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20 Questions with Shoe Designer Eric Lowry

Published September 19, 2018 by

Detroit-based artist Eric Lowry paints custom shoe designs for celebrities, big-name companies like Nike and Detroit brands like StockX. Learn about how he creates his detailed designs, exciting projects he’s worked on and his own personal style in 20 questions.

By Chelsie Dzbanski 

Featured photo by Sylvia Jarrus 

1. Can you share a bit about your professional background? I am a self-taught freelance artist. 

2. What inspired or prompted you to start painting sneakers? Collecting sneakers and always wanting something unique that everyone else did not have. 

Eric LowrySylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Eric Lowry works on a pair of shoes in his work space in Detroit. “I started in high school and it stuck with me I guess,” Lowry says.

3. What kind of paints, materials or mediums do you use to create your designs? I use leather paint so the designs stay and can be worn.

Eric LowrySylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Paints Lowry uses to design his shoes sit on his desk in his space in Detroit.

4. Where do you find inspiration for your designs? I find inspiration in colors, the city and daily experiences, fashion, outdoors/nature, marijuana, positivity and culture. 

5. Your designs are so detailed! Explain your design process from start to finish and how long it takes to paint one pair of shoes? When painting I usually just get in the zone and try to let the project absorb me so it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.  

Photo via Eric Lowry's Instagram

Before and after Pharrell x Adidas NMD Hu Trail blank canvas sneakers by Eric Lowry.

6. You have designed shoes for a variety of famous people, big-name companies and local Detroit brands. Can you share some of your favorite projects thus far? Too many to count. I’ve created shoes for Nike for March Madness, StockX, Dan Gilbert, Complex and the cast of the “Detroit” movie, cleats for the Detroit Lions and numerous other football players, and I recently worked with Stella McCartney for London Fashion Week.

Photo via Eric Lowry's Instagram

Cleats designed for NFL Detroit Lion’s player Marvin Jones Jr. in support of his cause City Year Detroit.

 7. Aside from painting custom shoe designs, do you create any other type of art? Yes, I create my own canvases. I recently had a solo art show at TYP Collection in Birmingham called “Outside the Box.” 

8. What types of shoes do you create custom designs for? I can paint any leather shoe. Some brands I usually paint designs on are Nike, Adidas, Jordans, Puma and other similar brands. 

9. Do you do paint custom designs for any other type of accessories or clothing? I can paint everything! Furniture, leather bags, luggage, wallets, jackets, footballs, basketballs — really anything I can get my hands on.

Photo via Eric Lowry's Instagram

Circle canvas painting by Eric Lowry.

10. Can you share any challenges you’ve experienced or had to overcome throughout your career path? Managing a retail business and finding the best workspace that fit me was one of the biggest challenges for me. 

11. How can customers get in touch with you about custom design work? They can email me at Elcappycustoms@gmail.com.

Photo via Eric Lowry's Instagram. Photography by 90pts.

Custom Yeezy’s by Eric Lowry.

12. What’s next for you? Any exciting projects in the works? I am currently working with Shinola on painting an exclusive friends and family selection of leather watch bands. 

Now on to your style…

13. Three words to describe your style? In the future. 

14. You can never leave home without… my keys. 

Eric LowrySylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Eric Lowry, 29, has painted shoes for clients like New York Jets football player Mike Pennel to brands like Nike, Puma and Adidas.

15. Your current favorite shoe brand? Checks over stripes. (Editors note: Lowry is referring to Nike over Adidas.) 

Eric LowrySylvia Jarrus/SEEN

Eric Lowry works on a pair of shoes in his work space in Detroit. He started custom painting shoes 10 years ago and has painted thousands of shoes since then.

16. Favorite pair of shoes you’ve designed? Too many to choose just one. 

Now on to your Local Love List…

17. Favorite local restaurant? Coney Island.

18. A few local boutiques or places you love to shop at around Metro Detroit? Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique, Nojo Kicks and Somerset

Photo via Burn Rubber Detroit's Instagram

19. What do you love about Detroit? The development and growth that has been occurring. 

And finally…

20. Favorite quote or words to live by? “F*** Yeah.” I write this on every shoe box. 

1 Comment

  • Kiala Ramsey
    September 20, 2018 at 12:04 PM

    Wow, what an amazing artist! He is very talented! I would definitely be interested in his designs .

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