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!