M Michael Tesauro

Measuring Your Progress

Sep 18, 2015

If you’ve checked out our line up of Angelus Sponsored Artists, you’ll probably recognize some of biggest heavy hitters in the custom sneaker game. Nowadays, these artists kill it everytime they post a picture of their work. There’s a reason they get big, and it’s partly talent but it’s also hard work. Trial and error goes a long way.

Our owner Tyler hit up the good people at Nothing But Customs with a great idea: show us your first custom and then show us your most recent. What does your progression as an artist, or a customizer look like? How far have you come since that first try?

Luckily we got so many great responses to the question. First off, huge shouts out to everyone who posted their ‘first try’ online. That takes guts, right? I probably wouldn’t post the first ever article I wrote anywhere, so I applaud all of you.

Secondly, we picked a handful of these at random so if you’re not in here, nothing personal. We’ll do another one of these in the future. But mainly, we wanted to give some up-and-comers and mid-level customizers the spot light. Sure, we could focus on our sponsored people all day, but we wanted to see what’s out there.

So here we go: Joe Kirchner comes from Michigan and he’s the owner/operator of Resurrected_Solez. He posted his first aptly named “Spiderman 9’s.’

As you can see from the IG timeline, that was 81 weeks ago. So in just under two years he’s dropping bombs with these “Hare 6’s.”

(Source: Joe Kirchner)

Next we’ve got a young buck by the name of Thomas Vella coming out of Plainview, NY. Thomas is still setting up his name, but he’s already had a little time in the local paper. Goes to show you can be fresh to what you do, but when you hustle, your name will get out there.

He posted these colorful first tries here.

And these are his latest. How clean is that ribbon?

(Source: Thomas Vella)

Here we’ve got Dub Cuz (I could only find the AKA, but hit us up with your real name if you want it in here) out of Mobile, AL owner of Dubs Customs.For there first, Dub wasn’t afraid to take on the Suede.

And here we’ve got his latest work: a beautiful pair of 11’s. How clean are these?

(Source: Dub Cuz)

So if you’re down in the Gulf Coast, hit Dub up becauses he’s killing it with these customs.

We’re going to take a trip down under with this one. Here we have Sam Kickink Mcinnes out of Gorokan, New South Wales, Australia. It’s great to see people all over the world doing their thing.

His firsts pay homage to Vincent Vega, the slickest dude in Pulp Fiction.

Very ambitious. And as you can see, painting characters came a long way.

(Source: Sam Kickink Mcinnes)

Check out the incredible brush work on these RoboCop-inspired customs. Incredible.

Heading up to our neighbors in the North. We’ve got Eli Falls out of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. He’s got a nice hustle going with his Fallsy Customs. Here are his firsts:

As you can see, he did these 125 weeks ago. That’s what, two and half years or so? So let’s see what’s he’s gotten into since then.

(Source: Eli Falls)

These are his most recent. An homage to the godfathers of collaboration, the infamous Supreme New York. And these are on a pair of Pumas, good looks on thinking outside of the box.

Next we’ve got Marco Rodriguez out of Southern Pines, NC. Marco is head dude at Rad Customs, be sure check out the YouTube for some unboxing videos. What caught our eye was his comment on the picture he posted, which was “not the best but oh well.” But he still posted them!

Huge thanks putting your first try out there. His most recents take inspiration from the Supreme x Foamposites that had people going craze a while ago.

(Source: Marco Rodriguez)

These are very dope Marco, keep it up!

This next one is good because it not only shows a before and after, but it shows how the artist was able to variate on a theme for a few different sneakers. We’ve got Bowling Green, KY based customizer Joshua Spurlock who holds it down with Lock Customs.

For his first try, we see how the show started and how it ended.

The bold color blocking is a great way to get started. Then, his most recent line up. Josh is representing the #forcegang with these.

(Source: Joshua Spurlock)

As you can see, Josh nailed the bold colors. This whole line up is crisp. You’ve definitely got a career ahead of you!

Patterson, NJ based Stackz Anthony came through with a great story about his first customs. If you didn't catch his post, he said that people thought his first customs, a pair of 3's, were fake. But he still wore them and posted them all the time! So rep always rep your work no matter what stage you're in.

Then his most recent customs pay homage to notorious Air Mag colorway.

(Source: Stackz Anthony)

These are wild bruh! I could see Marty McFly wearing these in Back to the Future Part... 4 or 5. So if you didn't catch a pair of the 1,500 sold, why not do your own thing like Stackz?

We've got another up-and-comer by the name of Bob Chao-Mein. According to his FB, this dude is fresh out of high school. But what's even crazier, his first customs are tagged to 125 weeks ago, so he was nailing down his custom work after 6th period. How many people were doing that?

So here are his firsts:

And then he posted these, which came about a year later. You can see his work improving.

And then his most recent. He took on the almighty Timbos for this one!

(Source: Bob Chao-Mein)

These are wild! Keep painting Bob, you're locking down those skills!

Lastly, we wanted to make some room in the spot light for Najee Daly. You had some concerns about credit being given. You want to protect your work and your name, we see you. Stop by the blog more often to catch more weekly insight and as always, the appropriate credits given since always. 

Najee hails from Mississauga in the province of Ontario, Canada. Toronto is the other big city in Ontario, which gifted the world with the one-and-only Drake. Najee's first tries pay homage to Canada's greatest MC with these XO OVO inspired customs.

Then we have these most recents.

(Source: Najee Daly)

Najee keeps the OVO theme going with these incredible camo 10's. These customs look like they could drop with the other Drake Jordan's that we talked about last week!

That’s going to wrap it up for now. In the meanwhile, keep those customs coming in. We love to see your work and how for you’ve come along. Stop by the blog at Lace Lab to see more customizers take their skill level 0-100.

Also, many thanks to everyone who put their work out there for all of us to see!

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