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After over 3 months of not making work, I had to do something that was meaningful to me and make something meaningful for someone else too. These are shoes that I handpainted for my good friend, Ryan, who is also a wonderful musician. They were a “thank you” for being such a great person! I also wanted to challenge myself and my skill set in a new way.

Thankfully, the artwork from the bands and things he loves provided that kind of challenge. The simplest side was the side that features the bands Zero 7, Nothing But Thieves, Phil Collins, Royal Blood, and Radiohead. However, it really wasn’t simple. The individual text was the most difficult. Out of all the sides, however, this side came together rather quickly.

The “Mutemath” side is a combination of all of the Mutemath album covers. Artwork by Zach McNair and Darren King. This was another side that came together rather quickly because I already knew how to mix this color palette because I have done the Mutemath themed shoes many times, which definitely expedites the process when you know how to mix the color palette.

Then there was the Alex Grey side of the shoe. That side took approximately 14 hours to create. Portions of it had to be redone a couple of times to match the perfect symmetry of Alex Grey’s work. Along with the Alex Grey feature, I included “A Perfect Circle” and “Led Zeppelin.” These are my friend’s most influential bands and art. It was easily the most challenging thing I have put on a shoe.

The final side was a dedication to Stephen Hawking and astronomy. Ryan has an endless fascination with space and astronomy. I haven’t seen him be very upset all that often, Stephen Hawking’s passing really affected him. I wanted to put an honor to his wonder and enthusiasm with that side of the shoe. I was proud with how these turned out, and he was so surprised and he loved them.