A YOUNG ARTIST

M  Y     J  O  U  R  N  E  Y     A  S

BY JADE LAWLESS

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THROUGHOUT MY CHILDHOOD,  I HAD ALWAYS RESERVED A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART FOR CREATIVITY.

I grew up in a smaller town slightly east of the Seattle area in Washington. Both of my parents were professional musicians. I had taken music & dance lessons up until high school. I did pretty decent in my early years of education. However when I began middle school, I began to struggle; Especially being diagnosed with A.D.D. at a young age. I was always on the verge of failing classes and constantly turned in late assignments. The only time I showed interest in my education were if I had been assigned a fun artsy project that would stimulate my creativity and imagination.

ENTERING HIGH SCHOOL IN A HANDS ON EDUCATION PROGRAM, I DECIDED TO PURSUE MY INTEREST IN THE ARTS.

During school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we were given the opportunity to replace the regular school day with shadowing a mentor in a real world job position. By the age of 14, I ended up shadowing the executive director at my local non-profit art gallery & studio, where I had also taken my first art classes back in middle school. During the mentorship, I had begun to expand my knowledge on the logistics of running a smaller scale business, and was inspired by the loads of artists & their work displayed in the gallery.

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AROUND A YEAR LATER, I FIRST LEARNED ABOUT CUSTOM SNEAKERS AND DECIDED TO MAKE A PAIR OF MY OWN.

I was extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to go backstage at rapper Juice WRLD’s Seattle tour stop, so I wanted to make sure the outfit I wore was flawless; Let’s just say this pair of customs was my worst by far. Not only was I using a 5 year old heavily worn pair of black vans with a hole in the toe, but I also had no idea that leather paints existed- so I used plain acrylic paint meant for canvas use. After I was done painting them, they instantly started to crease and crack. Though this project was a miserable fail, I decided to investigate deeper into learning the process of how to properly customize shoes. Later on, I made a smart decision to invest in a new pair of shoes, and I painted a personal pair of Travis Scott slip on vans. This led to two of my close friends each lending me a pair of sneakers to practice customizing on. I started posting the process of making the customs to platforms such as Instagram & tik tok. From there, I started to build up practice and had begun to grow my clientele through mutuals of mine & my social media platforms.

TO THIS DAY, I AM CONTINUING TO GROW MY CLIENTELE & CREATE CUSTOM PROJECTS FROM MY IN HOME STUDIO!

While this pandemic has taken a large and unfortunate toll on the world we currently live in, I am lucky enough to be able to work from home under the restrictions & focus the majority of this free time fulfilling orders. Whenever I’m not working on school or spending time with close friends and family, I am working on custom projects & figuring out new ways in which I can expand my artistry! If you’d like to see what projects I am currently working on, you can visit my instagram page at @jadelawless, or my tik tok at @jademlawless.