Brooklyn based artist, Jake Messing is the man responsible behind the artwork found at Sneakerprints. Yesterday we got the chance to visit his home and studio to talk about his work on Sneakerprints, other projects, personal collection and future plans. Check out some of his kicks and full interview after the jump…
Solesirius: So how did Sneakerprints get it start?
Jake Messing: So basically i was working with NSB.org as a moderator, i had my own shop on there so i always had a general interest in sneakers so eventually since i did art for a living the idea came to do art dedicated to sneakerheads. I felt like the sneakers themselves where art so that sort of brought out how i do these things, just the sneaker realistically portrayed and trying to get those details that all sneakerheads appreciate, like the croc skin on the Tiffany SB. So [at the beginning] i was doing them by hand, stenciling each one and basically i couldn’t meet orders so eventually that lead to doing one really good hand painted original and printing from there.
SS: So would you say you’re a sneakerhead?
JM: Oh absolutely, if you look into my room right now you’ll see a hundred boxes. A lot of the sneakers that i paint are pairs that i have, like the Freddy Krueger SB Dunk low, which i got by luck. I knew a guy in China who had like 12 pairs in a garbage bag.
SS: How do you get into sneakers?
JM: Skating really, i would be skating and seeing Nike SB and asking people “Oh where’d you get those” and getting answers like “i don’t know maybe Ebay”, you know what i’m saying everyone sort of had their story so it became more and more elusive and i just became more interested in them. Some of my first pairs where from the silver and pink box [era] that i sort of skated to the ground, like a pair of send helps that i had my toe sticking out of.
SS: What would you say is your favorite pair if you had to pick one.
JM: That’s a good question. I don’t know, out of my collection that i own right now probably Freddy’s i mean a lot of the ones i was painting first, like the Freddy’s and Flashes and Tiffanies. I mean SB’s and Jordans pretty much is another thing i would say, i like a lot of different sneakers and different companies, but Nike SB and Jordan have made some of the best. If you want to talk about favorite shoe, right now for skating it would have to be the Janoski. I think it says a lot when the whole team [Nike SB] is skating it.
SS: Have you ever thought about possibly trying to collaborate with brands like Nike SB or New Balance etc.
JM: Yea absolutely i’d love to do it, i’m of the mid that they’re probably gonna come to me instead of me go to them. Yea, the way i’m looking at it is hopefully building this to a whole gallery show that will be a sneakers as art or the art of sneakers sort of show, and have really big 3 foot by 4 foot paintings of classic Jordans and just a whole variety, have the originals on display and prints for sale.
SS: What would you say are your best selling prints?
JM: The Jordans do good, i mean everything new does pretty well. I’ve become a little bit more contemplative about it, just from learning from things. You look at a shoe like the Sea Crystal [SB Dunk], and i’ve sold a few of those, but the Sea Crystal will never do as well as something like the Freddy. A lot of the People who are buying these are people who couldn’t get them, do own the shoe or just have a real interest.