Shoes! Glorious Shoes!

Haven’t blogged in a while. Not that I’ve been up to much. I start work on Friday (D: <—my terror face), and all the days seem to be going by in a haze. But that’s not what I want to talk about!

I like shoes. A lot. I also like custom items. And paint.

Recently I bought a pair of white pretend Converse (you know…shoes made with canvas material in that unmistakeable cut that lack the ever familiar All Star logo on the side) with the intention of painting them. And I thought about it, and thought about it and thought about it…basically changing my mind constantly as to what I actually wanted to paint on these shoes. I would love to (and fully intend on) customising clothing/shoes as a way of making others aware of my super elite skills. To get the ball rolling on this, I’ve decided to get started on things that I wear (hence the shoes). It’s a multifaceted experiment that would answer such pertinent questions as:

-How long would it take me to do this?

-How much materials (read: paint) would I need?

-What kind of price would I look to charge as a result of this?

-Are people in my immediate vicinity (read: Barbados) even interested in custom goods? Or rather, the services that I would offer?

The last question is weighing on my mind heaviest in all honesty. Obviously if you’re trying to provide a service, you should be sure that there’s a market for it. Then there’s everyone’s favourite enemy, good old self-doubt. It seems to be a staple among artistically minded people. I don’t have a singular style that I work in (and I’m avoiding that pigeon-hole until further notice thank you very much!) so I wouldn’t be able to build a recognisable brand right away. At times I wonder if that’s even a legitimate worry…if I work in multiple styles, I should be able to make money off of those multiple styles right?

My mindset at the moment is very “get in where I fit in”. I just want to get myself out there, make all the money (ALL OF IT!) and then gradually get to a place where I can be choosy about the content that I put out (while still doing other projects on the side). Not the most elegant of strategies I know. I’m just trying to garner interest while all my plans and ideas are still in the development stage so that I don’t have to work to create interest whenever I get to launch VoN/any future projects.

I’m aiming for a “Hey you know that chick that does LMNOP? She’s launching an official project. Can’t wait to see what that is!”. Or something to that effect. Anyway, back to the shoes!

I’m currently going for something slightly out of my comfort zone, something EXTREMELY bright and colourful and just overly ridiculous and eye-catching. 

Shoe with the pattern sketched on

For all the different ideas whizzing through my head (tree branches, a design based around the persona of Artemis/Huntress, crazy doodles…all of which are STILL whizzing through my head), I decided to settle on a pattern. I’m a huge lover of ethnic patterns and designs so I decided to merge two different concepts from my heritage. The images that make up the actual pattern are called Adinkra stamps which (if I remember correctly, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) originate in West Africa (Ref: http://www.adinkra.org/htmls/adinkra_index.htm ; accessed 29th May 2012). Each symbol has it’s own meaning so I hand-picked a few that struck a certain chord with me.

The way I put them together was inspired partially by the intricate patterns of henna (See: http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/enlarge/henna-painted-hands.html for example). I love the way the pattern progresses so I thought I would try to combine that with the adinkra. And then on top of that, some outrageous colour. I’m very funny about the colour selection process so I thought I would do a rough digital colour to get an idea of what I might like before painting a whole shoe and deciding that it’s ugly. BEHOLD, RAINBOW VOMIT:

Digital re-enactment of absolute lunacy in shoe form

I’m not too keen on the Sankofa segment (the purple heart-like shape on a baby blue background), but the rest I can live with. Definitely not for the faint of eye-sight or the habitual wearers of black! They’re very out there, but it’s that crazy quality that I’m hoping will be a talking point. Essentially I’ll be turning myself into my own walking billboard which is kinda cool in its own way! I’m sure that counts as some kind of guerilla marketing…or urban advertising…or…something.

But that’s pretty much it. I just need to mix a few paints (or buy some) and finish these bad-boys up before I upload them onto my FB page (www.facebook.com/ArtemisDoodleGod). As for where they are now, well…:

And so it begins!

Peace and Love family,

-J

P.S. Hello to all who took their time out to stop by and check me out :), especially to my most recent reader(s) in Taiwan.

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