I often get asked when and how I started to draw on shoes, and where the name WildBunnyArts came from.
I’ve loved to draw and paint for as long as I can remember but customising shoes began when I had some Toms that had faded but the fabric and soles still had life left in them. I dyed them black, painted a little dandelion on them with some fabric paint and stuck some rhinestones on them. I had a new pair of shoes and nobody else had a pair of hand painted Toms like mine.
Back at the time that I started to paint shoes, I began to be aware that I was being stalked. Things had been happening that I couldn’t understand but what I did not know was that my son’s father was stalking me. We were going through the family court system at the time and when the court was presented with the evidence that he was stalking me, they gave him the go-ahead to continue, saying that because of the ongoing proceedings, it was “research”. The police thought differently though and after several breaches of a restraining order he went to prison.
In 2015 I was working as a blogger and web designer but because of the stalking I closed down that business. I would have been out of work but I had painted a few pairs of shoes as an unique thank you gift to some amazing people. The amazing Dawn from thinkitchangeit.com had provided me with therapy to help me process the family court and stalking (p.s. she also cured me of my bird phobia). Some of her friends loved my work and they wanted to buy hand painted Converse too. She encouraged me to set up an Etsy shop selling custom Vans and Converse, painted Dr Martens and Nikes, and the rest is history.
Why the bunny? My son and I invented the name together one year, to honour the street bunny. Our street was home to an escapee rabbit – she belonged to someone, but kept escaping. This bunny would not remain caged! To my amazement, they survived the cold, the snow and any predators.
She’s a beautiful bunny but she used to hop away at an impressive speed if you approached her. The week we chose the name, my lad managed to get close to her and even pick her up. His joy was unparalleled, and he brought her into our garden for a play.
She appealed to my rebellious spirit. The spirit that refuses to be caged and will survive, no matter what. It’s an ethos that I wholeheartedly embrace.
There’s a little vid on my YouTube channel, if you’d like a peek at her.