It was a cool, late summer evening when… *Ring ring* Hello? Sure, I can come over to talk with a client about designing a pair of shoes! Okay, see you in a couple days. *Click*
A dramatization, obviously, and names have been omitted to add suspense. So, I knew I’d be helping design a pair of shoes for a client, but what I didn’t know was that Margot was turning the design over to me, Destiny. I would be creating these shoes. WOW! I thought that was very cool.
The most exciting part of it all wasn’t that I was designing the shoes, but who ordered them. I was getting to design shoes for none other than the wonderfully sassy author and our dear friend Vicki Leon , the self proclaimed vixen and creator of the Uppity Women history books. She’s been a Sassy Feet supporter since the beginning. I was surprised, shocked and honored. Vicki brought us this amazing, colorful Indian coat she was going to wear on a big trip to New York and she needed some shoes to put the finishing touch on her outfit.
She handed over a pair of vanilla colored pumps to use as my blank canvas. Different things went through my head. I first thought to mimic the pattern on the coat, but Vicki mentioned she’d like the shoes to go with other outfits as well. I settled on using the colors as my inspiration. If the shoe emulated the rich wonderful colors in the jacket, it would work for her trip, but if it wasn’t design specific, she could wear them with other things. I was really just focused on wanting to make Vicki happy!
I was also inspired by the technique Margot used on her new purse. I started by painting the shoe a base color that I made by mixing a little Indigo with Pearlescent Blue. Once the base coat dried, I used a cosmetic sponge to daub on three colors, Metallic Russet, Halo Pink Gold, and Metallic Olive.
I used the large, square side of the sponge for the two warm colors, dipping into the paint, dabbing the excess onto the palette, and sponging the shoe in a flowing streak. I used the narrow end of the sponge for the Metallic Olive, adding the green highlights onto the Metallic Russet and Halo Pink Gold.
Once the pattern was applied and dried (photo above), I wanted to give the shoes a little extra texture and help blend the colors with the background. I used a sea sponge with slightly watered-down Pearlescent Blue for the texture. A sea sponge gives an organic, irregular pattern with the paint. I used the same technique as with the cosmetic sponge and dabbed the paint onto the palette before applying it to the shoe. If the sponge is too loaded with paint, you will end up with an opaque blob rather than a stipled texture.
The sponged on blue really brought the design together. The surface of the previously vanilla shoes now looked almost like semi-precious stone.
Vicki loved them, I’m glad to say, and she leaves tomorrow for the trip to see her publishers about her next book. By the way, if you don’t know her work, check out her site, www.vickileon.com. She’s a hoot!