Art reference

This Montreal Anime Artist Will Turn Your Shoes Into Wearable Art

When it comes to Montreal artists, the city is teeming with creatives exploring their talents in so many diverse ways. Well, for Cristine Toca, it’s all about shoes. The creator and mastermind behind TocaBoutShoes hand paints custom designs onto all of the shoes, and the results are pretty darn good.

Whether you’re looking to up your shoe game or want to update a pair of shoes to match your unique style, TocaBoutShoes know exactly what they’re doing.

The idea was born early on in the pandemic when Cristine Toca started watching sneaker customization videos and decided to try designing a pair for herself, she told MTL Blog.

“I ordered myself a pair of AF1s, leather paint and brushes and got to work! When I uploaded the finished product, I received so many positive comments from friends and even questions from strangers asking if I was taking orders,” Toca mentioned.

And alas, TocaBoutShoes was born.

Toca customizes just about any design on your Disney character shoes, your favorite public figures, and of course, anything animated. The Montreal artist even likes to add a 514 touch from time to time.

“I started coming up with unique designs in Montreal. For example, Goku wearing an Expos sweater, Sailor Moon in Orange Julep, Chihiro and No Face on an STM metro car. I love represent my city,” Toca told Blog MTL.

TocaBoutShoes works closely with its clients and has a whole process to ensure that the end result is exactly what you are looking for.

Customers can send a reference photo to clarify the overall mood of the design. TocaBoutShoes then draws it on his iPad and makes a series of drafts to show the client.

“Together with the client, we discuss what to keep or change (like placement, sizing, colors) until the client is happy with the result. That’s when I move on to sketching/painting! ” said Toka.

The mastery behind the designs is certainly worth noting. Not only is the art form itself impressive, but Toca’s attention to detail is not to be missed, especially with his many anime commissions.

As for the future of TocaBoutShoes, Cristine really wants to spread her love for shoes and anime across town.

“It would certainly make me happy to see anime fans in Montreal being able to represent their city by wearing my designs. This is something that is still in the works, so stay tuned!” Toca told Blog MTL.

Now that spring is well underway, it might be time to refresh your sneaker game and get a custom pair that you and only you can have.