keep on steppin’

Nike size 5.5Y

Right, it’s been a while since I posted my son’s footwear. These feet keep growing, and I keep drawing them. I’ve drawn every single one of his shoes in his life, though I’m still only halfway through ‘volume 2’ (the first volume having been very small black and white drawings in a tiny moleskine cahier sketchbook, a decision I made when the shoes themselves were tiny and I wasn’t really drawing shoes much; I did a few in colour on larger paper for a show, and when we got to volume 2 I started just drawing them properly in colour, at which point he started wearing almost exclusively black or dark blue shoes. Thankfully, these ones have a little bit of colour, though not as much as the old Lightning McQueen or Captain America shoes from the very young days. Actually looking back at the Flickr album, I realize there are quite a lot of shoes I have previously scanned which aren’t uploaded there. To be a completist I should put them in. Anyway, this was a fun way of showing his growth and journaling something of his during his life. When they are toddlers this is such a nice family record, as he turns into a teenager this will become something I do maybe before he starts wearing the shoes (or wear a peg on my nose) (I was a teenager with very stinky shoes) (let’s not talk about my adult shoes), and if I’m still doing this when he’s like 45 then maybe it’ll be time to stop. But anyway, the ones above are the newest, barely worn, mostly because we’ve barely left the house. In go-to-school times shoes wore down much more quickly. He likes Nike shoes, like I love wearing Adidas shoes.

Under Armour shoes size 5Y

These ones are a bit older, as you can see from the dates, although he only just stopped wearing the ones above, and will probably need to replace the ones below. The grey Under Armour ones above are nice, but I have to tell you, in real life they look longer. I’ve definitely drawn them too compressed. This is as a result of using a square shaped book for the drawings, which was another mistake, going back to when the shoes were small enough to fit easily on a small square page. I need to start drawing them diagonally, or start going over two pages. These feet are getting bigger. I have the real shoes right next to me here (much cleaner than they would be in a non-pandemic leave-the-house year). We like our Under Armour gear, they made some good Tottenham shirts (16/17 home kit is a classic), and I have this one UA hoodie which is my favourite piece of clothing, so comfortable. Below, his latest football boots, silver Nikes, worn during the 2020 Select season which was cut short a month after this by the Pandemic. This was drawn shortly after we came third in a tournament in San Jose, he scored a number of goals there in these shoes, everyone played really well, and I thought we could go on to win more medals, until the COVID came along and stopped all that. These days we are still playing as AYSO Alliance but it’s training only, no games and certainly no tournaments, not even scrimmages, and all practices are socially-distanced with strict COVID protocols, wearing masks, six feet apart, lots of shooting and passing, zero tackling or man-marking. So we’ll be brilliant at free kicks after all this, but not so great at defending. It’ll be like Kevin Keegan and Marcelo Bielsa mixed in with Ossie Ardiles circa 1994. I like how this shoe (cleat, they are called cleats here) turned out, I’m happy with this drawing. One of the last ones before the world went all topsy-turvy.

Nike football boots size 5Y

nike mercurial cleats

my son's soccer shoe
Continuing with the soccer theme, and the long-running story of drawing every single one of my son’s shoes since birth (it’s an interesting tale), this is my son’s current football boot (aka soccer cleat in the US), the Nike Mercurial. He likes his Nike shoes. I wear a lot of Adidas shoes personally, I like their fit, he really likes the feel of the Nikes. He plays a lot of soccer, his AYSO Select season just finished recently with the Davis World Cup and he is now doing various soccer camps this summer. I’ll be back coaching in the Fall season, I’m looking forward to all the practices and planning. Anyway, sketching your footwear is a good way to record your life. I recommend it, for those of you who are in the ‘I’m not sure what to draw’ mood (I get in that mood a lot these days). You spend a lot of your life in shoes, they literally carry your weight and all your experiences. Your soul in your soles. As my mum always said, make sure you buy a good bed and good shoes, ‘cos if you’re not in one you’re in the other.

the dark nike returns

Nike cleats
Still doing this. Drawing each of my son’s shoes / footwear in chronological order. These are the current Nikes, his football boots (aka ‘soccer cleats’ over here), which he wore throughout the AYSO Select Soccer Season (I was the coach, we were the Davis Spurs, he got a bunch of goals. Sadly we lost more games than we won, but we won quite a few, and it was fun). Those feet are getting bigger and bigger. I am on Volume 2 now of my project to draw my son’s shoes as he grows up. Volume 1 was all in black and white, which was a shame as they were more colourful. I decided that volume 2 would be in colour and, well, they have generally been less so.
Nike shoes

what’s it all a boot

adidas soccer shoes
My son’s football boots. Or soccer shoes, if you will; “cleats”, they like to call them here. He has been wearing these since the Fall 2015 season. Prior to this he wore lime green Diadoras. The trend these days as you of course know all too well is for highly colourful football boots, often with crazy psychedelic patterns on them, and sometimes with a different colour shoe on each foot. It was nice therefore that he decided to go for a fairly straightforward black pair, with blue laces. These get a good run out too. Also, he has scored in every single game he has worn them, so far (that’s twelve games in a row now). I am coaching AYSO again, for the fourth time; this season we are the Green Dragons.

Speaking of football, what about Leicester City eh! Yes, I was in the minority hoping they wouldn’t do it, only because my team, Spurs, were the only challengers towards the end, but even then we will end up pretty far behind them, probably in 2nd, but hopefully not in 3rd. I am well happy for them, and despite Spurs having an absolutely vintage season in many ways, we could never catch Leicester, and they won it in style. 5000-1 odds! In April last year they were still bottom, but managed to stay up. Of course, I predicted they’d win it this year ages ago. Actually, no I didn’t, I said, in my blog post about the new kits last August, “How will Leicester do this year? Well, they’ll either stay up (happy Lineker face) or they will go down (sad Lineker face).” Which is close. Villa as predicted were awful, and I got it right that Sunderland would stay up, but I also said Newcastle would as well, and they didn’t.

Coming up are the “Euros”, and if I get my act together I will produce another guide to all the kits, along with predictions. If you don’t really like hearing about football kits, by the way, and follow me on Twitter, especially if you aren’t too into someone getting really passionately annoyed about a group of men wearing red socks with white shorts and white tops (England I am looking at you) I might suggest unfollowing for the whole month of June, and then following again in mid July when I start talking about sketching again. I have some things to say about football kits. And don’t get me started on the fancy fluorescent footwear…

amazing! spectacular!

spiderman shoe
Latest of my son’s shoes. I have some more to scan from the black and white pen-drawing book which details them all in chronological order (and I will scan and post those soon), but I enjoy drawing them in colour in the “book of his things”. This is his Spider-man shoe. Well, Ultimate Spider-man – have you seen that cartoon? I just watched it the other day for the first time, it’s pretty good. As with many of his other themed shoes, this is made by Stride-Rite. Those feet they are growing…

bright green boots

diadora boot
My son’s first football boots. Or as they say here, ‘soccer shoes’. No, no they say ‘cleats’. It took me years to work out what ‘cleats’ meant. They are the studs. Anyway, my son has finally started playing football (soccer, cleatball, or whatever) and he loves it. These are his new (and very green) diadora boots, sketched in the S&B Alpha book.

Me, I am the referee. Refereeing under-six, three-a-side was very nerve-racking. I had my first game, twenty-minutes long, in which it actually rained (our first rain in months and months). It went ok. I need a stopwatch!

Football boots are so bright and colourful these days. When I was a kid they were all black, with a white logo (usually white; Roy of the Rovers I remember had a yellow Nike logo at some point). Then there’s the old brown leather boots; I think of that other strip in Roy, “Billy’s Boots”, with those ancient and possibly magical boots. (Good idea for a comic strip, “Pete’s Cleats”…) Speaking of Roy, I should go back and find all the old “You are the Ref” strips, though of course they have those in the Guardian now. Maybe I’ll learn something…

captain america shoe

captain america shoe

While this isn’t in the chronologically-accurate-no-shoe-left-behind book of all my son’s shoes ever (each being a black and white pen drawing), this is his current shoe, drawn in the Stillman and Birn ‘Alpha’ book I am using to draw several of his things in full technicolor. This is his ‘Captain America’ shoe, by Stride-Rite, latest in a series of themed shoes which are great fun to draw. I waited for it to be worn in a little. Super-heroes are GO! in this house, and that is as much me as him, naturally. Marvel, DC, we love ’em. Pow!

“i am a very famous racecar!”

lightning mcqueen shoe

Sometimes you just need to draw a shoe, and what a shoe! This is one of my son’s beloved Lightning McQueen shoes. It’s not drawn in the book which chronicles all of his shoes (those are in black and white), rather it’s in the Stillman & Birn Alpha book (which I’m using to draw his things in colour), and this merited colour. The heel has little lights embedded inside which flash when he walks. This whole drawing took me a couple of hours, while watching Spaced. It is a busy, trying week, this week, and sometimes you just need to sit back and draw a shoe.

nanodrawmo 2012 – part 1

Back in 2010 I heard about NaNoDrawMo – it’s a bit like the annual month-long writing challenge NaNoWriMo (in which you must write a 50,000 word novel in a month), but this is for drawing, fifty drawings, a drawing being worth etc etc. In that year I drew fifty fire hydrants (and other metal pipes that come out of the ground). You may recall I like drawing them. Last year I was drawing people, but it ultimately didn’t get finished. This year however I am doing a series based on the EDM ‘Every Day Matters’ challenges, with a twist – a little piece of freestyle unedited and possibly nonsensical (or the opposite) writing to go with it. Given how much I have to do these days I might be barmy doing this project (I am), and over this next month you will get to see just how barmy (very), so for the sake of being concise I’ll present them as they are on the pages of my book, in groups of ten.
If you can’t read the writing don’t worry, just look at the pictures. In fact, just look at the pictures anyway…
NaNoDrawMo 1-2

NaNoDrawMo 3-5

NaNoDrawMo 6-7

NaNoDrawMo 8-10

small steps, giant leaps

rocket shoe
Right now at the Pence Gallery in Davis is a great show called ‘If The Shoe Fits’, which is all about Shoes. I was invited to display some of my shoe drawings, and as some of you may remember I have been drawing every one of my son’s shoes since he started wearing them, all in one book. So I redrew some, this time with colour, on Stillman and Birn Gamma paper. Above is the first shoe he ever wore, at age zero, the Robeez rocket shoe.
van's shoe
Next one, the blue Van’s shoe. I liked these ones. This is from age one. By then of course he was walking and running.
age three shoe
Finally, a shoe from age three, in fact the first shoes he ever chose himself. He has good taste. These got a lot of wear, before the feet outgrew them.

All were drawn on that S&B Gamma paper in either copic multiliner or micron pigma pen, with watercolour added. If you want to see (or buy) these, and a lot of other great shoe art from some amazing artists, go down to the Pence Gallery on D Street in Davis.

Those feet just keep getting bigger and bigger…