Skinny sneakers sketch. Click for larger version
(they don't get any less skinny, though).
It's rare that I just sketch for sketching's sake these days - the closest I come to doing that is doodling while I'm on the phone, which sometimes yields some good results - only sometimes, though. But most of the time I'm sketching these days, I'm doing it for a project - roughing out ideas and getting layouts into shape. That's kind of a shame, but it's the result of being busy with client work, which is nothing to complain about.
The skinny sneakers piece was done when my band Restraining Order was in the studio in 2003, recording our five song E.P. Five on Blue. We spent a lot of long Saturdays in that studio, and once the basic tracks (drums, bass and a guide guitar) were recorded, it tends to then become only one band member at a time doing the recording - which leaves the rest of us plenty of down time in the control room.
Closeup. Isn't messy linework nifty?
We try to make that down time useful - tracking changes we've made or need to make to the songs, working on the track order, liner notes and other information for the CD packaging - but all of that doesn't take very long, and we wind up just b.s.ing and eating pizza for hours on end. Bands like pizza.
Somewhere in the midst of that down time, I grabbed my pen and paper and started sketching my bandmate Phil's Converse-covered feet. I'm not usually good with sketchbooks - I feel too much pressure to fill them with only great drawings - I'm way too conscious when I start working a sketchbook (especially if it's bound, and the pages can't be removed without ripping them out, leaving a noticeable torn edge - I hate that) but here it worked out pretty well. I was in a Zen state of relaxation, and the drawing came out nicely, I think.
Eventually, when I started mining my past work for use on my Print On-Demand stores, I found this piece and wondered if it would work on any product. It's more arty and less designy than most of my other pieces, and there's no real theme or clever double-meaning - but I still used it, adding it to (among other products) a greeting card design. The inside of the card says, "What's swingin'?" - because that one foot is swinging, you see.
I've sold a couple so far - probably from fans of Converse, or maybe sneakers in general. I've always seen sneaker loyalists as the biggest untapped resource in this country, and now it's proving to be true. I win.
Skinny Sneakers greeting card on Zazzle