We’re hitting the road for an eight-stop customization tour across America, with a lineup of artists from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Their mission: to create one-of-a-kind boots and shoes for Dr. Martens customers.
The Customization Tour is a wrap! The final stop: our Seattle store, with art by Jesse Brown, a multi-disciplinary artist and designer based in the Emerald City. Whether it’s paint, illustration, or animation, Jesse’s art can be found on everything from commercials to socks, skateboards and motorcycle helmets — or just around the streets of Seattle in mural form. But last Thursday, the medium was a pair of Dr. Martens, with fans of his distinctive design aesthetic and hand-lettered type lining up to customize their Doc’s with his signature style. Keep scrolling to check out the resulting looks — and learn more about Jesse’s background, inspiration and his first pair of 1460s.
What music do you listen to when you’re working?
It varies a lot in the studio but 90s rap is a constant, so lately it’s been Scarface, Das Efx, Black Sheep, Saafir and early Ice-T.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
Black ink and sign painters enamel.
What was the inspiration behind your customization?
I’ve been obsessively drawing scorpions lately so I knew right away that’s what I wanted to do for the boots. I paint a lot of jackets and motorcycle tanks/helmets and this felt similar to that, taking a look at the object and picturing what would look and wear best.
What are you most looking forward to for the Customization Tour?
I’m stoked to make something custom for people; it will be a small piece of mine they get to wear.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens.
It was 1993, my oldest brother was going to all the early grunge shows in Seattle at that time and I knew that Doc’s were what he and his friends were wearing so I had to have a pair. I begged my Mom and she hooked it up with a pair of the 1460s.
What is your favorite thing to do in Seattle?
Work at my studio, walk around town, cook at home, and heckle tech transplants.