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In DIY DOC’S, we take a look at how illustrators, artists and designers put their stamp on Dr. Martens shoes. Painting, tattooing or de-constructing – we’re giving them the creative freedom to express themselves off of the canvas.

Meet East London based artist Yinka Says, who has customised our Tassel Saddle Backpack and 1460 boots. Find out more about her art and where she find inspiration below…

Yinka Says customised the Tassel Saddle Backpack and 1460 boots. Photography by Bardha Krasniqi.

Introduce yourself:
I’m Yinka Says, a once London college of fashion dropout turned full-time visual artist from East London.

Who or what do you take inspiration from?
Being outdoors keeps me inspired, just seeing and taking things in; I’m a people watcher, that sounds mad stalker like LOL but you get what I mean. I find I get creative block when I’ve not been out to interact with the world around me for a few days. My moods play the biggest part in my art I would say. Inspiration is triggered from a feeling, it can’t just be forced on and off as and when needed, it would be so much easier if I could just flick a switch says the business mind in me, but the artist in me says f*ck it create only when it’s organically right for me.
Also, hearing live music always gets the right half of my brain going; I love live music, whether that be at a show or chilling at a studio session with friends that make music the energy is always better live I think, it just puts you on a naturally high. However sometimes feeling really low means I turn to art as a release and I personally prefer the outcome of what comes out of those lows, I feel it means more to me that something positive and honest came out of having a sh*t day. I’m a Scorpio so our mood swings are a madness!
Oh yeah also my Mum and Dad inspire me daily; they are such clean hearted, hard-working people, which is rare now-a-days.

Examples of Yinka Says artwork.

Do you have an illustration or project you’re most proud of?
I’m proud of everything I’ve done so far otherwise I would never have done it, but I think its less of a project/ piece but more of a mindset I’m most proud of. I started to stop trying be too perfect with my work, I freed up and stopped caring about what people might think, at that point my work became more visually exciting in my opinion. I’m currently working towards putting together my first solo exhibition which will be very different to things I’ve been part of in the past, that will take place around summer time.

At some point I’d love to create hard-copy album artwork, and work with more musicians.. I have loads of visual concepts piling up from dreams I’ve had, my dreams are really weird but mad interesting, the only reason I like sleeping tbh, lol.

Yinka Says customises the Tassel Saddle Backpack.

Talk us through your customised Dr. Martens, was it a challenge working on a bag?
I decided to customise a bag as it’s a canvas I’ve never worked on before, so it was more exciting it being new to me. As I had already painted a crow on my old Dr. Marten boots I thought I’d run with that idea. I didn’t find it challenging once I had started, the hardest part was that I didn’t wanna over do it and make the bag too busy as it already had a unique detail with the fringing at the front. This is why I kept the front simple, only adding a little bird perched on the logo and everything else hidden on the back.

Name three tracks you can’t hear enough of:
1. Sade – The Sweetest Taboo
2. James Blake – Life Round Here
3. The Internet – Girl
But recently I’ve had J Hus – Did You See and Calvin Harris – Slide on repeat! Yeah I cheated ’cause that’s 5 tracks but oh well I tried.

If you could have any super-power, what would it be?
It would probably have to be Teleportation so I could just be places as and when I want, plus it would save money on flights, Uber’s and my Oyster card.

Yinka Says customised the Tassel Saddle Backpack and 1460 boots. Photography by Bardha Krasniqi.

If you could draw anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
My future self. I hate doing self portraits but it may be interesting in years time to look back at it and see how close/ far from the truth I was.

Tell us your favourite thing about the city you live in:
I love how fast London is. Things are always changing and there’s a lot of creative things going on around constantly, keeps me on top of my game and it reminds me to not waste too much time or I’ll get complacent. I’m really laid back so I sometimes need that little reminder.

Examples of Yinka Says artwork.

Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens:
I was like 15 when I got my first pair of DM’s, they were patent! Looking back now I dunno what I was thinking, I went off the whole patent look real quick so then ended up getting my hands on the classic black leather pair which I still have now and I one day randomly decided to paint a crow on.

And finally, what do you stand for?
Be truly happy, otherwise it’s all pointless.

Yinka Says customised the Tassel Saddle Backpack and 1460 boots. Photography by Bardha Krasniqi.

Find out more about Yinka Says on her Instagram and Twitter.

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