For those who don’t know, one of the nicest shoe designers coming up in hiphop’s fashionable art game is JB Custom Kix. Obvious displays of well tuned skills, making a sick shoe designs for the limited edition Akahpellah SC2NY shirt, and painting up one of the illest Chicago Bulls set of Air Force 1s, it’s apparent this kid is wanting the title of “Shoe Customizing Legend”. But what motivates this kid is what all want to know as well as what can be expected! Urb1 has it all…
(URB1) WHAT’S UP JB? FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, GO AHEAD AND TELL A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW LONG YOU’VE BEEN CUSTOMIZING SNEAKS!
(JB CUSTOM KIX) For those who dont know, my name is JB. Im a 16 year old black male, born in St. Louis, Missouri and now live in Petersburg, Virginia. Art has always been a very important part of my life. Art wasnt really a big part of my life when I was growing up. I used to sketch and draw cartoons and names but nothing really serious. I just got into doing serious art about 3 years ago. Besides the elementary art classes, the first time I really did art with a paint brush was on a pair of kicks if you can believe it. So you can say that my skillz came naturally. When I first started customizing, I used to take pics with my lil webcam and post the pics on retroshoes and niketalk. Praying one day to have a website, I ran into a few webdesigners that hooked me up with a layout and showed me a lil bit about using html and all. I got my supplies straight and next thing you know, I was selling shoes. Had the site for about 2 years now, and Im updating it as much as possible. I also have been doing kicks for peers in school and people around my area, which helps a lot. I do this custom thing for fun as much as I do it to get paid. Im hoping one day to move to higher heights with this….
(URB1) SOME ARTISTS WERE ALREADY ARTISTS BEFORE THEY STARTED. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE CANVAS THEY WERE USING WAS NOT SHOES. THOSE CANVAS’ WERE FLAT, SQAURE CANVAS’ CONSIDERED THE UNIVERSAL STANDARD. WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED WERE YOU DOING DESIGNS OR JUST PAINTING SECTIONS OF THE SHOES IN SOLID COLORS? I KNOW IT HAD TO BE A TRUE TRANSITION PUTTING ART FROM SKETCH BOOK TO SHOE CANVAS.
(JB CUSTOM KIX) When I first started, I was only able to do colorways, however, over the months I started to get requests from customers that wanted names, logos, cartoons, etc. I was seeing a few custom shoes around the internet that had logos and all so I figured that I had to step my game up. I started practicing on a few shoes of my own until I was seeing my skills become more advanced, and thats how I went from basic colorways to designs.
(URB1) I KNOW A LOT OF ARTISTS JUST USE WHATEVER AND THOSE PAINTS WILL NOT LAST LONG TERM ON A SHOE. SAD BECASUE THEY STILL SELL THERE SHOES ONLINE AND 1 MONTH LATER THAT CUSTOMER IS CUTTING GRASS IN A PAIR OF THREE HUNDRED DOLLAR, CUSTOM MADE NIKES THAT LOOK LIKE HALF A MIAMI HEAT LOGO WAS STUCK ON IT AT ONE TIME. DID YOU HAVE TO TEST A LOT OF DIFFERENT ART MEDIA (PAINTS) TO GET THE RIGHT PAINT FOR YOUR SHOES? AND HAVE YOU EVER TESTED A PAIR TO FIND OUT HOW LONG THEY WILL LAST?
(JB CUSTOM KIX) I’ve definetly had to test alot of paints to find something good. The paint I currently use is forumlated specially for leather and its used by customizers all over. Even though this paint is the best tested yet, I dont think its the best ever. I still think there is something better out there. I have a pair of customs of my own a from almost 3 months ago and they are still is great condition. Personally, I think that if someone has a pair of customs, they should wear them casually. To me, customs are just shoes that you would only want to wear with that special outfit or on a few special occasions.
(URB1) TO ME PERSONALLY, THOSE AKAHPELLAH KICKS WITH THE CUSTOM BOX AND ALL ARE THE SICKEST SHOES OUT AND THE SICKEST I’VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME. THE CUSTOM BOX WAS HOT FOR REAL, FOR REAL. BUT I KNOW OPINIONS DIFFER, SO WHAT IS THE HOTTEST SHOE DESIGN IN YOUR MIND?
(JB CUSTOM KIX) Personally, I dont have any favorites or whatever. I look at it like this: All the shoes on my website are hot in my opinion but there is always something hotter that can be done.
(URB1) I KNOW A LOT HAVE BIT PICTURES OF YOUR WORK FROM THE JB CUSTOM KIX WEBSITE AND CLAIMED THEM AS THEIR OWN DESIGNS. IS THERE ANY SITES OUT THERE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO MAKE NOTICE OF FOR STEALING WORKS OF YOURS?
(JB CUSTOM KIX) Actually, I have started labeling all of my pics since because a lot of people steal pictures these days. One site that I have seen some of my older pictures illegally posted on was www.just4kicks.com. I do no work for them and never have. They are simply taking pictures from sites and posting it on their own. Once people pay them, they can kiss that money goodbye because they will get nothing they ordered.
(URB1) WELL EVERYBODY WANTS THE HOOK UP THESE DAYS BUT PLAIN AND SIMPLE YOUR WORK IS TEDIOUS AND TIME CONSUMING. FOR THAT REASON I DON’T EXPECT IT TO BE CHEAP TO GET A PAIR OF SNEAKS DONE UP. HOWEVER, FROM COMPARISON TO A LOT OF OTHER SHOE PAINTERS, I HEAR YOU WORK HAS SOME OF THE LOWEST PRICES. WHAT’S YOUR PRICE RANGE LIKE? WHAT’S THE AVERAGE SHOE COST? GIVE ME PRICES WITH AND WITHOUT THE SHOE BEING PROVIDED.
(JB CUSTOM KIX) My price range depends on the work that has to be done. Without the shoes included, colorways range from $40-$60 and anything from designs, logos, and names range from $70-$95. If the customer wants the shoes included, I pretty much throw on an extra $100, basicly because that handles all shipping charges with it. I’ve seen kicks for sale at $300 which is outragous prices. Those prices compared to mine is a great saving.
(URB1) WHAT KIND OF ARTWORK WOULD YOU LIKE TO PUT ON THE SHOE CANVAS NEXT JB?
(JB CUSTOM KIX) Im not sure what kind of painting I would move on to next. However, I am becoming more interested in fantansy and real life painting. I watch a lot of that on tv and hopefully one day I can move on to that level.
(URB1) IF YOU COULD DESIGN SOME KICKS FOR ANY CELEBRITY WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT DESIGN FOR THAT CELEBRITY?
(JB CUSTOM KIX) If I could do some kicks for an celeb, it would definetly be for Kanye West. Kanye is puttin’ it down in these videos and I think he would be the perfect person to expose the kicks.
Another person would be Usher Not only because he is one of my favorite artists but he would be a good person to do kicks for because he makes everything look hott on tv and in his videos.
(URB1) WELL THAT’S ALL THE SPACE URB1 CAN TAKE SO I’M GOING TO WRAP UP THIS INTERVIEW. MUCH LOVE JB FOR TAKING THE TIME TO GIVE YOUR 2 CENTS TO THE URB1 I-VIEW COLLECTION. ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY TO THE URB1 VISITORS? AND DON’T FORGET TO GIVE THOSE SHOUT OUTS TO THOSE WHO’VE BEEN HELPFUL TO YOU KID!
(JB CUSTOM KIX) Thanks for the I-View, much love and respect to URB1 by way of Rod. I would like to shout out everyone in the urb1-forums. Its like we are all apart of a family when I hit up the forums, so much love to yall. And big ups to my man Jorge, you know who you are. -PEACE-
SoJones is about urban and hip-hop fashion. Keepin’ up? That’s SoJones.