Paint or Thread Shoe Customizer Group Interview #2

The results of the 1st PaintOrThread Shoe Customizer Group Interview back in June were more than I had expected. I really like being able to share a bunch of peoples opinions or story on the same topic or question. 16 customizers gave their thoughts on this question:

What has been your strangest, funniest, or most memorable request for a custom shoe? Your reaction? Did you do it? Why or why not?

Here it goes………funnier answers this time around:

D@ Prince Custom Sneakers: I had some dude ask me for cookie monster smoking weed and holding an AK….HELL NAH I AINT DO THAT ISH!!!! He wanted that on some fugagas anyway!

emmanueLabor: Once I guy from Chicago wanted me to paint the Chicago skyline on fire, with a fireman putting out the flames using a hose that spewed chronic leaves. not water….weed leaves. I laughed cause I thought he was joking, but he was dead serious. I didnt do it, A. cause painting that kinda detail is not really in my arsenal, and B. NO. just…..NO.

Sab One Customs: I’ve rejected countless number of requests, just because it didnt flow with what I’m trying to do, I’m an artist not a whore ya know? But one pair that I was totally against that I ended up doing was the F.B.P. (f*ck boston police) Nike Dunks. My best friend did a 3 1/2 stretch up state and when he got back he was dying for a pair, so I told him whatever he wanted I got um, no charge and no questions asked. To my surprise he told me he wanted f*ck boston police sneakers, of course I thought he was joking at first and kinda brushed it off, but he was beyond serious! Anyone else I woulda told them no way , but we have been friends with since I was 12 and I gave him my word I would do anything he wanted, so after a lil designing and a lot of badgering from my friend I ended up doing them , Im sure as hell I wont win any design awards for them ..but around the way they were a HUGE hit… sA_1

Ecentrik Artistry: The only thing I can think of was around the time I first started customizing when a former co-worker of my mother, who’s a Cowboys fan, wanted a Dallas Cowboys theme on a pair of Payless shoes. She wanted the logo, the star, and a bunch of glittery crap that clashed with the design in a major way. She included this long drawn out note with the shoes that had everything she wanted done to the shoes. I did the order but wasn’t at all excited about it…not to mention that the way the base shoe she gave me was constructed made it difficult to work with. Oh well, at least she liked them…


HUSH Fabrications: I never really get requests-guess I do keep it too hush lol. Last one I got was the DC Howard Dunks, and dude didn’t even pay for them haha.

MDVL: my strangest, funniest and most memorable request for a custom shoes is an inquiry that sounds like this.

“ei bro, this is ______ from multiply, i got this crazy idea for a custom for a vans authentics canvas.. i was thinking of doing it my self but it dont have the tools and i must just end up wasting it.. anyway, this is what i want for my custom, i want to stuff the tongue but not too stuffed, sewing cowhide/nubuck or any leather OR denim to the tongue for extra lining so it will be stuffed.. then the outline piece at the toe/heel section patched by the same material which is goin to be used in the tongue.. if leather-like is going to be used, i was thinking black canvas would be the base then black leather will be used too but red outline at the edge of leather..if denim would be used, black canvas, then black denim with frayed outline if possible the frayed part is red. at the sole, it should stay white or what is better.. then the logo at the back which is part black/red with your snake logo carved in. wild idea ba? thanks!”

I already edited this inquiry so you guys can understand it a bit :))

No, I did not accept the order. I told him to work on his communicating his ideas clearly and knowing what he really wants.

mEbarra Customs: Hmmm, well I really haven’t had a crazy or funny custom design. Not yet anyway lol.

Sharp020: Someone sent me a list of possible “themes” to work up on for them, basketball/football teams, and looney tunes characters, it was a list of 20+. I just looked at it first confused, then I just laughed and denied kindly, thats just not my type of work.

Van Monroe: I think you already know what my most memorable custom shoe is.
The Obama shoe, but the MJ Thriller shoe I did made the last Michael Jackson Video so I will have to say they are both a tie..
After making that shoe Ive been blessed to have it put in the Smithsonian, and to make two pairs for President Obama. One he received on the morning of the election.

For the MJ Thriller shoes, I made three pairs for Spike Lee. Then one day he called and asked if he could put them in the mj music video “This Is It” he directed. The shoes are shown at the 2:00 mark

Fresh & Fly Customs: My strangest request was made at the beginning of the year actually, I received an e-mail asking if I was able to paint 2 Vans SK8 Hi leather sneakers and make matching t-shirts for them. That was all the info I received, so I send an e-mail back requesting more detail’s of what the customer wanted and other things such as size etc. I received a reply telling me that the customer is a sex toy manufacturer and wants 2 pairs made for a sex convention with matching tee’s. He requested to have detailed pictures of the products he makes painted on the shoes and to have his logo printed on the tongue.
My initial reaction was laughing really hard because I thought it was the funniest request. But after talking to the customer and realizing he wanted a bunch of vibrators and rubber dicks on his shoes i was a bit uneasy. I felt really uncomfortable reading his e-mail talking in detail about how he wanted to have the male parts drawn on the shoes. I could not see myself doing the paint work in detail on the sneakers so i politely said I was not able to help him out as I was busy and would not be able to find time for his request.

This is probably the only request I have gotten in the last 3 years that i really felt uncomfortable even thinking about, I mean I look back at it now and laugh, but at the time it happened I really just felt weirded out by the customers detailed e-mail.

So yea thats probably the weirdest request I had ever had for a custom sneaker.

Sekure D: I was approached by a pornography company to paint one of their girls in a rather compromising position. Needless to say I did not accept the job, that’s not something I wanted on my site.

QustomQueen: Most memorable request came from Nokia for their Ovi Maps ad, to make a pair of ‘car’ ballet pumps to help with the Sat Nav theme for the ad. I was in the final 2 to appear in the ad itself, and had a film crew up from London to spend the day with me for a ‘day in the life’ of a customizer, and filmed me working on the shoes a bit… They ended up using a pair of Fraga car pumps, but I had word from Nokia in the states that they were really happy with my shoes, but the creatives had prefered the Fragas because of the windshield on them.
I made some pretty good contacts out of it though.

HighOffLife Kicks: Me coming up with A idea customizing a pair of SpongeBob, Patrick, and Fruity Pebbles. It was something I had in mind and something I wanted to do different from everybody else work. Being a kid again. Saturday morning cartoon days, You know?!

Swaves: A customer once asked me to draw a couple pigs on a pair of AF1’s. One pig was to be dressed to impress in heels and a dress, while the other was to be decked out in Hip Hop attire. I had never drawn pigs before and was having a hell of a time getting the look I wanted. I actually ended up outsourcing to my brother in law (amazing artist) to design the pigs themselves, then I did the wardrobe design for them heh.

Sherif of Kustom Kix: I was never able to get enough customers to have experienced a really funny or strange request! 😛 Even though this would have been awesome!! 😀 But I have a funny story to share, this happened when I got a request for a shoe customization from a little boy named Michael Saldin. This boy was a student from my little sister’s school, he was around 12 years old and the immensity of his desire and desperation to wear a pair of Nike’s surprised me to a great extent! And it made me realize the love and craze people had for shoes and fashion! When I first started customizing shoes, I had no choice but to buy cheap Converse look-a-likes from the nearby Bata store and paint them to the customers desired choice of themes, colours etc… If they wanted expensive brands, it was on their own cost that they had to provide me the shoes, I never had enough money to purchase them and the outlets that sold them in my country were extremely rare and the shoes were mind blowingly expensive. So I unfortunately had to chose the cheaper shoes for customizing, but in a way it was better because a larger number of people could afford it easily and this was my main goal. Michael got to know about me customizing shoes through my little sister, who helped spread the word in her school, which eventually went throughout my town with time. When he contacted me for his pair of shoes he was in a hurry since he wanted them before his birthday, and wanted me to paint his shoes with the skin of a Nike Air Jordan 1 I Retro High – DMP Bulls vs Celtics 60+ Black/Red. It sounded strange to me, because usually when a boy comes up to me for an order, they want it done in the usual style with the tribal designs in bright colours with skulls, etc.. and the list never ends 😀 But Michael was such a huge fan of Nike, he wanted the Converse look-a-likes that I normally use for customizing, painted like Nike Air Jordan. His favourite reference were the Nike shoes Chris Brown wore in his music video for the song ”No Air” and wanted the shoe done just like that. This was my second request for a customization, so I immediately went to the store, got the shoes and painted them in red with the black parts and Nike logo exactly the way he wanted them.

Finally when I delivered them to him, he was much more than excited and happy with the end result. Another happy customer. This story might sound too strange, but I just want to share it with the group since you wanted to know. 🙂 Customizing shoes has no limitations, weather it may be transforming a Converse look alike into an expensive Nike anything and everything is possible, that’s what I believe and want to provide to the people of the world when it comes to custom shoes.

Whooo……some customers sure do have creative minds. Kinda. Thanks for everyone taking time to respond. If you would like to be in the next shoe customizer interview send an email to [email protected] with your information. Until question #3….keep customizing!