Nfld. & Labrador

These custom sneakers are made by a Newfoundlander, for a Newfoundlander

One pair of custom kicks is painted with the Newfoundland and Labrador flag, as per a request from Carl English.

Seamus Donahue painted 2 pairs of basketball sneakers for St. John's Edge star Carl English

Sneaker artist Seamus Donahue says painting shoes for St. John's Edge star player Carl English is great exposure. (Submitted by Seamus Donahue)

A sneaker artist from Newfoundland is hoping an order from a St. John's Edge star player will help him get a foot in the door to the major leagues.

Seamus Donahue painted two pairs of basketball sneakers for Carl English, both tributes to their mutual home province.

"It's a really cool feeling," Donahue said.

"He's definitely my biggest client that I've ever painted for — and it's really good exposure."

Donahue says English sent him two pairs of shoes to paint and asked that one pair include the Newfoundland and Labrador flag. Donahue came up with this design on a pair of Nike LeBrons. (Submitted by Seamus Donahue)

One pair of custom kicks, a white pair of Nike LeBrons, is painted with the Newfoundland and Labrador flag, as per English's request.

The other is inspired by The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai.

"I just took out the canoes in the original art and put in a fishing boat," Donahue said.

"A touch of Newfoundland."

More than a hobby

Donahue said he's been drawing for as long as he can remember, and started painting in junior high, but he's a man of varied interests.

Donahue took inspiration from the famous work by Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai. (Submitted by Seamus Donahue)

Something of a sneaker fanatic and an athlete himself — rugby, mostly — painting shoes combines all of Donahue's pastimes.

"I started painting on my own shoes," he explained. 

"I never did work for anybody else before I knew what I was doing."

Now, Donahue's hobby has developed into something bigger. He's studying industrial design at Carleton University in Ottawa, with hopes that he might design his own sneakers some day.

"That's the goal, honestly."

So what does English think of Donahue's work?

"They turned out really, really well," English said.

"The ones with the flag on them are pretty special to me."

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Lukas Wall


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