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Custom Sneaker Spotlight: September 2022

This September we saw customs take inspiration from movies, cartoons, and even literal fire. What really sets these sneakers apart is the perfect finishing touch with the right clear coat. A clear coat protects your finished sneakers and lets you decide if you want a high-shine finish or a super matte look.

From spot-on interpretations of Classic Pixar movies to life-like, hand-painted flames, here are the custom sneakers that caught our notice this past month. Check out the latest customs and find all the paint supplies you need to perfect your own sneaker projects at Angelus Direct.

Flame Nike Air Force 1

(source: @justwincustoms)

These custom Air Force 1s by @justwincustoms are fire, with painted flames running up each sneaker. Painted matte black, these sneakers let the flames on the swoosh stand out in realistic yellow and red. These expertly painted flames give that flickering illusion of an actual fire as it completely engulfs the Nike logo.

Recreate the matte black look with Angelus Flat Black Paint or by finishing with Matte 4-Coat to help your own design stand out.

Joker Nike Air Jordan 1

(source: @colormefresh)

These custom sneakers take that chaotic Joker style and apply them to a classic pair of Air Jordan 1s. From comic book speech bubbles to Joker graffiti, these sneakers by sponsored artist @colormefresh bring all the wild energy of Batman's the Joker to one pair of sneakers. Purple and a stained off-white make up the base colorway for this pair, allowing @colormefresh to add details in red, green, and black.

His famous acid spraying flower on the neon green laces gives these customs the perfect Joker-style finishing touch.

Up x WALL-E Slip-On Vans

(source: @inspirally)

What's sweeter than a Pixar movie inspired custom? A custom inspired by two Pixar classics, like these slip-on Vans by @inspirally. Hand painting in a style that perfectly matches that Pixar look is what really sets these Up meets WALL-E themed sneakers apart. Bright colors, like a background of sky blue, give these shoes the same feel you get from these modern animated classics.

Finish off your own leather paint project with a high shine like this one with some High Gloss 4-Coat. A professional level finish is what sets the best customs apart.

Nike Air Force 1 Stitch & Angel

(source: @cassykustoms)

Haven't gotten enough of animated inspired customs? Check out these adorable Stitch and Angel themed Air Force 1s by sponsored artist @cassykustoms. With a shoe for each character in blue and pink you're sure to know which shoe belongs to which character. Stitch and Angel hang out on each swoosh, while matching accents all over the shoes make everything from the laces to the toe box standout, giving them that animated look. Blue and pink laces to match take these white Air Force 1s to another level.

Satin 4-Coat helps protect and seal this design, so it can be enjoyed for a long time to come. Just cover the entire shoe to give it a consistent finish.

Check out Angelus Direct to find everything you need to create your own one of a kind pieces. To see more customs like these make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram and tag us in your own custom creations.

How Dillon DeJesus went from hobbyist to pro

(Sponsored Artist Dillon Dejesus using Angelus Direct Products)

How can an artist turn a side hustle customizing sneakers into a full-time job? Dillon DeJesus, of DeJesus Custom Footwear, has figured that out.

Customizing shoes started as a hobby for Dillon while studying architecture in college, but he quickly realized he wanted to do it full-time. "Anytime I was in class or working on architecture studio projects," he recalls, "all I could think about was getting back to painting shoes." After a year and a half, he left school to commit to customizing full-time.

Fortunately, it more than worked out, and Dillon has grown a devoted following through his customs and social media. He now has over 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and millions of views. In large part that has been through his tutorials, in which he creates the kind of teaching resources he wishes he'd had starting out. In his videos, he covers everything from DIY Air Force 1s to business advice for up-and-coming sneaker customizers.

Because he often works with Angelus Direct paints in his tutorials, teaming up with them as a sponsored artist was a natural partnership. "Dillon has been a crucial part of the learning experience for our customers," says Tyler Angelos, CEO of the Angelus Brand. "Working together with him has been fantastic for showing an honest, fun, and educational representation of our products." This partnership between customizer and paint company has helped both businesses grow.

(Sponsored Artist Dillon Dejesus with some of this custom sneakers)

Dillon recently started taking his tutorials in-person with the DCF Experience, a series of pop-up events. He knows how lonely the creative process can be, so he wanted to build a community where artists could meet and learn new techniques. He was excited to have Angelus Direct agree to donate their paint for these workshops. He says that Angelus Direct has "become synonymous with paint for sneakers, and it's been an honor to represent the brand. I enjoy having the opportunity to test out products early in the development stage and help new creators get their hands on high-quality products."

The partnership between customizer and paint company has helped both grow their businesses. For years Dillon has relied on products like Angelus Direct Duller to help give his sneakers that professional, factory look, making it one of his favorite products. Angelus Direct is always developing new products and Dillon now uses the new Matte-4 Coat for that perfect finish. “It's great that we have an even better, stronger finisher,” says Dillon.

Right now, Dillon is working on an upcoming shoe showcase at Galerie Sakura in Paris and is busy creating custom cleats for the current NFL season. "It's great to be able to use a product like Angelus, knowing it's going to give us a clean result that can even withstand getting beat up on an NFL field," says Dillon.

Get inspired by more artists on Angelus Directs Instagram or if you want to start creating your own custom items find everything you need at AngelusDirect.com.

Crazy customs

Again and again, artists prove that if you can dream it, you can customize it. Some of our favorite artists are getting creative not just with their designs, but with what they are customizing. It can be as big as a couch or as small as a pebble, but these customs prove that with the right creativity the impact can be just as great.

Anything is possible with the right paint supplies. Check out the latest customs that use Angelus Paints to make their visions come to life.

Sunset Stone

(source: @thewickedenchantment)

Sponsored Artist @thewickedenchantment shows that you can take something small and turn it into a work of art. This hand-painted stone takes inspiration from nature in both its design and color palette. Silhouettes of mountains and trees in shades of green are set against a geometric sunset that shifts from red to yellow. This custom proves you don't need a huge canvas or expensive sneakers to create something that's both beautiful and meaningful.

Geometric Leather Couch

(source: @etkemner)

If you are looking for inspiration when it comes to customizing something on a larger scale look no further than this hand-painted couch by @etkemner. Leather furniture can be a great candidate for upcycling. Leather is a durable material that can last for years, but sometimes stains or regular wear can leave it looking dated.

Here @etkemner turned the entire couch into her canvas and covered it with a green, blue and gold geometric design. Take a tip from her and try working in squares. Breaking a large piece like this into discrete sections makes this couch easier to tackle.

Tropical Motorcycle Helmet

(source: @alexandrazlkn)

There are times when a design is so intricate you want to keep everything else simple. That's certainly the case with this custom motorcycle helmet in Flat Black. Clean lines and stipple shading in all black on an off-white background give this design maximum impact. A diamond shape contains this tropical scene of palm trees, waves, and sunsets. Keeping it all one color helps keep all the details of this custom from getting lost.

Drip KAWS Bearbrick

(source: @jsm_801_customs)

For a more abstract look, get in on the drip art trend like @jsm_801_customs. He took an all-white Bearbrick figure by KAWS and transformed it with this colorful drip effect. This style of painting and bright colors make a perfect addition to this classic, Pop Art piece.

While the look is all about the unpredictability of the paint, control the color palette by using as few or as many colors as you want. You can use color combinations to create contrast, such as neons and darker tones like @jsm_801_customs did here, or stick with paints in a similar family, like pastels. Dripping paint allows you to play with paint in a totally different way and creates a one-of-a-kind look.

Try customizing something unexpected and check out Angelus Direct for all your customs needs. Be sure to follow Angelus Styles on Instagram for the latest, one-of-a-kind customs.