How Art ‘Walks’ Through Life


White slip-on vans and hightop converse were used as canvases for seniors Austin Kloss and Lana Meyer.

When you were young, did your parents ever scold you for drawing on the walls or getting paint on your clothes?

Have you noticed that bright, colorful and unique pair of shoes in the crowded hallways? Do you think they bought them that way? Do you think their parents were upset about it? Most likely not.

It’s 2019 and the world is more creative than ever. Teens are taking their shoe customization into their own hands with a little bit of time, paint, and imagination. Plain white shoes? No thanks.

The customization is endless. From tie dye to drawing to bleaching and to painting. Some teens inspire each other through posting their videos on Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and many more social media platforms. 

Freshman Adeline Morrison explained, “I wanted a cheap restyle. It’s not that expensive. All you need is a pair of shoes and some paint.” 

Painting on shoes has become a fad. It is a creative outlet. A blank shoe can be boring and uninteresting. Being able to customize your shoes with whatever you want allows you to express yourself however you please. 

Sophomore Lyndee Kloss has a knick for customizing her clothing with her paintbrush. She has designed her jeans, shorts, shoes, and jackets. “Art to me is a way of expressing myself in a creative and unique way. I painted characters from my childhood TV shows to kind of show what I grew up on,” she said.

Art teacher Ms. Preeshl believes shoe painting “allows students to put their own voice into [art] and then have something different than anyone else who has it. They can express themselves and be creative. I like it.” 

Students have brought in pieces of clothing into their art classes as a replacement to the traditional canvas. 

The popular shoe company, known as Vans, holds a nationwide competition for high school students to customize a pair of Vans for a chance to win money in order to fund their school’s art program. Their custom shoes also have a chance to become Vans’s next big seller. 

According to Alec Colchico, art helps a child develop motor skills. For example, if a child is holding a paintbrush, it helps them learn to control their muscles. Art can help reflect what a child knows about the world or their surroundings (A Place of Our Own). 

Society has always told us to express ourselves. Art and design empowers people to embrace their originality. It allows us to translate our ideas and experiences onto something. Art is open ended, it can be interpreted in our own ways.

It is an important quality to be yourself. People have expressed themselves through art for decades. Who says what kind of canvas it has to be on? Shoes are just one of many.