Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jasmine's Rocket Sneaks

Happy 3rd Birthday Jasmine!!

December 20th, my niece turned 3 years old, and as always, she gets a fresh pair of customs!! Yes, she will be that girl :)

This year
she's really into the Little Einstein's show on the Disney Channel, so that was the theme. The velcro Stan Smiths are perfect with the red plaid lining, logo, and tongue color. The sneakers have Rocket, the show's logo, the Disney Playground logo with a number 3, and Jasmine's nickname.

I added something extra onto the straps for fun. "Pat-pat-pat..." is what the kids say to rev up Rocket and "Goin on a trip..." is part of the Little Einstein's theme song. Simple and fun. I think the "Little Einstein" kicks look pretty smart!

Friday, December 19, 2008


A while back, an associate of mine talked to me about doin' some customs for her boyfriend for Christmas. This was a loooong while back, so I told her to just tell me a month in advance so I wouldn't forget.

Christmas time is upon us and here are LA Galaxy-themed Stan Smiths for Ashlynn's boyfriend :) I put the team's logo and name on one shoe and an adidas Teamgeist ball and LA skyline on the other shoe. The LA skyline is complete with Galaxy "stars".

Stan Smiths are always good cuz they have the most "real estate" space to draw on. Hopefully Ashlynn's boy likes them. I think they came out alright :)

Merry Christmas yo!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Butterfly Beats

Now that I'm getting settled at the store and the day-to-day is getting a bit easier, I have more time to custom. Having my sneakers in the case at work helps, but it's low key so it's a nice little "partnership".

A customer came in and wanted to get her daughter a special Christmas present. Vanessa is the youngest of 3 kids, so some customs would definitely be a hit with her. The theme was simple, "Vanessa". She's a twin and a gemini, loves music, and her name means "butterfly". Her mom gave me free range to style the sneakers but wanted me to keep them somewhat neutral-toned. Simple, clean, not over-stated -- hopefully Vanessa likes them :)

Welcome to Swagg Central!

So it's been a minute since I've posted anything. For the past few months, I've been crazy working. adidas just opened up a kick-ass Originals Store unlike any other at South Coast Plaza's Crystal Court and I have been heading that up from hiring, interviewing, training, and getting the store ready. Lots of hardwork, but definitely a lot of fun. So, needless to say, I haven't had time to work of any sneakers. The store is kinda like "my baby" so you all should come check it out! Sneakers for daaaayys! hahaha.

We opened Oct. 24th and tomorrow marks our 1 month "anniversary"! Awww special! Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays everyone! Come in for some fresh kicks and dope gear :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jack It Up!

So awhile back at work, I met this guy who was looking at my display case of sneakers. He was interested in getting some customs, as many customers are at the store, though most don't follow through. So I chatted with him a bit and gave him my card.

About a month later I received an email from Ryan reminding me of his visit and what kind of sneakers he wanted. He was a fan of the Manila Royals so we decided on the Pro Models. Ryan is going off to college to play football at Northern Arizona University. These Pro Models have a navy and yellow NAU theme with the school logo, a football and axe, Ryan's last name "Berry", and the phrase "Jack It Up"...cuz that's what they do!! Haha!

These sneakers are cool because they get to show off Ryan's NAU pride. He picked them up on Thursday at the store and left for school yesterday. I wish him the best at NAU and hope his teammates are jealous of the sneaks to the point that they want a pair of their own! Go Lumberjacks! Lol!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jilly Bean!

Happy 1st Birthday Jillian!

Jillian is my friend Bianca's little niece. Her birthday is today and she is the big "O-N-E"! The fam-bam calls her "Jilly Bean", so these baby Stan Smith sneakers have a jellybean theme. They have her nickname, jillybeans, her birthdate, and Mr. Jelly Belly with a birthday hat ready to partay!! lol. The sneakers are way colorful and a lot of fun. The hardest part was getting the lettering right because "JillyBean" is a pretty long name and the sneakers are super tiny. I'm happy with how they turned out and it's always cool to do little sneakers for the little homies too :) Saturday is her birthday party, so Jillian will get 'em then.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Check Check Check It!

Tell me that is not the coolest thing EVER! How dope if I had furniture like that!! Jealous! :) So I thought I'd share this with you guys, since you know I'm all about adidas. The pictures looks like it's miniature, but it's super life size. This company had to make a point-of-sale display at a London department store. Thecoolhunter says, "Manchester based True North were given the task to create a 'can't miss it' bespoke display system for adidas Originals within the Offspring concession at the Oxford Street store. Taking inspiration from the product itself where an adidas shoebox becomes a table and the shoebox lid, a chair, they have created a display and "trying on" area where customers can fully immerse themselves in the brand." I want it. Hahaha!

Oh, by the way, the verdict is in! So Tanya, our contest winner, came in to pick up her Batman joints. The shoes were waiting in the display case, and when I pointed to them, I saw her face light up :) Seriously, it really makes me happy when my "client" (weird...) is happy with the final product. She gave me a great compliment in 3 words: "You are good." :) Yea! Thanks!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Holy Custom Sneakers Batman!!

So back when I did the adidas event, we had an "Enter to Win" contest for some free customs. We did the drawing and the winner could get anything they wanted on a pair of Superstars. I talked to the winner and she said she wanted a Batman themed shoe. I was originally only going to do the outsides, but I saw an opportunity to add more elements to it.

It has an old school comic feel to it. My cousin Mike has a CRAZY comic book collection and I remember reading them was I was younger, so I definitely have that appreciation. I used the OG blue (haha) to really bring that out along with the old title logo and "sound effect" punch graphic.

Tanya, the winner, hasn't seen them yet. I'm gonna give her a call tomorrow and hopefully she'll dig 'em. I let you know the verdict after the drop!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Blank to Bank!

If I have a blank sheet of paper in front of me, I'm gonna draw on it and if I have a blank canvas, eventually I'm gonna paint on it...I think most people are like that, but when it comes to a pair of all-whites, most people can leave them be. Everyone needs a classic pair of all-white shelltoes! I know this but I can't seem to do it. They call out for me to draw on them. I figured I'd try again with my all-white Pro Models -- to keep them untouched and fresh. Look at them! Sooo clean! Yeah, that lasted about 3 weeks...

These joints are inspired by this company in the Philippines called Graphic Designed Lifestyle Inc. "Limited Edition Merchandise by Team Manila." Their stuff is very cool. Check 'em out here! I was already doing a "Filipino" themed sneaker
with the sun, but didn't know what else. I was born in Manila, and I saw a hoodie on their website that was SICK! So I used some of the same elements: the gold color and the words "Manila Royals" on the sneakers. I added stars, which a lot of my sneakers have, a crown (cuz you know we're royalty! - hahaha!) and put "REP PH" on the heel. They came out clean :) I'm happy with them. I remember how loooong the sun took to draw. I was going crazy making sure every ray was lined up and spaced out okay. I wanted to make sure I kept a lot of white still on the shoe with the simple graphic elements and I think it works. Hope you guys like them. They'll be on display at the adidas Store in Irvine in a few days for a little bit, but then they're coming home!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

On Display for a Day

The event was fun! Pretty low key since it was during the day (12-4pm). It was a little nerve-wracking to be in front of everyone, cuz I don't really like when people watch me. I could feel the pressure, but it was ok. I kept the stuff up and running until around 6pm, then packed it up. I think if it were at night, especially with the dj, the event would've been more bustling. It wasn't until right before I left at 8pm, did more and more people come up to me and ask about the sneakers I put in the display case and talk about the event. Overall it was a good day. It was fun being "on display" in the window. When I wasn't customizing a customer's sneakers, "in the meantime, in between time", I brought a pair to do myself. It has pens, a pencil, line designs and my stolen lyric/motto from Da Bush Babees "we run styles, no styles no run we." What I remember most about the event, were the people. As I sat in the window, it was cool to see everyone crowd around, point at the ones they liked and the sign language they'd do to me thru the glass to show approval.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Me & Bobbito Garcia

Back in November, I went back to the Bay for Thanksgiving. Well, Naybeck was sick and it happened to be around Thanksgiving too. It was a chill holiday, and on my way home, I stood behind Bobbito Garcia in the security line at Oakland airport.

For you guys who don't know who he is, you should look him up here and here and here. He customizes, is a dj, hosts tv shows on ESPN, acts, dances, writes a daily blog on BounceMag & Vibe, plays ball, writes books, been on tv and in commercials about sneakers, basketball, dancing...the list goes on.

Anyway, we started talking about sneakers and he snapped a shot of my sneakers for BounceMag. As he said, the meeting "was mad flavors!" It's was cool. For this Originals event coming up, I emailed him for some advice and he gave me the heads up on some things and props on my sneakers, so that's definitely a compliment worth taking!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Originals Event Saturday!

This Saturday I'm doing an event at the adidas store at the Irvine Spectrum. If you come in between 12-4pm and buy a pair of Superstars or Stan Smiths, I'll customize them for free any of the 4 designs, you pick. You can also enter to win a free pair of customs too. The winner can sit down with me and we'll come up with a unique pair just for them. It'll be a lot of fun! It's gonna be a chill event with a dj. So good music, adidas and customizing -- sounds like a good day to me! You know I had to design my pen holder too!


A month ago, my great aunt passed away. She was like a second mother to me and my brother growing up. "Nay" means "mother" in tagalog, and combining it with her name, Rebecca, we called her "Naybeck." It's still hard to talk about, and it's a long story, but she is definitely loved and missed. I've known her my whole life, and she finally got to go back to the Philippines where she passed. She died April 30, 2008. The sneakers say "04.29.08" because it was the 29th in the states. Naybeck was 7th Day Adventist, so I put a bible verse about "soul sleep", which they believe in. Daniel 12:2 "...and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life..." Naybeck was tha homie for sure.

AJ & Lena

AJ is a friend at work. He and his girlfriend tied the knot last month and he asked me a long time ago to do sneakers for his wedding. As the date approached, I was excited to do them. I wanted them simple and sweet. AJ told me to do whatever and that lavender was the color of the wedding. These Stan Smiths have the couple's names, "Just Married", a nice star design, and the words "Love and Happiness". The sneakers were put on the guest sign in table.

Hip Hop in December

The homie Andrenee wanted a pair as a birthday present to herself. She didn't completely know what she wanted so we brainstormed a bit and came up with a icy, winter theme cuz she was born in December. She loves hip hop and is a dj too. These Stan Smiths are pretty clean. Her birthdate is written on the insides of the sneakers with frosted numbers, a snow-capped trefoil, and a snowflake wearing headphones are on the outsides with the plug across both sneakers. I remember Andrenee needing them before her big 21 bash in the Vegas. She liked them a lot and had a great birthday bash. She wore them up and down the Vegas strip, which I couldn't believe, but I'm sure she looked dope.

J-to-Tha Part 2

This past December marked Jasmine's 2nd birthday! She's growing up so fast. She loves the Backyardigans, especially Pablo the Penguin. I love that I'm the cool aunt that spoils her with adidas...not that she knows what adidas is, but still! The "cool aunt" is of course a self-appointed title. My brother Jim doesn't let her wear the customs cuz he doesn't want them to get messed up. Apparently Jasmine loves to play in the dirt...she's 2. I would too. He has them on a shelf in her room as decor. So then I have to make sure I fit her in adidas that she can wear. In a previous entry, I talked about Jasmine's love of hip hop beats. This last picture is proof enough with her doin' her thizzface like a true west-coaster!


My best friend, Lindsay finally got her pair of sneakers. I must say that I'm pretty jealous of these. Linds is tha homie for life. She moved away a few years ago, which was pretty hard for me after seeing her everyday for like 3 years. These velcro Stan Smiths were pretty dope before the customization -- white with the grey tongue and toe and the navy heel. I call her "Foolio" and she's a big fan of argyle, so I think it came together well. Homie's a thug too, so had to add that! I remember trying them on cuz I wanted to keep them sooo bad. I remember stepping all flat and taking big steps so I didn't make any crease lines - lol! I also remember that those were the last pair of sneakers, so I couldn't even buy a pair to make a duplicate for myself. It's all good. Jerkface killer! LOL!

R.I.P. Skinny

A while back, this guy from work, Charles asked me to do some sneakers for his homegirl. Her friend had passed away and these were gonna be to commemorate him. I think that's cool. Everyone expresses their love/pain differently and I was happy to do it. I was told hot pink, "Skinny", and to put an anchor. The lettering came out a little on the darker side than I would've liked, but I think the anchor is pretty kick-ass. I added some subtle details with my leather burning pen on the stripes. "Rest in Peace" is written in so it looks debossed.

My Favorite Movie

Love & Basketball is one of my favorite FAVORITE movies. I can watch it over and over. My friend Harrison's cousin contacted me about doing a pair of sneakers for his friend's birthday. John and his homegirl were like the "Quincy & Monica" of the movie. That's was them and this was their movie. I thought it was definitely a cute idea. These Superstars have the movie title's logo, the characters' names, and a basketball & hoop. A nice little detail was that instead of Quincy and Monica's basketball numbers, I put John and his homegirl's numbers. [sorry I can't remember her name]. Overall it came out pretty dope and she liked 'em a lot, which is what matters. Great movie...GREAT!

Flip Hop 'til Ya Drop

My little cousin Andie and I have a lot in common. We both love sports, sneakers, and hip hop. Andie's not so little -- she's 17. Anyway, she's been taking hip hop dance classes and last year she had a competition. She asked me to do some sneakers for her, and I figured they'd be an early 16th birthday present too. These Superstars have her initials and the year she was born ("AD'91"), a spray paint can, and the words "Flip Hop"...cuz, you know, we're filipinos who like hip hop... She really liked 'em so that made me feel good. It's always fun to see her when I visit, see where she's at and what's new...rub it in that I saw Alicia Keys in concert with!

KB Sneaks

So another one of my favorite people is my teddy bear, KB. Yeah yeah I know. He's a stuffed animal. Get off me - lol! I remember having done quite a few pairs of sneaker and thinking, "what would mine be?" I was tryna think if there was some sort of cartoon or character that was "my thing." Haha! So KB sneaks it is! KB stands for Kwanzaa Bear and he was a random gift from my best friend that turned out to be the best gift cuz he's the homie! These Superstars always give me a little chuckle cuz they're fun and can always start up a convo. "What's on your shoes?...Who's KB?" "That's KB, he's my teddy bear!"

Congrats to Jim & Ly!

My closest guy cousins have got to be the 4 Espinas brothers. It was like having 4 other brothers growing up. I remember how they had girlfriend after girlfriend but the thought of marriage was some sort of myth. [sorry - lol] Jim was the "cool" one who seemed to have the most girlfriends over the years, but none got to him like Ly. They got married a year and a half ago and I flew up to the Bay for the wedding. I thought it'd be cool to give them matching sneakers as a present. Jim has always supported me with my art and design and Ly's the homie too with her love of hip hop. These Stan Smiths have "bride" and "groom", "Just Married", the date on the back heel, a simple flower design on her sneakers, and a fun happyface/crossbones design on his. What I remember about these sneakers was that they actually came out in 'em for their first dance!! So cool! It made my day on their day! I know, selfish huh? Lol!

Rasta Joints

This guy at work wanted me to do a pair for him a while back. Ali loves himself some weed and some reggae. Who doesn't? Hahaha! Just kidding. Ali's a chill guy, pretty spaced out, definitely good for a laugh. I think I took care of him with these joints. These Stan Smiths got the Zion lion, "One Love", Marley doin' his business and Ali's nickname "Ali Baba". What I remember about these sneakers was how Ali had to have them so he could wear them on 4-20. It just so happened that 4-20 that year was a rainy day. Homie still wore 'em out -- boo, but they still fine. These are one of my favorite pairs.