Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Defiant Wedgies

THE DEFIANT WEDGIES. It may sound like a fantastic band name, but that's what I've decided to call these shoes that I painted.

See, I saw this pin on Pinterest and thought, OMG I HAVE TO DO THAT LIKE YESTERDAY ZOMG, because when I get excited, my self-image and grammar go totally out the window. My next step was to go to Ross Dress for Less and purchase a pair of Respect wedge shoes for $17. Then I went to Blick Art Studio and bought a paint pen. Then I waited a week, because for this sort of project, you have to be in a certain headspace. A zen place. Much like the murals I used to paint and extremely unlike the books I now write, you only get one chance to get it right, and mistakes must be cleverly incorporated into the design.

I started with the heels. Sugar skulls, of course.

 For inspiration, I had tabs open to Pinterest boards on henna, tattoos, and sugar skulls. Like the original pin, I did little dashes along the stitching. Having a frame can make it easier for the design to happen organically.

That's both heels on the finished shoes.

After the skulls, I followed my whims. First came a henna-style tiger, then a bludbunny. Then I used tattooed-sailor-style lettering to write a quote from one of my favorite songs, All I Ever Wanted by The Airborne Toxic Event.


Next I skipped around to the other shoe, knowing I wanted to do another quote. But you can't fit much on a shoe, not with those big, fat letters. I settled on the word UNTRANSLATABLE, from Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, which figures heavily into Wicked as She Wants, the second book in the Blud series and the victim currently on my copyediting table.

Oops. I ran out of room. That's why ABLE is on the other side of the shoe.

Once the letters were done, I moved to the toes. A key, because I'm into keys. And a lock... to go with the key.

After that, it was all filling in with things I like. A peacock feather. An anchor. Stars. Flowers. Wiggly plants and paisley and grass and a mermaid. And tons and tons of dots. With these sorts of designs, the filler doesn't have to be perfect, and it doesn't have to make sense. When you walk by, people aren't going to be noticing your errors or wigglyness. Just keep filling it in until the overall idea is about 50/50 white and black.

So go forth and paint some shoes! It only cost $20 and 2 hours.

As soon as the day is 100% guaranteed to be sunny, you can bet I'll be rockin' these puppies for some exciting adventures... behind the table of a cafe, writing.

What can I say? I live on the wild side.


Note: It might seem strange that I'm following up a post on my experience with suicide by showing you some shoes that I painted. But art is always part of my journey, in the dark parts and in the light parts. Plus, maybe you'll notice some of the recurring themes from both posts. Words. Love. The ocean. Birds flying free. They may look like a pair of silly shoes, but they represent certain parts of me that go a lot deeper than paint on faux leather.


Henri B. said...

I like.

Pinafores and Pinwheels said...

I NEED a pair!

Ericka said...

Nicely done. Can't wait to see you rockin these around town.

Ericka said...

Nicely done. Can't wait to see you rockin these around town.

Crystal T. said...

Gorgeous shoes!

Meaghan said...

Those are absolutely amazing! You are very talented and those shoes are proof of that. I would almost be too afraid to wear them out in case they get scratched. Lol.

Lexi H said...

Sometimes you just need an outlet for your soul, makes you feel better. =)
They look great!

~Melissa~ said...