Sophomore Emily Clymer picks up designing custom shoes


Photo By: Alexandra Villanueva

Sophomore Emily Clymer has her own business in designing shoes. She buys blank shoes and designs them in ways that her clients want.

Creativity takes form in many ways for artists. Their style may come through the medium, colors, or topic. 

For sophomore Emily Clymer, she takes her art onto an unordinary type of canvas: shoes.

“I love shoes and I hated when my white shoes would get dirty and I could not clean them to be white anymore. That’s actually how I got started,” Clymer said.

Born from frustration and inspiration, Clymer started to paint shoes with advice from her uncle.

“He does a lot of great art so he started doing my shoes, but he worked a lot. So, I had about half of one shoe finished,” Clymer said. “I didn’t wanna bug him so I tried to do it on my own.”

Thinking her masterpiece was a beautiful fluke, Clymer took a break from her artwork. That was until her brother’s birthday gave her the motivation to keep working.

“My mom was gonna buy some ‘Toy Story’ themed shoes for him but they were about $50. I thought that was expensive, so I bought a [blank] pair and just tried and they came out better than anyone expected,” Clymer said.

Once her family saw her talent, Clymer was immediately asked to make them each a pair.

“My family went to the store and bought about eight pairs for me to do for them,” Clymer said.

With her family’s belief in her, she began to accept orders from friends as well. For each pair of shoes she made, her hobby turned into a passion.

“I’ve made about 10-15 pairs so far. But my favorite is a pair of Space Jam themed ones,” Clymer said.

Any form of art takes patience and dedication and Clymer tests her abilities with every new order.

“The process for me is different from others I think. I procrastinate and have a million different ideas. They have a variety of shapes and styles so it was a real test,” Clymer said. “A big thing for me is not copying or using someone else’s design because it takes a lot of effort and work.”

Every idea is different and specific to whoever is the recipient of the final product. And Clymer draws her inspiration from wherever she can.

“I usually will see a brand or movie or show and that is how it begins. From there, I will take anywhere from 5-15 photos and try to arrange them to make a design of my own,” Clymer said.

Each step in the process must be done carefully and with a keen eye so that no mistakes are made. But nothing can be perfect all the time.

“[This] is the hardest part because I am a perfectionist and I then have to work around it or try to cover it without globing paint on too. But sometimes that mistake just becomes part of the shoe or sparks a new idea,” Clymer said.

Clymer is a self-sufficient artist and gets her supplies from the profit of an order. However, the pricing of a design can be difficult to decide.

“I think I will always struggle with determining the price. I don’t want to overcharge but I still need supplies and I put my effort and time into the shoe,” Clymer said.

While Clymer is proud of each creation, she is unsure if she plans to go on with this later in her life.

“I would hope to be able to grow and become better and continue,” Clymer said. “ If anything I hope I continue this, even if it is just as a hobby.”

Full of pride for her beautiful work, Clymer is considering creating a social media to allow people to order from there. For now, she will continue to sell through text and work diligently on new designs.


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