How did you make the transition from shoe designer to street artist?
As a shoe designer, my designs cater to the needs of the brand and customer that I’m designing for. The industry can be intense, and I found myself needing to release creativity in another form to connect with the artist within me.
I decided to create a sketch blog. The idea was to illustrate shoes every day with the intention to practice the art of play, free my mind and push creative boundaries. It allowed me to sketch new possibilities that would have been unimaginable if I only sketched for my job. The illustrations became expressions of how I felt at the moment, capturing my spirit and thoughts on fashion, color, trend, and art.
As I got further into my career, the competition and demands intensified, and I slowly stopped illustrating shoes for myself – I was too exhausted, on every level. But I was inspired by street art and the idea of repeating the same image, so I began to wheatpaste shoes onto the streets of NYC. This was a way to share my art without having to illustrate new ideas each day. I did this for a few years and through this process, I re-energized myself to create art again.
I got a studio in Brooklyn and started to illustrate shoes again, but larger in scale. I began doing large-scale stencil work on the streets. My shoefiti expresses my feelings and embraces fashion, while also commenting on the competitiveness of the industry and all of my experiences. I have such a love-hate relationship with fashion. These shoes are gigantic contradictions – fighting to be modern, to be fashionable, to stand out and survive the journey of trying to make it in this crazy upside-down world.