This holiday season I've received dozens of polite requests - and even some frustrated demands - that have reminded me the world wants more customized Native footwear. Unfortunately, I've taken a break from his kind of work to pursue new projects, and the only way I can be of service is to share links to my favorite Native shoe artists. These hard working folks who have art available right now!
While shoe customization can be a great way to get started, it's a labor intensive endeavor that requires a specific skill set. (Think about it for a minute. One pair of custom shoes is the same work as two paintings, except they are done on a 3 dimensional surface that might cost $50 or more ). Yet shoe customization is under appreciated. This is apparent in both the price custom shoes can command and the perception of custom shoes withing the larger arts scene. So while you enjoy the following art work, please remember that your support - even if it's a social media share or comment - is valuable and appreciated by the artist.
BTW - Want to make your own customs? Check out my Howto Video.
Daune Koyawena (Hopi)
I came across Duane's art recently despite the fact that he already has a large following. He's skilled in a wide array of mediums, from large murals to canvas to custom shoes and bags. His artwork reflects the Hopi tradition with a thread of realism, landscapes, and animation seamlessly intertwined to create a totally unique aesthetic. Duane also applies his art to apparel, which is probably available in quantity this holiday season.
Sondra Segundo (Haida)
Sondra Segundo is a true pioneer of putting Native art on shoes. Known for her wedge heels, she started creating customs way before me. She is inspired by her rich Haida Native culture, and says "I mix the traditional ways with contemporary times to keep my culture alive and thriving." It's also important to note that Sondra recently wrote and illustrated a children's book called Killer Whale Eyes, which you can buy from her website, and she makes a strong contribution to the Seattle area community through her work in education and her cultural dance group.
Full disclosure - I don't know Alicia personally. I've just admired her heels, boots, bags and other footwear when I've seen them blast through my Facebook timeline with thousands of likes and shares. Judging from a recent post on her Facebook page, it looks like she can still take custom orders for the holiday season. Better hurry!
Alicia's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org