What if da Vinci Airbrushed the Mona Lisa? October 09 2015

Sometimes you want to go into overtime to create a dope pair of custom sneakers. Any good artist would agree that painting takes a lot of brush work, planning, and focus.

Now there are a few ways to go about customizing your sneakers: some people use their brush skills to create their custom sneaker art. Some people go airbrush. Others use a combination. Check sneaker customizer @jbb_cafe, who we found on the #angelusdirect tag on IG (thanks for tagging).

(Source: @jbb_cafe)

Great progress shot here!

It probably goes without saying, all painters have different brush techniques. In this clip, Angelus Direct sponsored artist Kendra's Customs is putting in that work on a pair of Roshes. Her brushwork is on point! And then she comes out with the Q-Tip for that fade effect. 

Like Kendra, you can go lo-fi and break out the Q-Tip and still blow people's minds. On the flip side, some people might use technology to their advantage. So you have old style and new school ways of painting, and neither way is necessarily better! Of course, people get wild over this debate. But more opinions the better right?

Last time around, we looked at how people progress from their first custom to their most recent. As you can see, people all came in at different levels, but over time they stepped up their game. Experimenting with other tools is key to becoming a successful artist no matter what your medium is.

If you're one of those types that loves new gadgets, who learned how to log into a computer before you learned how to write in cursive, or just love to play around with new stuff—we've got just the thing for you.

This is the Grex Genesis XGi3 Airbrush. That's a hell of a name right? You know with a name like Genesis, you're going to create some wild art.

Even if you're purists and you only mess with brushes, you have to admit this thing looks pretty dope. 

In the grand scheme of things, airbrushing is still a pretty young medium. Dudes were painting on to rocks and caves back in the Stone Age, so obviously painting had been around for a long ass time.

But with airbrushing, the first models went back to the late 1880's. So not that long. Or to put it into perspective, Angelus Shoe Polish was invented by Paul T. Angelos in the early 1900's, so airbrushing and the Angelus Brand are pretty close in age. But within that 100+ year time period, airbrush popped off in a big way. And like paint brushes, the airbrush has found itself be used on custom sneakers.

For instance, this our dude Jake from Dank & Co using the Grex. He's probably one of the biggest names in customizing out right now, so let's see what he had to say about it.

(Source: jwdanklefs)

According to Jake, the quality of work that the Grex puts out is "second to none."


Like painting by hand, creating a game plan is so necessary to an ill final product. You might be spending a little longer with a paint brush, but with an airbrush you're going to have to map out that final product the same way. Either way you paint, you're only as good as your planning.

So if you ever get the chance to expand your medium, try out an airbrush. Switch things up. You never know, maybe you're going to be the go to when people talk about airbrushing masters. Could you imagine if da Vinci airbrushed the Mona Lisa? That would have been wild.