Sneaker Customizing Tutorial (Part 1)

January 6, 2009  at 11:27 PM
I'm a sneaker freak. I've always wanted to customize my own pair of sneakers that would carry my own style because I was so tired of the old boring ones on the shelf. Here is a two part tutorial that I am going to share with you guys, in hope that it will inspire you to create something new out of the ordinary.

I'll start off by introducing this fabulous book, Art & Sole: Contemporary Sneaker Art & Design. The book focuses on contemporary, cutting edge sneaker collaborations between artists and designers based on their individual style and medium, and also features top street cred brands like Nike and Converse. Very awesome book.

Once you've browsed through the good stuff, let your imagination loose and start sketching out the design for your sneaker. Think of a good concept that best carries out your personal art style. We want the design to be unique and not cliched. For this tutorial, I am going to use an ontographic sketch that I did a few years back. I scanned the image in and then traced out with Adobe Illustrator's vector tool. Once the tracing was done, I opened the vector file in Photoshop and filled in some colours.

Before we get excited about painting some shoes now, grab a template of a sneaker from here:

Official Sneaker Templates

Choose the sneaker that you will eventually be painting on. Now this is the part where we superimpose our design or sketches onto the sneaker digitally. Open the file in Photoshop (newer versions). Notice the masked layers. You can add your own colours on the different layers that constitute with each part of the sneaker. This allows us to play with different colour palettes quickly, and it also gives us a visual reference of how the final product might look like. The basic techniques that you will need for this part is masking, clipping and layer blending. Tweak to your liking until it feels right.

Alternatively, if you are not Photoshop savvy, you can sketch out the sneaker template free hand and superimpose your design on it to see how it would fit. Add some colours to check if your colour palette is looking good. Play around with the colours and placement of your design.

Here's how mine turned out:

I'll leave these open for comments and voting. Do let me know which design you all prefer : )

Meanwhile here's another kick ass site for your reference:

Sneaker Freaker

Stay tuned for Part 2, the more exciting part of this tutorial. I will also be sharing with you Mark Ong's sneaker painting techniques. So see you guys again in a few days time.

Cheers : )


Libby said...

That's awesome, I love your blog too!

sina said...

that's so great! the first one definitely.. now i'm having the itch to draw on my converse

mimi said...

both of them are so perfect. the colors are amazing. if i had to pick though i would go with the first one. it looks more fluid for some reason. wait...can i buy this?

ryder said...

i like the first one better. cause sometimes less is more. as u can see in this case. xx

fuzzbuzz said...

first one, good balance of design and solid color

littlepinkpebble said...

wow~!! you're so multitalented.. saw your other site... the interior design etc love your shirts.. too bad i'm not a girl..

rs2shopping said...

Well,OK.I have to say,what a wonderful blog it is.thank you for your sharing so good articles in the website.I like it very much.It is very interesting in it.Look forward to reading so good articles in the website.

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Anonymous said...

Das ist schick aber mache dir doch dein komplett eigenes Sneaker Design auf

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