Recently I got the chance to sit down with Starter Story and tell my story about how I started customizing sneakers.
When I was in high school, I did some spray can art with my friends. In college, naturally I found friends that were into the same thing, I was able to advance my skills because I had more time and space. My friends lived at a house where we could spray paint on the back fence. This allowed us to do some crazy art pieces. We weren't getting paid for it, but it allowed me to expand my spray paint skills. Once I graduated from college, I got a boring real world job in a cubicle. At the same time I was painting custom hats for people as a side gig. TOMS shoes in LA was hiring a shoe artist to paint live at events, so I sent them my hat portfolio and they hired me! Over the course of the next year, they sent me from San Diego to San Francisco painting custom TOMS live for them at events. After custom painted shoe portfolio grew, I started my own website to sell my designs. People started to contact me to ask if I could paint Jordans and Adidas. Years later, and I'm now in a 1,500 sq ft "Shoedio" painting more than 100 pairs of custom sneakers per month.
This article will hopefully give you inspiration showing that becoming a full time professional sneaker artist can be a reality. Painting shoes is a niche business, but if you fully dedicate yourself, you can start your own business painting custom sneakers from the ground up. Checkout the story here: https://www.starterstory.com/how-to-start-a-business-customizing-sneakers