Steven Cedre Jr. aka "Sole Junkie" claims the Bronx as his home, but it's Gallery 33 East in Long Beach that first caught eye of his work painting customized shoes. After being talked into posting his creations online, voila! SoleJunkie.com was built and is still going strong. GofG's Ned Hepburn caught up with Steven at an event Nike was hosting a couple of weeks ago in L.A. Read the full interview below...
I thought your story was really cool... could you repeat the story about the slipped disc and painting your first shoe on your chest?
My story started when I came home one day and was in my suit and tie, tired and decided to chill on the floor in my sons room. He was jumping on his bed and fell off of it. He landed on my head and It was pushed forward and down to the left. That's when I heard a pop sound and discovered that I can scream! If there ever were a day when pain can make you SHART...that was it. Lol
Well I was immobile and going back and forth to the docs office. This lasted for weeks and so I couldn't work...lost the job, medical and eventually my home. But while I was down my bros in NY told me some kids were making money airbrushing on shoes as people came out the sneaker spots. So I researched and tried it. Put it on myspace for them to see....and the rest is history.
The most LA pair would have to be some Kobe AF1s...people took a real liking to them. They are in my book. They are black and white, have his portrait on the back panels with yellow swoosh. On the lace guard and the toe box ...I textured the leather to simulate croc skin. I liked those damn shoes...lol
What would you say to anyone wishing to start out doing what you're doing?
To any aspiring sneaker artists...make sure your heart and inspiration are in the right place before you start. There aren't too many secrets so hard work and time will get you skill and eventually recognition. Practice, practice, practice.