Know About: Painting Shoes


Painting in different forms is always exciting. With the help of acrylic paints, fabrics and many other mediums, one can paint shoes, jeans, belts, handbags and a lot more. Shreyashi DasGupta speaks to Savia Pinto, a shoe designer who has made a career out of selling hand-painted shoes online


Why did you start painting shoes?
The idea was to come up with something new and start my own shoe line. Painting on canvas shoes is not something which has been explored by many. It's a happy feeling to see people carry their passion on their feet.


This is an unconventional career. Was it easy to set up?
My main job is that of a media person and this is my hobby. But yes, I do get great returns from this hobby and I could convert it into a full-time career option. These days creativity sells more than anything else. You have to be different and funky to sell if you are catering to the young market.


How did you set up your business?
I work from home, so the only expense I had to incur was that of the raw materials. For marketing, I use my blog which I update regularly. But for those of you who would like to create a proper website with online buying and selling options, you would need to hire a good web designer. Social networking sites are great marketing tools too. One needs to learn to use these to the best of their ability and co-link them with the personal blog or website. Having done all this, word of mouth publicity is the best form of advertising.


What are the qualifications or criteria required to start such a business?
A course in footwear designing is desirable to understand the basics but it requires a person's own creativity and expression to bring out the designs. So more than formal training, imagination is a must for such a career.


What are the other things one can paint on?
One could also experiment on jeans, t-shirts, wallets, bags and so on. But make sure that the colours used stay on the material.


What are the different types of themes that you paint?
It's completely based on one's personal style and choice of colours. However, use of bright and dark colours are advisable as that will make the product look colourful. The last pair of shoes I painted had black and white patterns. The piece paid tribute to Michael Jackson. I am working on an underwater theme too.


What type of colours can one use?
Acrylic colours can be used for shoe painting. Fabric paint also works on clothes, but it depends on the material used.


What kind of embellishments can one use?
You can use satin ribbons, sequins and other such materials to decorate. For shoes, you can punch more holes, make some designs around them and make the shoes look attractive.


What pay scale can one expect?
A fresher can start with Rs 6,000 per month and move up with dedication and speed.


How can kids make their shoes funky?
- Buy a pair of canvas shoes.

- Make the rough design which you wish to paint on your shoes. For example, you can make multicoloured stars.

- Use a pencil to draw the stars on your shoes. Draw approximately six to eight stars on each shoe.

- Use basic acrylic colours to paint the entire shoe. Use different bright colours to fill your stars and let them dry for a while.

- Outline the stars with black paint using a thin brush and let them dry again.