ODESSA, Texas (AP) — Johnny Salgado constantly has artwork on his mind.
The Odessa American reports the 37-year-old from Stanton began drawing regularly when he was a sixth-grader, started to tattoo his friends at 16 and about five years ago helped opened the tattoo parlor Bloodline Ink in Odessa.
A majority of Salgado's artistic expression has been in the avenue of tattoos for more than 20 years.
However, for the last three months, Salgado exercised another venue for artistic creation when he started Candy Drip Kustomz. Salgado paints one-of-a-kind artwork on shoes.
Salgado detailed that he has painted 13 pair of shoes during the last three months. He said he spent three days watching every YouTube video he could about how to paint shoes from start to finish. Salgado said he spent $1,200 on supplies.
Candy Drip Kustomz has painted everything from cartoon characters to rappers to professional athletes. Salgado said he maintains full creative control.
"A lot of the techniques I use with this coming from tattooing," he said. "I've done this before, but I've never done this before. Before this, I never used an airbrush. I pretty much just figured it out. The technique is there I just needed to figure out how to use the airbrush."
A majority of the shoes that Salgado paints are Nike Air Force 1 High's due to the large area for a graphic.
The shoes Salgado wears are detailed with Super Mario and Yoshii. Salgado admitted when he started painting shoes that he focused on two-dimensional objects as he became more experienced with an airbrush. Graphics Salgado crafted at the beginning of his shoe painting career were the Simpsons, Nickelodeon characters, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Chester Cheetah and Lion King.
"The first pairs I did the images were flat," Salgado said. "There wasn't any shading or depth."
Snoop Dogg, Nipsey Hussle, Tupac, Biggie, Pennywise and Freddy Krueger joined Salgado's collection after he learned more shading techniques with an airbrush.
"Now I can airbrush depth into it," Salgado said. "There's more contrast. It pops more. It pops out more."
Salgado recently finished a pair of shoes that feature Dallas Cowboys superstars Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. The shoes of Biggie he made for rapper T-Rell.
During a recent Localpalooza hosted by Fresco, Salgado displayed multiple shoes. He interacted with people about his completed shoes. Salgado had previously planned on finishing his scary movie set of shoes and paint Jason from Friday the 13th.
However, due to windy conditions, he didn't want the grass to blow up into the shoe as he was painting. He already finished one of the two scary movie shoes, which was Freddy Krueger.
"I'll have a couple of shoes there that I've been selling, but it's more for marketing and promotion," Salgado said about attending Localpalooza.
Salgado said a pair shoes can take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours. The shoes that feature the two Cowboys took about 20 hours, Salgado said, due to the detail of the players and the Louis Vuitton logo scattered throughout.
Each pair of shoes can vary in price with most being around $350 which doesn't include the cost of the shoe. A pair of Nike Air Force 1 High's is priced around $100. He said he wants to auction off those Cowboy shoes with a starting price of $500.
"I'm trying to get to that point where I have financial freedom and I have passive income," Salgado said. "I'm use this to invest in other things. This isn't going to be around forever. I'm going to rely on just tattooing, but I want to keep it artsy."
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Information from: Odessa American, http://www.oaoa.com