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Art

DIY DOCS: LOS ANGELES ARTISTS

Armed with paint and their creative minds, we gave three Los Angeles-based artists free rein on a pair of Docs. Gentle Thrills, Lorien Stern, and Katie Kimmel each created DIY DOCS in their signature style. Keep reading to learn more about the artists and see the work they created.

ISA OF GENTLE THRILLS

Photo by Amanda Adam
Introduce yourself. What do you do, where are you from?

I’m Isa, I’m 27 and I live and work in Los Angeles but I’m originally from Solana Beach. I’m still trying to figure out a simple way to explain what I do because it’s a LOT! Mainly I run an online store and work with brands on artwork, live events, and small projects.

What was the inspiration behind the designs you created for DIY Docs?

I wanted to play up the adjectives that come to mind for me when I think about vintage Docs culture and the people who have been wearing them for decades. I always see Docs-wearers as fearless, bold, colorful, and strong. I threw in some tattoo-style flash imagery but kept it true to my own aesthetic and let it get a little bit clown-y!

Photo by Amanda Adam
Our campaign Tough As You celebrates Docs wearers’ resilience; the times we faced setbacks but held firm and bounced back. Can you tell us about a time when you were resilient?

Working for yourself is HARD and so is running a business alone! Being a working artist requires a lot of discipline, energy, patience, and radical acceptance. It’s hard to keep all four of those things in ample supply at the same time. Every day there are small (and sometimes big) moments when I have to be brave and optimistic in spite of uncertainty! It doesn’t always happen easily – I’m a big crybaby – but I always get the job done eventually, and if that’s not resilience I don’t know what is!

 

LORIEN STERN

Introduce yourself. What do you do, where are you from?

Hi! I am Lorien Stern. I am a full-time artist and run a small brand of accessories, clothing, and home goods. I am originally from Ojai, California, but I have been living in the Mojave Desert since 2013.

What is your preferred medium?

Ceramics! But I also love to paint and draw.

What was your first job? How did you get started in your current field?

My first job was shrink wrapping DVDs for a software instructional company. Art has been my main interest since I was very young. I was a shy and introverted kid, so expressing myself through drawing was a great outlet for me. I kept up painting and drawing consistently since I was little, so making a career out of creating art seemed like the most natural path for me.

What was the inspiration behind the designs you created for DIY Docs?

The designs I’m using are some of my favorites from my character catalog. Each character makes up a part of my theme of happiness, celebration, nature, and/or death.

 

KATIE KIMMEL

Introduce yourself. What do you do, where are you from?

Hi! I’m Katie, I’m a ceramic artist from Los Angeles and currently living in the Mojave Desert.

What was the inspiration behind the designs you created for DIY Docs?

I love to experiment with new materials and had the idea to use epoxy putty around leather studs to create durable shoe charms. Usually, my experiments are complete disasters so I was not very optimistic it would work until the very end. I think the charms facial expressions perfectly show my emotions throughout the process.

Tell us about your first pair of Docs.

I bought my first pair of Docs right before I moved to Chicago in 2011. I was very nervous about the weather so I chose a pair that was brown and lined with shearling. I basically slept with them on my first winter there and I still have them!

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