In DIY DOC’S, we take a look at how illustrators, artists, and designers put their stamp on a Dr. Martens product. Painting, tattooing or de-constructing – we’re giving them the creative freedom to express themselves off of the canvas.
Meet Chloe Ew. The Portland-based artist is an illustrator, painter, and the woman behind Wizard Babe Co, an enamel pin shop. Armed with her paintbrushes and sketchbook, Chloe transformed our Magdalena Wyoming boots into one-of-a-kind mismatched style, using Portland’s winter as her muse. We chatted with her about her influences, living in the Pacific Northwest, and her first pair of Doc’s. Keep scrolling for a look at her winter wonderland boots.
How did you get started in illustration?
I’ve been an illustrator my whole life. I began drawing when I was a mere babe and never stopped.
What inspired you to start Wizard Babe Co?
Illustration, design, and creating a little magic in the world have always driven me more than any other force. I was collecting pins for a while and was searching for a wizard hat design but had no luck. I figured, I might as well make my own — and Wizard Babe was born!
Are there any artists that have influenced your work?
Absolutely! There are many painters and illustrators who have influenced my work over the years. Gustav Klimt, Kevin Wada, Lester Abrams, Monet, Sam Kieth, Christopher Leith Evans, and Rebecca Guay to name a few.
Tell us about one of your favorite creations.
My collection of Wizard Babe enamel pins. I adore sharing my work with others, so seeing my friends, family, and strangers adorned with my pins is the best feeling. They really inspire folks to ask questions, explore options, and make great art! My pins, my paintings, and clothing creations are the forces that get me through the day.
Tell us about your hometown and how you ended up in Portland, Oregon.
I grew up in Houston, Texas. The city has an amazing art museum scene, plenty of incredibly talented folks, and endless tasty food. Once I graduated high school, I accepted attendance to the Pacific Northwest College of Art and managed to get myself to Portland, Oregon. While PNCA didn’t last long, or go very well, for me, it brought me to Portland: the place I was able to find my magic.
What is your favorite place in Portland?
Anywhere. I’m a bit of a wanderer. My partner and I can often be found walking aimlessly around Portland enjoying the cold air, warm scarves, boots for days, and plenty of coffee.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens.
My mother had a pair of Dr. Martens, she swore by them. I could never snag them from her closet, because I’m a size larger, but I always admired them. My first pair of Dr. Martens was a pair of Caseys in Black Darkened Mirage. I bought them from the Portland store on Burnside. It was my second winter in Portland and I knew my old shoes weren’t going to cut it. They fit me perfectly and there was no awkward phase; no blisters, no aches. They helped me survive many winters since then. I still have them!
Tell us about the inspiration behind your design, and why you chose the Magdalenas.
The winter skies here are nothing short of incredible. I decided to try and capture my rendering of the sky; one boot for the day, one boot for the night. I pulled inspiration from my surroundings, the Greek twin gods, Artemis and Apollo, and, with regard to the double suns. The Magdalenas are a perfect mix of my personal style: wizard-badass-babe. I rock a pair of the Cadence’s nearly every day and have a number of heeled Dr. Martens stockpiled away for less casual days. The Magdalenas stood out to me with their softer, smooth Wyoming leather; it was a great material for my gouache paints and ink plans.