Custom Sonic The Hedgehog Vans by KyozoKicks.
The first incarnation of Sonic the hedgehog released in 1991, went on to spawn countless sequels and spin-offs. Sonic was arguably at his best during those early years. Many of us recall the fondest memories of Sonic from the original trilogy of games, where the action was fast, the story was simple and the music was catchy.
I became a Sonic the Hedgehog fan the same day I received my SEGA Megadrive (SEGA Genesis to our US friends). I was on holiday in the UK at the time and the country was Sonic mad. My parents were even able to identify him correctly, this was big. Incidentally the one other title I got with the system was the criminally underrated Decap Attack (known as ‘Magical Hat Flying Turbo Adventure’ in Japan, which I think we can all agree is a vastly superior version if based solely on the name alone). I knew the moment I started painting shoes I would eventually come to paint a Sonic pair.
Before I begin even designing a pair of shoes I try and do a couple of things. I research the game, I read about it, watch videos on YouTube, play the game if it’s available to me and talk with whoever the shoes are for, what makes the game so special to them as to justify owning a pair of shoes based off of the title. Although Tails was not a part of the series until the sequel he is as much a part of the entire saga as the speedy blue mammal himself.
I knew I wanted to feature those two in my design, of course it helped that the colour of the two characters, blue and orange, complement each other wonderfully. How you could display theses characters together in a unique, but not obvious way? I’m a big fan of Vans shoes and the brand itself, about a decade ago the Slip On style (after years of lying dormant among my generation) were popular all over again. Leading that resurgence was the checkerboard pattern.
Sonic and Tails my nod to the history of video games. Checkerboard my nod to the history of Vans.
I knew, looking at my initial design on paper that the most important thing I could bring to the whole process was patience. Laying out a grid onto the curved canvas was the first challenge I needed to overcome. Once I had that pattern onto the shoe the rest of the design would fall into place. Getting the perspective right was merely a process of trial and error.
Patience was again called for in painting the characters themselves. Together they appear over 70 times across both pairs. 70 faces, 70 noses, 140 eyes.
Please stop by KyozoKicks next week where I reveal another pair of custom shoes. For the next month I will be releasing one pair a week. Honouring games from Sony, Nintendo and Sega.
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