Garcia: I’ve been drawing since I was 13. I was influenced by a graffiti drawing my sister brought home from school one of her friends did for her. Since then I’ve taught myself new techniques and forms of art there was to be learned. I would really like to explore the different types of art and things there are to be offered, but then again…money isn’t always around to help out.
Q: What are the main types of shoes you draw on?
Garcia: Plain white canvas Vans and High top Converse are the shoes I focus on the most for their material. High top converse and Vans are very useful for all the space they provide me with to draw. It’s so easy to draw on and works great with the sharpies. No smears or smudges except for water. That’s a big problem I have right now. Protecting the art. It would be nice if I could experiment with the different types of paints and art supplies to better my designs though. Other colored shoes aren’t great with multi colored sharpie art which is why I stick with white.
Q: Why are Sharpie products a good fit for this?
Garcia: Well I have tried pens and other plain school markers, map colors and pencils. No other writing utensils match up to the great sharpie. If only there were a greater variety of colors to choose from. I’m sure there is or maybe I just haven’t heard of them. But I love the easy glide sharpie gives when drawing on the shoe. It makes it so much easier than having to constantly go over the same spots again and again. Thin sharpies don’t bleed as much as thick sharpies do on the canvas that’s why I prefer them most. And sharpie also keeps its thick bold color on any surface.
Q: What specific Sharpie tools do you use? Markers, pens, etc.
Garcia: Since I discovered my talent for drawing on shoes from the beginning I’ve only been using thin sharpies. Once in a while I’ll use thick
sharpies to save time for bigger spaces to be filled on the shoes. Everything I do is done free hand. I don’t use any stencils. As for measurements and shape placements, I just wing it and hope it comes out as I plan.
Q: How long does it take for you to complete a design on a pair of shoes?
Garcia: My last design took me three hours. And I believe that was the longest time than I took on any pair before. FYI my last pair was the pair with the Looney Toons and Cars on separate shoes that I just posted on the sharpie website. I have so many ideas and people’s opinions to help me out all I need is a great supply of materials to get the job done. Not only do I get to spend days and possibly my lifetime doing something I love but I also get paid for it.
Q: What’s your favorite design you have made? Why?
Garcia:The Looney tunes design is my favorite. Since I came up with that idea I knew it was gonna be a seller. I loved the challenge and the different characters it involved. So unique. That shoe itself took me about an hour and a half. The first day I advertised them I got so many compliments, requests and phone numbers. It was amazing to me and flattering at how many people admired my shoes. It was definitely worth the time and always will be.
Q: Do you wear the shoes? Sell them?
Garcia: I wear the shoes every day. I only have a pair for myself but I wish I had the money to have a different pair everyday. I do sell them as well. Right now for very cheap as a matter of fact. 40 dollars isn’t much in my pocket. Especially when I have to keep providing myself with more supplies. I’ve been told by so many people though that I’m under-charging and that I could be charging near the hundreds and possibly more.
Q: Have friends or family asked you to draw designs for them?
Garcia: Everyday. I do do my family’s shoes for free
Q: Anything else you’d like to share that I didn’t ask?
Garcia: Yes. Well, I’ve recently been offered a job in Corpus Christi for an underground clothing line. I don’t really trust the owners and my family knows how long I’ve been waiting for my time to be noticed. I’ve looked around so much and as far as this interview, this seems the closest I’ve gotten to being in that limelight. And even if this doesn’t go as I planned I’d like to thank you for requesting this interview and helping me out any way you can. Thank you.
See more of Aj’s Work http://www.myspace.com/ajgarcia19
Hit him up for shoes! firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.sharpieuncapped.com for more ideas on how to get creative with Sharpie.