived in California pretty much my whole life and love it. I think Cali-Love sneakers should be in every Californian's sneaker closet! Ahem... The bridge was by far my favorite section. It was also the most stressful. I didn't want all the cable lines to look like a mess. I added some other little details like the "Golden State of Mind", the heart with "California" through it (who doesn't know that song?!), and the quote "What's Your Dream?" (from the movie Pretty Woman - did you pick up on that?)

Anyway, Shannon had them mailed overseas for fear of airport-luggage-check-in-crushage. I've mailed sneakers across the Pacific to Hawaii for my first family-pack for Reese, Belle, and Makana, but this was my first international send-off :) Pretty special. Hope you dig 'em like I do!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back on Display

A few weeks ago, my buddy who runs the Originals store in Costa Mesa asked if wanted to display sneakers in their cashwrap display case. They were running low on accessories, so the case was available! I had some sneakers there in the past, so it was cool to be able to show some stuff again :) The Yo Gabba Gabba and Pacquiao sneakers are from the past, but I decided to do a new pair too -- a junior version of the "Get Your Own Style". They have the same elements just on a kids Superstar. I like how they turned out -- clean chaos! So the case has 3 pairs and a few business cards. My favorite spraycan vinyl toy holds a card up as well! What's super cool is that within 5 hours of putting the sneakers in the case, I got a new client who wanted his own pair of customs. He like the cartoon Pacquiaos, so we made arrangements to hook him up!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Update: Green Day & Sneaker Show

So a while back, I did some Green Day-themed sneakers for my younger cousin Reese. He's a HUGE Green Day fan and I just got this picture of him wearing them out :) It's always fun to see how the sneakers look on each person. Lookin' good Reese!!

Also, I mentioned that I was displaying sneakers at Visual Art Supply last week. Here are a few pictures of the wall. I displayed ones that I've done before: Manila Royals and Rizals. Then I did a new pair as well, which I gave you a sneak-peek of earlier in the "Stylo Preview". They will be there for the entire month of August, so I'm happy to get some exposure and have people see my stuff :) I was able to get in touch with some people to possibly display some of my "Filipino-themed" sneakers at the upcoming Fil-Am (Filipino-American) Festival later this year. Any exposure and possible business are always worth it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Heart Skips Tee

So along with sneakers, I do graphics as well. My heart beats like crazy and skips a lot too. This design came to me and this is a revised version of the original...way different if you saw the first one. I decided to submit it to some sites for fun and one of them is threadless. My younger cousin has done it is the past and my other cousin is a pro on Riptapparel. So here's a go for me, but this site requires votes and whatnot. So I'd appreciate votie-votes and some love. Pass it along please and my heart will leap and skip for joy!! :)

My Heart Skips - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Stylo" Preview

There is a pretty cool independent art supply store on Adams Ave near my place called Visual Art Supply. They are always having art shows and displays, along with selling great stuff to get yo' art on! They are having a show at the end of the month for custom sneakers, hats, and vinyl called "Kicks & Lids Re-Covered". I'm gonna submit 3 pairs of sneakers and we'll see how it goes :) I've got 2 done already that I've had for a while, but I did a new one just for the show. The picture is a sneak peek until I know more info about the show and which sneakers get chosen, etc. I'll keep you posted. This pair of sneakers was, by far, the most extensive taping job I've done so far. Even so, I think they came out clean, simple and still keeps my "style".

Yo Gabbadidas!

So I'm trying to stay up on my sneakers and balance my life more. I had finished the Jose Rizal sneakers for my cousin's event up in Oakland, and I wanted to keep the momentum going as best I could. I've had these velcro kid's CG (Carlos Gruber) sneakers for a while and decided to have at it. Yo Gabba Gabba seemed fitting with the color scheme of the velcro ctraps. Silly characters and a boom box did the trick. They came out fun and playful. They are a kids size 1 if anyone is interested...otherwise, my niece will eventually get them when she grows into them :)

I'm not well-versed on Yo Gabba Gabba and I'm sure I could look up the characters for their offish descrip, but I'm not. So we've got one-eyed red guy, green fuzzy monster guy, pink weird girl, yellow robot guy, and the blue cat spread across both sneakers. Then I put the "Yo Gabba Gabba" logo and a boombox and the black thick-rimmed glasses of the dj guy. The background is a series of circles and dot and lines to add to the fun-feel. Good stuff. Thanks for the look!