Hello, my name is Jorge Narvaez, first I would like to thank you for looking at my work, I hope its been enjoyable. As you probably already know, I’m a customizer, a student, a barista as my other job, and sometimes an artist hehe! I’m based off in Miami but I’m actually from Nicaragua, I came here at a young age of 9, now I’m 28. I grew up with humble roots so my family didn’t have much to provide in terms of toys so I had to improvise and I suppose that is where my creativity comes from.
I started customizing right as I was graduating high school, I had found a skateboarding forum which at the time was called Nikeskateboarding.org, in which I found a thread for customizing shoes. At the time it was more of a happy experiment. I took a liking to customizing and I continued at it, at first it was just gluing materials on top of the original shoes. Then I found another forum by the name of ISS(or now known as solecollector) where I found more information on customizing and other customizers with whom I befriended and learned from. From that point on I started to take my craft a bit more seriously and bought a sewing machine, even though the stitching was more for show at that time since I was just gluing materials on top of shoes.
During this time I was studying in college Computer Animation, but I tended to spend more time customizing so I decided to switch to a fine arts degree in order to pursue a BFA in Industrial Design. Unfortunately the school I was attending at the moment was just a community college(MDC) so I was only able to get an AA, I had switched at such a late time I wasn’t really able to get a good portfolio. For the next two years I spent working just on customizing sneakers, within those two years I was able to learn how to do one skins and eventually reconstructions. It took a lot of practice and experimentation to hone those skills, as well as failures, but it all was all learning experiences.
After those two years I had decided to redo my portfolio and go back to school. Somehow school took more of a priority this time around and I wasn’t able to work much on shoes, but I placed great attention towards my schoolwork. I spent the next three years going back to fine art classes and learning how to draw and sculpt. I also took ceramic classes and jewelry making. By the end of those three years I had a great portfolio, participated on a few contest and had my work shown in a few shoes. I got accepted into various good schools including SAIC and CCA but I wasn’t able to go because of my financial situation.
At this point I had realized I needed to make some extra money and was a working in an Art Gallery called Zadok, at the time it was I worked with the artists from that gallery by setting up their work and talking about their careers. After a while I became an assistant to one of them, and I witnessed how with hard work and perseverance how some of these artist were able to make a living and succeed in their dreams. It was a great experience and has made me more focused in getting back to my own work.
Customizing has always been a great experience to me, the best part for me is always the process of making a shoe, every time I work on a shoe I learn something new, either by experimenting, or mistake but always for the best. I’m not very heavy on visual images as in pictures, but I do like to work with patterns, for some reason I have always enjoyed working on quilting so I like to somehow implement it into the shoes. Normally I work with the original texture of my materials, I like to experiment with new materials I haven’t used before and find ways to “mash” it in some complimentary way to another fabric or leather. In the end I try to work my best on each shoe and I see them as my own new masterpieces, I take great pride in my work, and I hope it shows whenever I make them for anyone else.
Sorry for the long read, but thank you for reading it!
My email is:
I also have a Flickr account with all of the shoes I have made at higher resolutions in case if my website’s images aren’t as big as you need them:
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