I have known Keith since high school marching band. Though we weren’t really close back then, the marching band bond never really goes away. A couple years after we graduated, I was fortunate enough to be seated next to Keith at a mutual friend’s wedding. Loads of beer and ice cream (and maybe a photo booth moment) later, we were friends. Now, whether it is over email, or bumping EDM, we have remained close.
I had planned on painting shoes for him for a while. Ever since that one party we went to where I borrowed his leather chucks because I didn’t want to get mine dirty (oh yes, a key ingredient to my friendship with anyone is the ability to share clothes and shoes). And it has had to take a back-seat to other projects and financial hardship. I deeply regret missing his birthday, but I am happy to say that I have finally managed to get them done.
I usually paint on Vans because they offer more surface area and I don’t have to deal with as much disrupting detail. However, I decided to make an exception for Keith because Vans aren’t really his style and the customer is usually right. The thing is, whenever I paint shoes I buy them white because, duh. Canvas. My only issue with white converse is that they also come with white soles. And stupid red lines (I’m sorry but it’s true).
I really wanted to do something awesome, something that he would like and I decided that was completely dependent on having black-soled shoes. The problem is, white canvas and black soles don’t exist.
Now for the genius part…
Bleach. I didn’t know how it would look, but I decided I was going to try. I bought black shoes (all black) and bleached them. Fortunately the bleach doesn’t affect the rubber so all I had to do was spray them a bunch of times and let them dry overnight. I originally intended to cover all of the canvas with paint, but the resulting color was actually kind of cool so I kept it for contrast.
The final product:
P.S. he loved them