IDYSM: Hey Pins, to get things started, please tell us a bit about yourself, and what you do.
PINS: Yes mate. I’m a London based Artist who loves tea, donuts and sneakers. I like to stretch my creativity through various means including Graphic Design, Fine Art, Surface Design, and dabble in Street Art. My philosophy is Progress, Inspire, Network and Succeed under you own terms, it’s also an acronym for PINS, pretty cool right! In addition to my creative work, I deliver creative therapy to various schools and youth centres across London, providing my expertise and knowledge for the benefit of young people to actively express themselves creatively.
IDYSM: What’s the inspiration behind your work?
PINS: Everything and anything! To be more specific, my Mum, for my work ethic, Salvador Dali / Andy Warhol / Picasso as key influences, and my love of London, donuts, sneakers and tea.
IDYSM: How, when and why did you start to use kicks as a canvas to work on?
PINS: I started using kicks as a canvas for my designs back in 2005 when I was on my kicks customisation hustle. After a couple years customising for other people, I switched it up, and decided I’d only design onto shoes for collectible / art purposes as oppose to wearing them, as I found a big chunk of the hardcore sneakerheads hardly wore any of there dopest kicks and just collected them, similar to art collectors, so wanted to represent kicks on a more artistic platform.
IDYSM: What shoes are your chosen canvas and why?
PINS: Nike Air Max ones’ mainly, a couple years ago, as they meant more to me than just a shoe. They were more like a work of art, on an aesthetic level, just so clean and so London.
IDYSM: How do the purists take to what you do – do they see your Pop Art meets Surrealism style enhancing silhouettes that they already see as a work of art?
PINS: Possibly, but then I only really create what I think is dope, if people like it, cool, if not, oh well.
IDYSM: Your involvement with the sneaker scene goes way beyond art – what is Crepe City? (and where did the name come from?)
PINS: Crepe City, nothing to do with them delishhh sweet pancakes, (although the ‘sweet factor’ is similar) as in ‘Crepe’ meaning fresh kicks, more a London thing, like ‘them some fresh crepes right there bruv’, exists to support the UK sneaker community.
The main members of the CC unit are Ronal, Paul, Victor and Kade, proper nice guys! They’ve run six festivals since 2008 which has continued to grow year on year attracting the best collectors and most exclusive shoes…it’s been great being with them from the early stages and seeing the progression! Check out their site for more info: http://www.crepe-city.co.uk/
IDYSM: Where is the sneaker scene at in London for you right now?
PINS: At a real healthy place! It’s almost like London is catching up with sneaker hype similar to the US, can only get bigger!
IDYSM: Surely Nike and other brands are banging down your door to work on a collab together
PINS: All I can say to that is, you cant rush a dope thing…
IDYSM: Where do you go from here, what does the future hold?
PINS: Well, I’ve got a list which seems to grow on a daily basis of things to do, ideas to knock out etc etc, so will continue putting out as much creative content as possible and see where that takes me…no plan, just BLAM!
IDYSM: If you had to give one up what would it be; Krispy Kreme or kicks?
PINS: Krispy Kreme…without Kicks, I can’t breathe (Air Max)
IDYSM: And, I have to ask…what’s on your feet right now?
PINS: Some fresh white, Primani socks…but if you mean what kicks did I just have on…INFRARED AIR MAX 90s!
A huge thanks to Pins for his time, his words and his images. To check out more of Pins’ amazing work go to www.pinspired.com, and follow him on Instagram @PINS_ARTIST