Alumna grows painting business, follows artistic passions

Grace Feldbush, Social Media/Event Coordinator

    Alumna Paige Clark has started up her own shoe painting business which you can find on Instagram @painteddbypaige.  

    Clark says her dad and Mrs. Lisa Campbell got her into painting from a young age. Campbell helped Clark express herself through art from the elementary school age and always supported her creative process.  

    “My dad was a carpenter so I helped him paint walls and also painted pinewood derby cars when my brothers were in scouts,” Clark says.  

    Clark made her first pair of painted vans her sophomore year of high school. “I had a pair of old beat-up white vans and wanted to give them new life, so I decided to paint them,” she said.  

    “When someone asks me to paint shoes the first thing I do is to sketch on the app Procreate on my iPad to figure out the color scheme and layout,” Clark said. She explains after she does that she does a rough sketch on tissue paper to get the outlines down to keep her proportions correct.  

    Clark says she goes in with large color blocking, then smaller details, and then bounces around the inner and outer panels once the outlines are done to give her a break from getting stuck in a loop.  

    “After I did my first pair, I had a friend reach out asking for me to do a pair for her and once I posted those on Snapchat somebody else asked me to do a pair,” Clark says. She explains once she made an Instagram account and told everyone she was taking commissions, her business took off.  

    She explains being in college, working, and playing a sport has made her do about one to two pairs a month since she just does not have the time for more.  

    Clark says it is a self-run business and part of the reason she keeps it that way is because it is hard to maintain style with a partner. “I also want to personally ensure perfection, my boyfriend drops off shoes to customers sometimes but that is the only help I have,” she says.  

    “I have messed up shoes multiple times because it is human nature, but this is why I plan so much before I start on the shoes to ensure minimal mistakes,” Clark said. She explains fixing the mistakes she makes is like tattoo coverups because it is difficult but possible.  

    Clark says her favorite pairs to paint have been collegiate shoes because she loves helping others celebrate their acceptance to their dream school. She says she paints everything from T-shirts, canvases, flags, crocs, and even jeans. 

    “I have thought about ending my business often, but I never go through with it because I enjoy it so much and it is something I do not think I will ever be able to let go,” Clark says. She explains painting is a way for her to relax and unwind and to take her mind off things that stress her out.  

    “My parents, my boyfriend, and my boyfriend’s dad are some of my biggest supporters for my business as well as some customers who have ordered five or more times,” Clark says. She wants everyone to know following dreams is not easy but it is possible.