Well, I switched up my canvas for a good cause. For nine years now, Vans has held its Custom Culture Contest that is aimed at bringing awareness to the diminishing art budgets in schools around the nation. So, they hold a contest for high schools around the nation using blank Vans shoes as the canvas. The sky’s the limit in terms of what the students can design the shoes with, which leads to some seriously impressive creations. Yeowza.
It’s a pretty brilliant process, and when all is said and done, a school wins $75k towards their school’s art program, and runners up receive 10k each.
Gosh, I love Vans.
So, when they asked if I’d want to design a pair to help raise awareness for the contest as well as the importance of art education in school, my answer was… YES. I mean, HELL YEAH.
Count me in.
…and here’s my design.
I have this stuff called watercolor ground which can turn almost any surface into “watercolor paper”. So I did it with my Vans, and turned them into some pretty tropical floral scenic numbers. I even painted the laces. High five.
I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for my art classes in high school. My teachers, studio time, having to show my work, the critiques, and just having space with creative freedom and encouragement all laid out some serious “I should pursue this” foundation. Without me even realizing it at the time. Although I ALWAYS looked forward to each and every art class. Which, when I think about it now, was a really good sign.
Art is important, and it just seems like it’s getting valued and encouraged less and less and less. Which makes me love causes/contests like this more and more and more.
So, high five to Vans. Be sure to check out and follow the contest. Voting just started, so go be totally awed the entries and give all the students some love for the work.
…and I might need to go and paint another pair like these soon.