Today we’d like to introduce you to Cory Johnson.
Cory, before we jump into specific questions about your art, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve never considered myself an artist. Growing up, I’ve always been able to draw moderately, but I hadn’t picked up a sketchbook since middle school and I certainly never used a paintbrush before. In recent years, I’ve always wanted a business to call mine but had yet to find the right niche.
Two years ago, I was going down the “rabbit hole” of YouTube (watching random videos), when I came across a shoe customization video. I became infatuated with the art and I knew I found the right business for me. The cost to get started was low and the learning curve was manageable. I immediately went out and bought acrylic leather paint, a pack of paintbrushes, some Converse shoes for my son (my first “customer”) and dove headfirst into the customization world. Fast forward to today and I’ve been customizing shoes for almost two years now. I absolutely love the process, the challenge, and the gratification from creating art using shoes as my canvas. I’ve never considered myself an artist – until now.
Has it been a smooth road?
Any business worth having will have a few road bumps along the way, of course. As a first-timer, I had to learn how to paint, including the nuances of airbrushing. Keeping a steady hand and figuring out the right mix of colors/additives was also a challenge in the beginning. If I messed up painting, I had to do my best to remove it from the shoe or use some “creative thinking” to cover it.
When I struggle with something new, I remind myself that my business does not involve building rockets or managing multibillion-dollar investments, so I have no excuse to give up. I look forward to the struggle, for I know the only thing that remains afterwards is growth.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
I am an artist by name of Custom CoJo and my business is creating hand-painted works of art on all types of footwear – sneakers, cleats, boots, and more. I strive to be a diverse artist with no limitations on what I can create, a real jack-of-all-trades. I provide clients with a variety of artwork possibilities from cartoons to portraits, or appealing color combinations you simply can’t find in-store. The best part about this business is working with customers, bringing their concept to reality, and ultimately delivering artwork they will cherish forever.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
My orders come from all over the world, but the outpouring of local support in Dallas is amazing. I believe the artistic community here is on the rise for both artists and consumers, so it’s a great city to start in before branching out. Creating more local events in Dallas to network or connect like-minded individuals and industries would help to propel local businesses like mine forward.
- Email: CustomCoJo@gmail.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/CustomCoJo