CUSTOMIZE YOUR CONVERSE: PAINT AND TOOLS FOR CANVAS
CUSTOMIZE YOUR CONVERSE: PAINT AND TOOLS FOR CANVAS
Just like the all-time great artists, sneaker painters are also in this category of some of the most proficient artists. These talented craftsmen used the same materials, i.e., brushes, paints, and the painting mat. While the revered artists used canvases, sneaker artists use the Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars in their trade. This is simply the best alternative for canvas in fine art.
The modern-day designers have seen unprecedented improvement in the field of designs. Leather, which was not an easy material to customize, is now something that gives people fewer problems than it used to. You can design anything literally if you so want to. you must be asking yourself, how is this done? Can I get my own sneaker designed according to my specifications? How can I design my own shoes online? The good news is that you live in the middle of a digital age, and you can have this done by the click of your computer mouse.
At Freaky Shoes, you are treated to some of the best ultra-modern machines that give you a 3-dimensional platform so you can design your own footwear regardless of the material used. Unlike those times when you had to track down a qualified couturier to have your shoe hand-sewed at an outrageous price, freakyshoes.com gives you an accelerated service at an affordable cost, and we deliver the product at your doorstep. You can make this platform become your one-stop footwear shop or a customizing shoe app.
The shoe type above is the Chuck Taylor Converse All-star footwear, which was and still is one of the favorite sneaker options to paint. From the shape of the shoe, you can draw some similarities with other types of sneakers, such as the basketball boots. Well, converse first ventured in basketball shoes before launching a general shoe-making venture. In fact, they made the first basketball shoes used locally and internationally in this game at the turn of the early 1900s. Therefore, before we embark on painting and tools used for the exercise, let use dive some more into the Chuck Taylor's All-Star Converses. Here is a brief history of their being.
A brief history of the Chuck Taylor All-Stars Converse Shoes
Marquis Mills Converse founded the Converse Rubber Shoe Company back in 1908. The company specialized in rubber-soled galoshes until 1917 when it sought to make its mark in athletic shoes. For those who know history, this wasn't the best time for any person leave alone a business to survive. There was widespread violence owing to the then ravaging world war I. Business and violence don't mix. That is why the timing and the preceding survival of this company were more of a charming story. Lest we forget that just two years after, the Spanish flu paralyzed the majority of sectors in the western nations' economies. Basically, there wasn't a market. Given that their market was specific, it narrows, even more, the chances of growing and becoming one of the world's renowned sneaker brands in the market.
It was during this time that the Chuck Taylor All-Star Converse made its debut. The shoe would go on to achieve an unprecedented and illustrious level of ubiquity in the footwear industry for many years. Formally, Mills' company was focused entirely on the production of anything that could be made from rubber. They then introduced rubber tennis shoes, which eventually gave birth to basketball boots line ion 1916. Basketball was an upcoming game with a lot of promise. It was a young game, and based on the fact that the introduction of these shoes came at the wrong time, the proximity of the company to Springfield in the East Coast (where basketball was invented) made it as famous as the game itself the area at the time. Therefore, the game grew alongside athlete boots.
Moreover, since basketball could be played in confined places unlike the American Football, and other games, it made it possible to play the game in the confined city neighborhoods. Since the game was now associated with its footwear, Converse shoes got a lot of market at the time. With ever-growing numbers of young teens looking for a game to play. As the game spread to a majority of private schools and colleges in the area, so did the Converse footwear.
The Converse All-Star definitely wasn't the first basketball sneaker in the market. Other companies had already produced what was called the 'non-skids.' This pair consisted of a canvas top and a rubber sole and were explicitly designed for athletics. Converse came intending to overtake this brand with its revolutionary features that included the inner heel patch designed to protect the heel bones against injuries due to sudden shock due to landing or stopping. Besides, they consisted of a two-piece quarter instead of a unitary piece back. This feature enabled a seamless shaping at the back, obtaining a perfect fit and great wrap around the ankles. The lasts were created with foot-foam ensuring plenty of room for the toes, proper supports, and a snag fit over the instep. The question remains why are these pairs of footwear called the Chuck Taylor All-Star Converses? Here's why:
Back in the day, companies would start their basketball teams and send them across the country, playing games as a way to market their products. The teams were merely used as a promotional tool, and this move would see many companies doing this. Converse also did the same and formed their franchise, which they name All-Stars. The company hired an American semi-professional basketball player Charles "chuck" Taylor, to head the company as the coach and a salesman. His contribution would become monumental in the course of his time at the helm.
Taylor understood the need to market the product and plotted two ways to do it. One, they would travel for games, play, and afterward, take the other coaches and players for sessions in his clinics. After the clinics, he would take the coaches in the local sports stores and have them order Converse shoes. This is a prudent move, especially if you are a salesman who intends to leave a lasting mark on the clients.
The second way involved improvements on the shoe. Taylor designed another shoe that improved the former. He developed the shoe flexibility and ankle support. Furthermore, he understood the value of good branding and marketing. This is why he sought to incorporate the all-star logo on the circular patch above the ankle. This is the same iconic logo you see nowadays on a converse shoe. Taylor also added his signature on the ankle patch. This officially bore the ‘Chuck Taylor All Stars’ converse shoe that was first ever to be endorsed by an athlete in 1922.
Basketball pro was not that popular in the 1920s. Therefore, Taylor had to make do the resources he had. His market was consequently reduced to the schools and YMCAs. He visited them personally to engage them directly and locate prospective buyers. The next generation of athletes used the All-Stars brand for a variety of games. Besides, in the course of World War II, the United States Army approved the All-Star Converse shoes as their preferred training footwear. The boots became their official training kit as they acknowledged the ingenuity, technological innovation, and craftsmanship of the American people.
After the second world war, the chucks became more popular than ever. Nearly every professional basketball player and college student had Chuck Taylors. The next two decades saw Converse controlling a whopping 80% of the footwear industry in terms of the market share.
The next two decades would see the converse be stripped off its favor by introducing more revolutionary basketball shoes with leather uppers and harder rubbers that ensured increased support for the athletes. The converses simply fell out of favor, and this was the beginning of their financial woes. Adidas and Nike, who were their longtime rivals in the market, pushed for newer, safer, and most preferred brands of basketball shoes, that Converse was unable to keep up. The last time a Chuck All Star Converse was worn in a basketball game was in ‘79/’80 season by Tree Rollins.
This introduced a new phase for the converses. It meant that it had to grapple and wow their off-court customers. According to Darryl McDonalds (DMC), the rise of the sneaker culture hammered the last nail on the coffin for Converse shoes. The new brand was aspirational compared to the Chuck Taylors, and since nobody post-80s wore them in the NBA, they were only destined to come tumbling down.
On athletics, the Chuck Taylor converse brand was as good as dead. However, the shoes were still well embedded in the music industry, and specifically, the rock, punk, and grunge artists with their bands ultimately adopted Converses as their official footwear. These music bands were honored in 2008 when the company celebrated its 100th anniversary by making simplified canvas shoes.
Despite all the contribution the music industry and neighborhood kingpins had on the Converse brand for its survival in the market during its tumultuous times, it was keen not to be associated with a specific culture. Chuck Taylor had always maintained that the shoes were athletic. It did well in this category until it was not. The company felt that associating it with specific cultures and groups served to dilute its performance and the strength of the brand in the market. All evidence, however, sounded contrary to the fears of the company.
For almost sixty years, the converse had been performing at the highest any market brand would wish to be. It was, however, growing old. It was just a matter of time before it outlived its glory and was treated as a bygone. This, coupled with poor decision making at the corporate level, only served to make the once-giant shoe company dwindle. At the height of this challenging time, Converse decided to file for bankruptcy. It did so for a multiple of times and still floundered in debt.
It was until 2003 that after realizing the potential, relevance, and worth of the All-Stars and the brand that owned them, Nike decided to bid a purchase that was formally finalized for $305 million. This purchase re-invigorated the company. It also allowed Nike to cut out its venture in both sports and lifestyle businesses. Converse was transitioned into the lifestyle business venture where the All-Stars brand performed so well that it sold more than 55 million units in 2007 alone.
Initially, Converse had three main designs for its shoe brands. They were: an all-black pair with black canvas tops and black rubber soles, an all-white high top with blue and red trims, and the all-black leather and rubber version. They introduced the iconic black canvas shoe with a white toe guard, laces, and outer wraps. Other versions were to follow later. However, after 1957, the designs that were released were iterations.
In July 2015, Converse under Nike ownership released the All-Stars II. This is an iterated sneaker version of the Chuck Taylor All Star Converse Footwear. The design featured a thinker Tencel canvas, a higher rubber midsole, lighter-weight rubber, a smaller toe cup, thicker cushioning, and other minor tweaks representing the new generation of the sneaker theme. These advancements meant that the price of the shoe was hiked by considerable margins. The shoe retailed between $75 and $110 per pair. This made the shoe not to experience the much-hyped welcome. In fact, they stuck on the shelves and clearance racks on many retailers for a long time.
The All-Stars have always been democratic, affordable, and pairs were worn by those with some historical elements. Tweaking the original classic by Nike's Converse proved inadequate for business for them. This lies with you if you may want to design them and introduce a personal touch to them. At freakyshoes.com, you will get such a platform and privilege to design this brand and many others at an affordable rate. Besides, the products shall be shipped to you.
Paint and tools for canvases
Art is fun. The one sure thing about art is that you need to have the tools required for your painting. The canvas, of course, is the surface. With shoe painters, converse shoes are those surfaces. The other tools include acrylic supplies that we shall look at here.
You need to gather the right acrylic painting art materials. Are you a beginner? Starters can go through the following list of acrylic supplies, and thereafter, instructions on how to go about painting your converses. You need acrylic paint, paintbrushes, and canvas. Besides these, you also require a rag or paper towels, soap, water, and sometimes the artistic palette.
You have a wide variety of acrylic paint brands to choose from. Aside from these, you will also have two options for each brand. One is cheaper, and the other is more expensive. The more affordable option is of low quality and is meant for student artists. The costly option, on the other hand, is intended for pro artists. Hence their names, student quality, and artist quality.
The student quality contains more fillers and less pigment. Therefore, the resultant painting is of poor quality. The artist version offers better coverage with more punch, from the results of the two. It is comparatively cheaper to buy the artist's quality than the student version even though the former is more expensive.
With paint, there are a lot of colors out there. For instance, grey can be separated into eight distinct categories. So, are you sure again, you are ready to spend more than 1000 sets of paints? You don't need all of them. Depending on the kind of shoes you want to paint, you can ask which exact colors you need from the dealer. Also, you can buy the necessary primary colors and mix them to produce others. For instance, a mixture of white and black produces grey.
The artist's quality is, no doubt, the most preferred by professional painters. Why would you settle for a second rate quality while you can get whatever you want from a single set of an acrylic brand? The artistic version will give you:
A heavy body acrylic with buttery consistency: - this type is perfect for creating and blending cloth. It contains a slightly thicker consistency, making it ideal for this task. On the other hand, you might experience some difficulties achieving thinner layers for your artwork. It is no doubt thicker than watercolors; therefore, you might need a different trick to make it obey the requirements at hand.
Paints with smoother consistency: - this option provides a more vibrant look since the colors are easy to blend, giving the artist ample time and experience.
Acrylic painting sets
Usually, acrylic paints are packed together so that the artist will not necessarily have to look for all these supplements from different sets. Beginner sets are primarily sold with all an artist's needs for their acrylics.
Picking the best acrylic paint
There are four key factors one looks at before determining theory preferred acrylic paint. They include hue, viscosity, permanence, and quality. Let’s take a quick dive into these four.
This is the extent to which the color of a paint fades when exposed to sunlight. Usually, paint or any material has shown tendencies to fade over time when exposed to sunlight. This factor is also known as lightfastness. Acrylic paints have a high retention rate. Meaning, you are likely to have an acrylic paint maintaining its hue longer than any other media.
Acrylic paints have high permanence rates. Therefore, they come recommended. Besides, those colors with temporary hues are known as fugitive colors. You are therefore advised to consider other paints unless if you intend to use this one specifically for a short-term project.
As a beginner, you might need to be in this field for some time before you get used to things in acrylics. This I why you are not alone. To know the permanence of particular acrylic paint, you must have used it for a while before. To mitigate this impasse, ASTM comes in with its rankings on the permanence of the acrylic paints. The best paint is awarded ASTMI grade. This illustrates that it has excellent lightfastness. Besides, the companies that manufacture these acrylic paints may indicate permanence using marks such as AA or A. in this case, AA means that it is the best. Furthermore, you can get this information about permanence while packaging.
As earlier indicated, many art supplies, including acrylic paints, come in two versions. That is student quality and artist quality. The artist version, also known as the professional-grade, is the most superior of the two. It has better color versions, excellent pigmentation from its saturated nature. Also, they offer more color variety. Such that, you will end up with a nice-looking item. The artist-quality acrylic set is recommended widely. However, if this is your one-time gig and you don't plan on going on, you might consider using the student version instead. The fact is that the professional variety is costly. You don't want to dig deep into your pockets for a temporary activity.
On the other hand, if you are planning to design shoes while applying creative and appealing painting on the canvases, then choosing the artist's quality should be in your to-do list. For status, this may, at one time, pan out to be your business or economic activity. Investing in your passion and letting it employ you is one of the best corporate decisions one can make. Besides, with an increasing market of designer goods such as apparel, what do you have to lose staking out a niche in this broad industry?
If you plan on designing shoes for market consumption, then quality plays a significant role. If you want your brand to have some form of "permanence" in the market, you will use quality products, including acrylic paints. Just like a fine art artist would envision to create a highly illuminating, emotion-catching, drawing painting, you would also want to ensure that your designs are top-shelf. Besides, the grand the art is the higher its worth.
Art applies in every field; social or technical. Your delivery is what concerns many. The materials you use are non-consequential to the consumers as long as your product wows them. This is why the discretion of choosing the right kind of tools is left on you. One of the factors to consider in your tool hunting is the viscosity of the acrylic paints. A non-artist might not differentiate fluid acrylics and heavy body acrylics. Even lesser possible is knowing how they are used and under what circumstances. A person with a keen eye for arts will, however, notice the blend without a doubt. This is why the purpose of your acrylic paint will determine how viscous it ought to be. Whether you are painting on wood or canvas or even mimicking water techniques, the acrylic paint's viscosity remains one of the most vital factors to consider while choosing the right acrylic paint.
Viscosity can easily be defined as the thickness of the paint. Fluid acrylics flow smoothly; and, they are used majorly for staining and airbrushing. On the other hand, heavy body acrylics are thicker and flow like oil paints.
Here is the most crucial aspect of designing your shoes. Those who have done it can tell you that it is all about choosing the correct color. As a designer, the only thing that guides you is the outcome of the painting. Therefore, one needs not to allow anything to curtail their trade, including the many types of colors available in the market. It helps if you are a seasoned painter. However, beginners always have conflicting decisions regarding the colors to start their trades with. We are here to tell you that it is not as straightforward, but time and consistency gets you closer to the proficiency you may need. Therefore, always limit yourself to the ten basic colors for starters before getting the necessary experience to start on hundreds of others. Before you learn the media of artistry, you better stick to the basics; you will marvel at what you can do with just ten basic colors.
How can you design your converse shoes?
Before we highlight a step-by-step process on how you can go about designing your canvas shoes, lets first empty some of the options you have. For starters, if you are wondering why a person would want a custom made footwear, then you haven't seen the trends out there. Technology has both accelerated and grew the demand and markets considerably. At the same time, it has provided various solutions to the high demand it creates. In the many circles of life, many people are busy fighting to outdo each other in the never-ending competitive sphere. Be it businesses, industries, or individuals, this ever-growing competition seems to provide a lot of opportunities to people with ideas on how to give the right and precise service to a client.
A lot of people want to be unique. Traditionally, the numbers provided the market base. This may still hold some bits of facts in it, but the real power of a brand does not lie in the numbers. Let's take, for instance, FP Journe. This brand makes customized watches for the few. They manufacture averagely 900 watches in a year. Now consider TAGHueur or even Rolex, who, in the same industry, can produce up to 2000 units of watches in a day alone. The market share by numbers will likely fall on the latter. However, the income pulled in by the former is unprecedented.
This is all due to the power of the need to customize and design unique apparel. You can have a handful of clients whom you design products for them but still rack in increased income. It is always down to the quality of your tools of the trade. The art of designs is, however, left to the clients. For example, after Nike gained ownership of Converse company, they, in 2015, brought to the market an improved, customized Converse All Stars II. This was an attempt to increase the demand of the shoe as well as introduce something newer. Besides, the All-Stars pair was developed in the early 1920s. You would understand where Nike designers were coming from with this idea. However, the reception of the improved version was not as they had thought. Instead, the pair would stay on the retail shelves for a long time.
Due to such instances, there are companies such as Freaky Shoes who have dedicated their site, freakyshoes.com, to offering design and retail services to clients who wish to design their footwear. You can simply log in and grab your opportunity to don a customized pair of sneakers, which you did yourself rather than having it designed by other people. Also, they produce and ship it to you. On other occasions, you can purchase a customized pair from them at an affordable price as well.
In a nutshell, you have two options here; one is to use the online tools to design your product of footwear, or buy the tools and design it on your own. Either way, you will have a customized product you worked on by yourself. Here is how you can go about it:
Mix Angelus paint with 2-Soft Fabric Medium. With Converses, or even Vans and Canvas shoes, you want to ensure that the paint used is flexible enough to stick and not break away from the material while moving after it dries. Due to this, you might want to keep away from plain Angelus paint or any other acrylic paint of your choice. Therefore, mix the basic Angelus Leather Paint 50-by-50 with Angelus 2-Soft Fabric Medium to create a mixture thinner enough to guarantee flexible folding of the shoe without cracking.
Tape off the rubber soles and straight lines on the shoe surface. Canvases are generally rougher compared to leather. It, therefore, means that due to how hard the task of drawing straight and precise outlines, you will need to improvise. Angelus Premium Vinyl masking tape can be used. However, it would be convenient if you opted for less costly options such as the regular masking tape. The tape is used to ensure that the paint, due to its fewer viscosity rates, does not slip under the area required to draw.
Draw a clear outline with a pencil. This can be done directly on the shoe or a transfer paper. As the masking tape prevents unnecessary spills of the paint, the pencil highlight is used to guide you through the process. The other option is to draw your outline on a transfer paper, trace your design, and then transfer it to your converse shoe surface. Usually, the draft comes before painting.
Time to paint. As earlier noted, the canvas is kind of rougher than leather. Additionally, canvas absorbs paint faster, especially that which is less viscous. For this reason, you cannot use a rag or acetone to clear a mistake or stray paint if you happen to mess up. The only mitigation measure is to use superior, accurate paintbrushes. Either way, if you were to make a mistake on the canvas, you will have to tweak your designs a little. Meaning you will need to paint the area affected, either with the same paint or a darker option of the same. At this rate, you can now execute your designs without hesitating.
If you were to follow the four tips above, then with no time, you will not only produce quality products but also, you will have sufficient experience to choose from a variety of paints and executing them. With a little practice, you will become a pro at painting Converse canvas shoes. Who knows? Maybe you will launch your line of footwear from this.
How to prevent acrylic paint from cracking on your converses
The whole exercise of painting is a risk. Firstly, you never know how it may actually turn out. Secondly, you would be oblivious of the possibility of the paint cracking and coming off. In other words, just like art, there are many things you need to consider before or after painting. The worst nightmare is painting your shoes and then seeing them crack after drying up. Just how does one prevent shoes from cracking?
Let your shoes dry up layer by layer.
While painting, you may need to reinforce the layers to ensure that you have a deep and nice-looking mix. It helps when you don't rush through the whole process. You should at least let the first layer dry up first before introducing the second one. This will not only ensure that the results obtained are superior but also, the shoe will not crack afterward.
Another instance occurs when you know that you have to let the layer dry up first, but since you are in a rush, you try using dryers to accelerate the process. As impressive and ingenious as this sounds, it is a terrible idea. Let your shoes dry naturally and not in plenty of sunlight. If you were to hasten the process, then you risk the shoes cracking on you. Besides, why would you go through all that process successfully to end by rushing the whole thing? Using hair dryers or any other form of intense heat only ensures that you obtain the results you were preventing in the first place.
Moreover, acrylic paints do dry up fast. You don't have to stage the shoe for hours. Just a few minutes will work the magic. Also, ensure that you top up the layer before the preceding one completely dries up.
Using the right brushes
To ensure the paint spreads well, you need to use a fine brush. Besides, you already know the challenges you may face with canvases. Without fine and accurate brushes, you will be left to paint, tweak, and paint again due to the mistakes you are likely to make. The reason lies in the fact that canvases are more robust and may not be so cooperative as you may have wished. If you are a beginner and are not sure, the right kind of brushes to use, just by a starter pack of acrylic tools. You will definitely find a full set of a variety of sizes that you can employ in different ways.
The choice of acrylic paints