Christian Christopher is much like his 20-something peers, who have grown up in an age of microwaves, iPhones, computers and hundreds of satellite television channels.
This high-tech world can take a person on a quite a journey toward carving out an identity and purpose in future goals. Christopher’s creative journey is just beginning to blossom as he creates art on sneakers, clothing, jackets and walls
Everything is his canvas — jeans, t-shirts, jackets, dresses, and various other items of clothing. Customizing sneakers is a growing demand, and Christopher is gaining lots of recognition for his work.
Once a price is negotiated, he goes right to work.
“I just started playing around with painting and sneakers right there at my kitchen bar,” he said. “Someone brought me a white pair of Nike’s and told me to customize them any way I liked. They loved what I did, other people saw them, and it kind of took off from there.”
His childhood experiences were among the circumstances that shaped his artistic talent.
“I didn’t really grow up with any kind of close relationship with my father, but my mother was just the absolute best. She was always there” Christopher said.
“And I was always surrounded by loving family members who not only recognized my talent at an early age, but they encouraged me to use my artistic ability. But that didn’t always go over too well, and it got me in trouble a couple of times at school.
“I remember once when I was sitting in class, I drew my teacher in a comic strip I just thought up like on the spot. I got sent to the office for that. Another time, I drew pictures on my arms to make them look like real tattoos. I tried to explain that it was just ink, and my mother had not let me get tattoos. I got suspended, and my mom had to come to the school and explain that I just drew them on my arms.”
When he finally got to ninth-grade art class, he was actually too advanced for the lessons.
“I was building 3-D figures out of Lego building blocks when I was about seven or eight,” Christopher said. “Some of my favorite characters to create out of Legos were the Mario Brothers. That was my favorite computer game growing up. By the time I began taking art classes to actually learn technique, I just found the instruction too boring.
“It felt like something I had already been taught, although that was not the case. Free-style, creative expression is my preference.”
Part of that creative expression is looking at all kinds of material from a purely artistic perspective. When everything is a canvas, or has the potential to be, the possibilities become endless.
One burgeoning trend in shoe art is shoe art for children. Christopher stumbled upon it quite by accident.
His 6-year-old son, Taylor, loves “Toy Story” and all things related to the movie, especially the character Woody.
So, Christopher started playing around with scenes from the movie, using his sketchpad, reproducing the exact color and dimensions of prominent elements in the original movie.
The result was Taylor’s dad gifting him the “dopest shoes” he has ever had.
“I really love my “Toy Story” sneakers because that’s one of my favorite movies,” Taylor said. “I can’t wear them every day because my dad says I can’t. But when he lets me wear them, I know people are going to like them. You can’t buy shoes with Woody on them. Those shoes mean a lot because my daddy painted them just for me. They are special.”
The artist’s special brand of children’s art on shoes also sets off a pair of jeans and a white tee. The colorful scenes are fun and entertaining to wear.
Christopher also is a talented rapper. His music will be featured in a Netflix original movie “Uncorked,” which will be screened during the music and film festival, South by Southwest, set in Austin, Texas, in March.
He’s being flown next month to the premiere of the movie, along with his family – fiancé Evan Fields, Taylor and son, Ayden, 2.