Steph Morris Turns Sneakers into Art

We caught up with Steph Morris who gave us a full breakdown of her love of trainers and artwork journey!

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Originally, I studied Graphic Design at Uni but found it a struggle. I felt lost with the course and at one point was close to dropping out, yet was persuaded by a tutor to try the Illustration pathway as I was more of a ‘doodler’. I instantly felt like I connected more to the work I was doing. I gradually spent more time drawing trying to improve every day. I didn’t have a goal or even know what I wanted to do after my degree but knew that I had found something I loved which gave me so much comfort. Fast forward five years and here I am!

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I’ve always been into trainers since I was a kid, so it was just a natural subject for me when starting out illustrating. I had no idea that people would enjoy them so much as initially I just drew pieces to go on my bedroom wall. The Nike Cortez was where my journey of illustrating footwear began and it has massively snowballed since then.

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I think trainers are just something I held onto from my childhood. I was never buying magazines or make-up like all the others girls at my school, my pocket money went on trainers. The Reebok Classic was the first pair I ever bought with my own money and I wore them to death. Last year I was lucky enough to meet Joe Foster and his lovely wife. It was very surreal… I found myself chatting over a hot chocolate in Bolton’s Market Place with the founder of Reebok. Joe spoke about how the original Reebok Classic Leather came to be and I listened like an excitable child to his stories of where the brand came from. It was a ‘pinch me’ moment for sure. 

My trainer collection has toned down a lot over the past few years - ask my parents! They used to shake their head at me for coming home with more pairs when I already had too many to wear. I loved my trainer collection though. I’d usually only realise it was a bit of an issue when it came to moving… but to visit my apartment now would give it away. I’ve got trainers stored under my bed, under the sofa, in the utility room and in the wardrobe. Anywhere I can fit them.

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STEPH'S TIPS AND TRICKS AND LIFE AT ADIDAS EQT

The secret to a lifelike trainer drawing: the lame but true answer is a sharp pencil. People ask me all the time what magic trick I use but it’s simple in the fact that a sharp pencil allows you to capture so much more detail. After a days work, it’s pretty standard that I will have filled up 3 mugs full of pencil shavings. I dread to think of how much money I’ve spent on pencil sharpeners the past few months. I’d also say time. I can spend anywhere up to 100 hours on a piece but that’s because I put so much into it detail wise, I don’t leave anything out. 

 

I had so much fun at the Creator Studio! I was invited by adidas to spend the week there working on a new piece paying homage to the EQT. Creatives worked in an open space & people could visit the exhibition space and chat to you about the process and see your work up close. It was a really cool experience and I got to meet some very talented people. adidas are always great to work with. 

 

How I obtained opportunities from my drawings: Mainly just hard work for the past three years. Even when I was working full-time I’d get home at 6pm and draw until stupid o’clock because I couldn’t let go of my dream. As soon as I put everything into my illustration the opportunities started coming. Instagram played a big role in exposure and is a good platform for anyone pursuing art (not so much now with the algorithms!). I’d say my favourite opportunity is probably travelling to NYC with Reebok and drawing live at Future’s pop-up store for the launch of the InstaPump Fury. Incredible experience!

 

I’ve plans to showcase work next year but right now I’m just focusing on current projects and the direction I want to go in. Next year is going to be a busy year for me, so keep your eyes peeled!

Find Steph's work here

or check out her Instagram!

All images in this article have been drawn by Steph Morris