Interview: Cereal Artist Takes a Clear-Cut Approach to Sneaker Art
Most customisers look to add a touch of opulence to their creations by using premium materials and flamboyant fixtures, but Cereal Artist manages to see through the noise, taking her own distinctive approach to sneaker art. Working with vinyl, she’s creating quite the buzz with her gnarly, neon-infused reinterpretations of classic silhouettes. Making the most of whatever tools you have is more important than ever, and that’s why Cereal Artist’s minimalist methodology makes her a clear winner among the sea of crep creatives.
Why vinyl sneaker sculptors? How’d you get involved in the medium?
Obviously I love sneakers, and one day I just thought it would be cool to have a completely see-through sneaker as a decoration piece. I went ahead and made one.
I had never made any shoes, and had no idea how to make one, so I spent hours figuring out the patterns and putting them together slowly.
Vinyl is just an interesting and uncommon material to use, and the vibrant colours are just so appealing. Due to the stiffness of it, it definitely has more limitations as to what you can make out of it - I love the challenge!
What drew you into sneaker culture, and was it a natural progression to combine it with your artwork?
Growing up, I always wore sneakers, because I was more of a tomboy. I was really active, so sneakers are just so comfortable to be in. Eventually I started looking at them as art, slowly learning more about the history, and realising that they're more than just sneakers.
And yes, I love sneakers and streetwear, so it's only natural to involve them in my work!
Why do you love working with sneakers as your subject matter?
Again, I love wearing them, and each silhouette has its own history. It inspires me to bring out different personas of each of them, and to see them in a different light - as an art piece rather than just footwear.
Tell us about the creative process you follow when it comes to creating one of your projects. How long does this take from start to finish?
I'll have some ideas of what I want to make, then I'll sit on it, work out all the details visually in my head, until I get a clear idea of how I want to put them together. Then, as I work on them, I might improvise or change some of the detailing until I feel satisfied with the outcome.
Sometimes it takes me a day, other times a week, from the ideas to finishing the piece. The sewing part itself doesn't actually take too long, it's more of the designing and detailing.
Can you name your favourite sneakers?
My favourite sneakers are the Air Max Plus, Dunks, Air Jordan 1, Zoom Vomero 5, and lots of the vintage models that are slowly making a comeback. I am really into the ‘dad shoes’ vibes!
Growing up, I was never given much choice of what I got to buy, so I remember the first pair of sneakers I bought with my own money in college was a pair of black and white Air Max 90s, and I remember feeling like the coolest person in the world, even though it wasn't a rare or hyped pair.
What are your thoughts on the 'sneaker art' phenomenon? How has social media impacted the artists? Is the landscape oversaturated?
I think it's awesome. These days you see more and more artists coming up with custom sneakers in heaps of styles - painting, cut and sew, sole swaps, using different materials, etc. You can see that people are pushing the boundaries, so that's awesome and inspiring.
Social media definitely has some impact to a certain degree. It's like the test market where you can see what is being put out, the responses, the demands, and I think it has steered some artists towards what's trending at the moment.
That said, it has been growing more and more oversaturated. You start seeing everyone doing a similar paint job, or using the same high-end brand materials such as LV, Dior, etc.
It's very important to stay true to yourself as an artist, and not just focus on the trends.
You've already had some amazing projects, but what is the 'dream' moving forward?
The dream is to just keep creating, and putting more love and passion towards my work. I'd love to have the opportunities to work with some of my favourite brands, as well as other amazing artists and designers to create even more powerful work together!
Be sure to check out our Features section for more exclusive interviews with industry insiders!