Last updated: October 20. 2013 5:39PM - 3349 Views
ROSANNE BOWMAN 419-993-2150 • info@limanews.com

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Kelsey Kirkendall can be reached at shoesbykels@gmail.com.

1. Have you always been into art?

Yes, ever since I could hold a pen, basically.

2. How did you start painting pictures on shoes?

It’s kind of funny. My friend, for her birthday, I was trying to think of something that would be kind of different, and I went on Pinterest, and I kept seeing all these pictures of painted shoes that people had done. I just kind of thought it would fun, but I didn’t know if it would turn out or not. So, I did a pair, and they turned out cool, so I started doing them for friends. Then people started saying I should sell them, and that’s how it started.

3. So, you sell your shoes?

Yes, I sell them through The Lion, the Niche and the Wardrobe. I have sold three through there, and I’ve made two for my grandma, but I’m not sure that really counts. The rest I’ve given away to my friends, and I have an order for these boots I’m working on.

4. How many have you done?

I’ve done over a dozen at least. I started doing it at the beginning of the summer — I think it was around May.

5. Does it have to be a certain type of shoe?

I can do anything that is a canvas shoe with the fabric paint, and I just started painting on leather boots. That is a new project I just started. Hopefully, that will go well, and I can do those. too.

6. How long does it take you to complete a pair of shoes?

Probably, it takes me two to three days to do a pair. If I’m doing a pair, I’ll work on it a couple hours in the evening or maybe on the weekend. It just depends.

7. Are your orders custom or do you have certain designs people can choose from?

Uh, no. They are all original. Even if someone likes the same type of shoe design, I will change some detail or scene because I don’t like to do the exact same thing.

8. What kind of paints do you use?

It’s an acrylic paint you can get at Hobby Lobby with a textile medium type of stuff that turns it into fabric paint. It gives you a lot more color varieties than if you just used fabric paint. I also use gel pens for fabric, so I can get the tiny details.

9. Do you use any kind of finish on the shoes?

I do — I put on Scotch Guard and the paint has to be set by putting the shoes in the dryer. The boots are a completely different process because I’m going to have to rub it with linseed oil. It kind of depends on the shoe. I use Angelus leather paint for the boots. You have to sand the boot first, then paint it and then polish it with the linseed oil for a finish.

10. What’s the hardest part?

The hardest part is doing the little detail work and making sure the paint is completely dry so you’re not smearing it. Time is another big thing. It’s not hard — it’s the patience to work with the details and letting the paint dry.

11. What’s the best part?

I like the fact that it’s just a fun accessory, and I like that it is a different form of art that most people don’t do so that makes it unique. I like that each project is different; especially when I have orders from people, I never know what I’m going to be doing. That part is really fun.

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