NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A self-taught Brooklyn artist turned a small sneaker design company into contemporary painting fame. The sneaker success has even grabbed the attention of prominent celebrities and athletes.
Tiffany B. Chanel says it all started with what was on her feet six years ago.
“I needed gold sneakers and I was looking everywhere for them,” she said. “I couldn’t find them.”
She decided to make a pair herself, and those gold Converses now hang as a piece of art in her Bed-Stuy studio. Before going on display, they were a showstopper.
Chanel says strangers came up to her and asked her to paint their sneakers.
“Slowly I started building clients and I started a business,” she said.
She’d soon design more than 150 pairs. Clients now ship her shoes, and she gets straight to work.
“You are walking with my art, walking with my personality,” Chanel said.
She took to social media, posting photos that quickly got her recognition from NBA star and former-Knick Iman Shumpert.
“He ships me about four pairs of Adidas shell tops and, I have never created on shell tops but I took the challenge,” Chanel said.
Shumpert wore a pair to Fashion Week, and Tiffany became an instant success. She’s gone on to paint incredible artwork on canvas for clients.
“It’s like, I know you’re a good person, but I am going to make you a great person somehow on canvas with color,” she said.
Tiffany began getting approached by nonprofit art organizations and soon her work started popping up throughout the city, including two bus stops in Harlem, Mount Sinai Hospital, and in various restaurants.
Her mom insists it was never her plan to begin with.
“It’s just amazing because she hasn’t been in any art school at all,” Nancy Baldwin says.
Tiffany did go to school, but she studied sociology and business. Instead of hanging those degrees on her wall, she says she’d much rather show off her artwork.
For more information on Tiffany and her artwork, head over to her website.