The latest dabblings: GEAR!

  My last post for the year & I figured I'd put up some designs I had in mind for various clothing items. If it's not obvious by now, I've been a long time Adidas head. I've always considered their track jackets to be one of the classical iconic articles of clothing. Sadly, as of late, their gear hasn't been living up to these expectations (at least in my opinion).

  The recent launch of the Jeremy Scott items have left me with the confused look on my face. I find it funny in some ways because I recently watched Back to the Future 2 and there's the scene where Marty is escaping Griff Tannen's & his thugs. I happened to look at the gear and damn if it doesn't look just like the stuff that is being marketed now. I thought it looked silly back then & I feel the same way about it now. I'm all for going new directions and exploring new territory, but the stuff that is coming out of the JS/Adidas camp now is just damn goofy. Even for the new pro geek generation. I think the animal hats coming out of Japan are more fashionable than what they are coming out with. This is me being an honest fan. The same could be said for the Star Wars line. I hate to say it, but I think Ecko did a much better job pushing the Star Wars gear than Adidas did.

  Anyhow, I'm putting up a few concepts I had for track jackets & T shirts. Rough concepts, but concepts none the less. There are also track pants and sneaker concepts that I've worked on as well, but I'm saving them for the complete January post. Anybody out there that happens to look them over, I'd love some feedback. Safe & happy holidays to all. *Naturally, the disclaimer is that the designs are done by me Che Barron & I have no current working relationship with Adidas. Adidas is trademarked by Adidas AG. I do not seek to illegally manufacture our violate their trademark, blah, blah, blah. It's concept art. That is all.

Click to enlarge


Digging through the archives... The Teletubbies Venture...

I think back to how many pairs of custom sneakers I've done and I've totally lost count. I'm honestly well over the 200 mark that much I know. I do a bi monthly "wade through the water" of my design files to trim the fat and get rid of duplicate or old files I no longer need & 9 times out of ten I stumble across an old design or photo I forgot about. It usually goes about this way when I'm organizing something for a client to show and after it's done it goes back to my hard drive for the archives. This go around I'm showcasing more custom work my old crew and I did for the 10th anniversary of the Teletubbies.

 Photos basically show the progression of how things came to be. It started with the pair of Brainy Blings I did. I did these sneakers on a whim. I though it would be funny to do a pair of Pinky & the Brain sneakers with a hip hop flair, So I fitted The Brain with a track jacket and a fresh pair of Swarovski crystal designed grills.  This in turn led my then partner in crime Rival LV to come up with his own pair & influence... this led to his themed Oscar the Grouch and Grungetta "Trashy to Classy". These 2 pairs were our "frontrunners" for display when the crew (Then known as the Dassler Rebellion to then turn to Rebellion Customs) went out to Las Vegas to see about networking. The shoes caught the attention of a PR rep for Ragdoll LLC (Stacy) and she came to us with the proposition of doing some customs for the 10th Anniversary of the Teletubbies in conduction with a charity event for Cure Autism Now. Once back on the left coast the crew and I set about doing concept mock ups for the event with some of the images they provided as well as going off our own creative juice. We knocked it out with quality and creativity (Skrybe, Rival LV & Dave Mass, the extra men on the team) and showcased them in Philly as well as at the event in downtown Manhattan. I still have my La La antenna... *click on images to enlarge the pics. 
The Brainy Bling... Still one of my favorite pairs...
I gave the Brain the "Bishop Don Juan" look on the inset. 
The Trashy to Classy's by Rival LV
Still one of my favorite pairs designed 
Who doesn't love Oscar the Grouch?

The concepts we came up with & the design crew with our Ragdoll contact Stacy. 

The crew with the Teletubbies Actors. 

Yucking it up with the Dipsy. 

Po and La La out of costume

The Tinky Winky Customs by Skrybe
The display at the store. The La La's sold so fast I didn't even get a pic of them. 

As the night drew on the alcohol made us look dumber.

MrTroy & I worse for wear
A class all our own

This became our flagship sneaker under the Rebellion Customs handle concept by Skrybe

Displays from the Philly Event 

I stuck with the Homegrown Westbrook

The works of Dave Mass
Skrybe liked Reggie


Back on in with the Photoshop...

"Silicon Medusa" -2011 Che Barron  * click on image to enlarge. 

In the continuing quest to rework the portfolio, I decided to bring a few design ideas I had on the back burner to fruition. This is one of them. I wanted to do something classical/ modern at the same time. Medusa is a classic iconic image & many people have done their own visions, but I wanted to flip it on it's ear a little bit & add a "Dusky Digital" (quoting the great El-P) feel to it.  In a geeky turn I also wanted to incorporate the glowing  Apple logo into it to serve as a dual service and be my laptop skin. Kill 2 birds with one stone. I plan to flip another one to revolve around the theme of an "Apple".  Stay Tuned...


Rumblings from the lab...

I'm still trying to get used to this new layout for the blogspots. All in all not that bad, but I may end up going back to the old layout. The portfolio overhaul continues & I seek to wrap up the bulk of it this month. By mid November the workspace will get a complete overhaul to make room for the baby. This means I will have to downsize my workspace & free the area of items that no longer hold importance. I still for some reason feel the need to hold on to some of my older sketchbooks. Save for nostalgia I suppose. I'll have to scan and post some of my college scribbles on here when I get a chance, but for now I'm posting the finished product of the Dilla &  Boondocks sneakers. I put these together for a couple out of San Antonio, TX. Congrats on the Wedding Rockie & Allen. I hope you enjoyed the sneakers. I don't know if I stated it before, but  working on Adidas sneakers produced out of India always seems to give a bit of grief.  This was no exception. The leather produced there seems to always have problems absorbing the paint. This was a case of do what you can and less is more. As usual, for those that want to get a closer look, click on the image to get a larger view. People interested in orders for customs email me at @barrongraphics@gmail.com

Boondocks 4th on Indian leather Stan Smiths...  

The "Dilla got his fingerprints all over it" custom


Overdue for a posting...

I'm in the process of a portfolio overhaul. I'll have complete pics of the finished sneakers soon & some other images as well. Those that know me know that the past 2 weeks have been on the crazy side, but bear with me and I'll have something to show soon!
Until then...


Doing it my way...

I dedicate this piece to one of the difference makers. I dedicate this piece to Dave Hoover. Artist. Teacher. Friend. I thank you for your unselfish acts. You opened the eyes of many of us to different techniques. You took the time & patience to push all of us to be better at our craft, when many of your colleagues were content to tell us to read tutorials instead of teaching us hands on. They just wanted a paycheck, but you actually cared and enjoyed it. It showed. I thank you. May you rest in peace teacher.

Photoshop! It's been a while since I've gone in and dabbled in doing straight up raw coloring in Photoshop. I try to maintain a even balance with my tools. When it comes to the digital I made it a point to force myself to teach myself Adobe Illustrator for over a year. Photoshop was my first intro into the digital fray. It opened new doors for me. I come from the league of Tria Letraset markers and Prismacolor pencils. Acrylics and gauche.

Photoshop cut the process time in half. Magic wand and fill in your colors on layers. Shout out to my buddy Lemwell for teaching me layers. That was the catch 22. Back at my days at AIPH the teachers "taught" photoshop, but my classmates gave me the inside track. There was a time went heavy in with the Photoshop, but I kept the coloring technique very simple.

Over time I tried to mix what I was taught via painting in high school and mix that into photoshop. It was a matter of keeping up with the times.

I recently tried to land a design job with a buddy of mine working on a video game, but the key to landing it was that I had to color my work like him. I gave it a legit shot, but I realized that I can't carbon copy. I can only work in my style of coloring. That simple. The B side of it all, it made me want to get back in and start coloring in Photoshop again.

The Wolverine is basically an exercise in how fast I can work my detail in & if a solid black line will make for a better contrast. It may not make sense to some, but it will come out clear when I'm done I suppose. The image above is about 45 min in. Updates soon...


Just a peek...

Keeping true to the tune of updates, I've got a few snapshots of some of the final work that I started up in the last post. Full detailed pics are soon to follow, but only after I've shipped them out. I've been slowly making my return to the custom sneaker world, but I made the resolution not to come in with the same style mindset as I left it.

This latest Dilla sneaker is the first in new artist period I'm going thru that I have dubbed "Liquid Steadman"... sounds like the name of a band or something I know, but it's the first thing that came into my mind to sum up what I'm pushing for with the brush. The raw energy of Ralph Steadman's Gonzo brush splatter style influenced my latest style of focus. Combine that with my technique and a looser sense of coloring and I think I can achieve my goal. This stems from the fact that a lot of people when they see my work they don't think that it is painted on, but rather screened on. While I take it as a compliment, it got me to thinking that perhaps I should go in a different direction to give them more of a "painted" feel.

The challenge is to work quick to get these effects. To get this look takes a quicker hand than what I normally use, because of the looseness and drying times. The challenge came in trying to get this effect i desired out of a "black and white" image. To get those levels of texture & shade with grays became a bitch, but what is life and gratification without struggle & challenge to set the stage for it all?

And with that... enough of the yapping. Updated Boondocks & Dilla sneak preview...


Back in the saddle again with some fan favorites...

It's been eons since I've posted on this thing, but it's long overdue & time to throw up the latest things I've been "doodling" over. It's back to sneakers for me. I get requests for sneakers I've done in the past to get re produced, but I always make it a point not to repeat the same design twice. I feel I have to present something different every time I go to work on a pair because I want that person that wears that sneaker to have their own "identity" or personality or style. It adds to the exclusiveness of it all. "One of one! You ain't got these pairs!"

A return to the Boondocks! After that, a stop over to Dilla camp. This will mark the...4th(?) Boondocks custom I've done. It's funny because the pairs I've done I have sparse pictures of them, but photos still & I'll post them for all to see. I get a little nostalgic because it's like painting animation cells. An added bonus because the process is faster.

Dilla shoes... this one's a touchy subject with me. I'll always regard the first pair I did as my favorites. Every shoe is a labor of love, but those I put a lot of mojo into & it showed. I have other design concepts for Dilla sneakers that have stashed away for the prospect of me producing a 3rd design. The 3rd design I would compose would be exclusive only to John Yancey or Ma' Dukes Yancey. I turn down requests for Dilla sneakers for the simple face that when I do drop a pair, I want them to be a rare gem... like Dilla's music. However this request I can't refuse because the guy that wants this pair came with the tools to the table. I can't refuse a client who has the images he/she has in mind for their pair ready to go. That's a plus for me because it saves me design work. At the same time this also retires another iconic Dilla image. So in a effort to put some more substance to this page, I present a few snapshots of the other Boondocks requests of ole & some current "work in progress" snapshots of the current pair. ****Note if you click on my images they will show up larger for viewing.***
More updates soon!