Time for a mini-tutorial. It’s no secret I like sneakers. Using the magical vector tools the Adobe Illustrator offers I’ll make my own custom Micron Hero P-Rod 2 colorway. Here goes:
Take a photo of the shoes you want to customize. Make sure to get a good angle where all of the essential details are visible.
Place the photo into illustrator, isolating it on it’s own layer, with template selected in layer options. Use this to get your linework, making sure to capture all of parts. The laces are crucial.
Once the linework is established you have a perfect template to lay in any colorway you could imagine. For this one I used the color scheme from the homepage of my website.
After the colorway is established you can go in and add details. I added a gradient to the swoosh to make it appear glossy on the screen. Shadows are created using a black vector fill with the opacity adjusted to allow the bottom layers to show through. A good way to create complex shadows is to layer black fills at 20% opacity, at this low opacity they behave almost like watercolor washes.
I used halftones to add texture to the shoe. I figure it’s a good way to add a synthetic visual texture to the illustration. I plan on doing more with this, perhaps adding in stitching, more graphics, custom flourishes. Illustrator really allows you to do whatever you want.
(Disclaimer: I don’t work for Nike, nor have I ever been employed by them. I’m just dorking around in Illustrator, making my own fantasy colorways. On that note, if Nike wants to put me to work, heck yeah, I’m down.)