Stepping in style

Joanna Garcia transforms sneakers into something unique

Ever since she was a toddler, Joanna Garcia has loved to draw and create.

create — Graphic design student Joanna Garcia uses her talents to paint one-of-a-kind shoes. Photo provided

Create — Graphic design student Joanna Garcia uses her talents to paint one-of-a-kind shoes. Photo provided

“I started as early as three, I think,” Garcia said. “It started with green stick people drawn on the kitchen wall behind the table. My family didn’t find them until we moved.”

Garcia has come a long way from drawing stick people. She is now a junior in Liberty University’s Studio and Digital
Arts program.

“I’ve always wanted to pursue art, but I wanted to go to a college or institute that upheld the same morals and beliefs,” Garcia said.
That is why she chose to study at Liberty.

But Garcia has taken her art to a whole new level. Instead of restricting herself to sitting behind an easel, she has found a new
canvas — shoes.


“My first pair was for a guy at my church who asked me to do Calvin and Hobbes shoes,” Garcia said. “He ordered the Vans, and I just went from there, kind of a trial and error process.”

Garcia said she completed four pairs of shoes for clients this summer and is currently working on two more pairs. Her designs have ranged from Tinker Bell to
Nacho Libre.

According to Garcia, those who receive their shoes are always excited to see the finished product. The bland, white sneakers that they dropped off are now splashed with color and feature a bright, playful scene. However, there are usually some concerns about the durability of the shoes.

“I wouldn’t wear them in a tsunami or anything, but I do put varnish on them, so that gives them somewhat of a waterproof protective coat,” Garcia said.
Though she has painted for others, Garcia still has not designed a pair of shoes for herself. She said she cannot make up her mind.

The cost for Garcia’s shoe designs begins at $55. Clients can provide pictures or something that inspires them, and Garcia will paint a scene
based off those items.

As she looks past college, Garcia said she would love a career illustrating children’s books or starting a clothing line that supports missionaries or a Christian organization.

But no matter what successes come her way, Garcia said it is important to always use art “for God’s glory.”

To see more of Garcia’s artwork or to learn more about shoe designs, visit her Facebook page at

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