Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dia de los Muertos by Cam Giblin

Design for my friend George from New Mexico. He let me have complete creative freedom on this pair, all the way up to choosing the subject matter. Tried to stay pretty true to Dia de los Muertos tradition by incorporating the makeup, skull candies, flowers, picture of loved one, etc.

Since I've been using a fume mask I've noticed a huge decrease in headaches and general wooziness while I work on a pair. I don't care that the U.S. Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act has labeled the markers "nontoxic", these things kill.

This was, by far, one of my favorite pairs to create.

Monday, December 20, 2010

ZOMBIES 2: Electric Boogaloo

Not much to say about this pair. Had a lot of fun doing it. I think I drew some killer (har har) hands on the backs. There's a painfully obvious Tony Moore influence, but they say steal from the best, so there you go.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Avatar the Last Airbender by Cam Giblin

Pretty simple pair.

I was able to start and finish them entirely during an Indiana Jones marathon on TV.

I was working on the halftone background about the time the priest was ripping the still-beating heart from that guy's chest.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Fun, simple, colorful, expressive, clean.

One of my favorite pairs so far.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Been away from shoes for a while--working way to hard to do anything but sleep in my free time. Recently I've been trying to scale back at work so I can come home and get some quality chemical huffing time. Nothing really relaxes me like the fumes of brand new shoes, sharpie, fabric marker, and sealant spray.

On an unrelated note, I've noticed that I can't taste food anymore.

Imagine my excitement when an Art Director at Goodby commissioned lil' ol' me to do a birthday present for his awesome wife. I have yet to meet her, but I can infer her awesomeness from the fact that she rocks gory zombie kicks.

The sides are a tribute to the lettering on 1970s Zombie film posters. As a present to myself (justified by an "investment in a project") I bought a massive book on 70s lettering and proceeded to rip off the coolest stuff in the horror and comic book chapters.

The final shoes being modeled by a happy recipient:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Calder's Circus - Evan's 50th Pair!

Beginning in 1926, Alexander Calder created an elaborate piece of kinetic sculpture slash performance art slash toy set which has come to be appropriately known as Calder's Circus. Calder would reenact the circus of old with his wire and cloth scultpures, speaking for the characters and providing sound effects. He built wire trapeze artists that really could flip and catch the swinging bars with their hooked hands. He constructed a cowboy who could flip a lasso around a horses neck with a spring-loaded arm. He built over a hundred different characters, all engineered to perform their real-world skill.

Calder also created extensive sketches prior to building the circus, some of which are recreated on the sides.

I really developed a deep appreciation for Calder, as I always seem to do for my subject material. For more on the circus, make sure to watch the surviving films of Calder's demonstrations:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Album Year: The Remake

These are based on the pair Cam did a while back, only I had to modify them a little bit because Cam has a much steadier hand for intricate detail work. I blew up the images and scattered them around to fit my less detail-oriented style. The results are interesting. It's like comparing the original film to its remake.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Percussion/Mountain Biking by Cam Giblin

This pair is pretty self-explanatory, it's based on the client's hobbies. She likes percussion instruments, BAM, first shoe, and mountain biking, BAM, second shoe.

This is the first time I've used a fume mask while designing a pair of Art Kicks. My poorly ventilated apartment has not been the most ideal place to work with 30 or so Sharpies. Nontoxic they say? Bah! My splitting migraine and trembling limbs would say otherwise. Now that I'm using a mask, these ailments have all but disappeared.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

More Oceans

I've done several ocean and water themed pairs. Can't complain. I love the subject. It makes me think of some of the best days of my life spent on vacation in Bermuda, San Diego, and Mexico. One day, when I manage to hit it big doing these shoes, I will retire on a beach somewhere and draw oceanscapes forever.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

One of my favorite movies of all time and one of my favorite actors. This was a dream assignment.

I used an extremely limited color palette for this pair--black and three different tones of brown. Inspired by the movie posters for the film, which were printed with muddy brown backgrounds, I left large white spaces that will get dirty and fade as the shoes are worn. First time I've tried something like this--we'll see how they look in a few months.

"There are two types of people in this world, my friend. Those with job security and those who draw. You, my friend, draw."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sin City by Cam

I came home to my apartment and waiting for me was this magnificent pair: Cam's graduation gift to me. They're perfect--amazing recreation of Frank Miller's art and painstaking attention to detail. Thanks times infinity to Cam.

Peacock by Cam Giblin

One of the more unique Art Kicks orders I've gotten. Walking home delirious from lack of food I got stopped by a girl who noticed my shoes. She ended ordered a pair the next week, and I finally had grocery money. My health and Art Kicks are now one and the same.

The concept was based off her affinity for peacocks and middle eastern design.

These Art Kicks let me mindlessly doodle paisley for hours. Yay paisley, you make my life that much easier.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Carleton College

A friend of the family commissioned a pair of Carleton College shoes as a graduation present for her daughter, who just finished up four years there. I've come a long way from being the artist who was afraid to draw buildings. Now I really enjoy architectural studies. And when the building is really hard to draw, I can just cover the hard parts in snow. Huzzah for winter!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Jetsons

I love this show. I did before working on this pair, but now I REALLY love this show. You'd think that meticulously scrutinizing cartoons would ruin them, but the Jetsons really holds up for me.

It's counter-intuitive, but line work is not nearly as important in a pair like this as color choice. Choosing the right color palette can make all the difference in creating a likeness of familiar characters like the Jetson family. Imagine George Jetson with yellow hair instead of brown. It's weird, creepy, and ruins the entire likeness. Luckily, I've got a lot of markers to choose from these days, so matching color is possible.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I did these ages ago, but I had to wait to put the pictures up because they were a surprise graduation gift. My friend just finished his degree in theoretical physics at Rochester University, which means that, despite his best efforts to explain, I have no idea what he studied.

Because so many of the scientists made their discoveries in centuries past, I wanted the art to have a classic feel, perhaps like a pen and ink newspaper illustration from the 19th century or an etching from the 18th.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Blue Room by Cam Giblin

"The Blue Room" Jazz-themed Art Kicks design. No those aren't famous musicians on the front; I just googled "Jazz stuff", and they came up. If you want to pretend they're you're favorite Jazz artist, have it. All in all, one of my easier designs, but my favorite thus far.