This Montreal Anime Artist Will Transform Your Shoes Into Wearable Art

Revamp those kicks with a custom design! 👟🎨

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Selfie of Montreal-based artist Cristine Toca. Right: Black Nike Air Force 1 with custom anime shoe art.

Selfie of Montreal-based artist Cristine Toca. Right: Black Nike Air Force 1 with custom anime shoe art.

When it comes to Montreal artists, the city is full of creatives that explore their talents in so many diverse ways. Well, for Cristine Toca, it's all about shoes. The creator and mastermind behind TocaBoutShoes hand-paints custom designs on any and all shoes, and the results are pretty rad.

Whether you're looking to elevate your shoe game, or wanna update a pair of kicks to match your unique style, TocaBoutShoes knows exactly what it's doing.

The idea first came about right at the start of the pandemic when Cristine Toca began watching sneaker customizing videos and decided to take a shot at designing a pair for herself, she told MTL Blog.

"I ordered myself a pair of AF1s, some leather paint and paintbrushes and got to work! When I posted the finished product online, I was receiving so much positive feedback from friends and even questions from strangers asking if I was taking commissions," Toca said.

And so, TocaBoutShoes was born.

Toca customizes just about any design onto your shoes from Disney characters, your fav public figures, and of course, anything anime. The Montreal-based artist even likes to throw in a 514 twist every now and again.

"I've started coming up with designs that are unique to Montreal. For example, Goku rocking an expos jersey, Sailor Moon at the Orange Julep, Chihiro and No Face riding in an STM metro wagon. I love representing my city," Toca told MTL Blog.

TocaBoutShoes works closely with her clients and has quite the process to ensure the end result is exactly what you're looking for.

Customers can send over a reference pic to give more clarity regarding the overall vibe of the design. TocaBoutShoes then sketches it on her iPad and makes an array of drafts to show the client.

"Together with the customer, we discuss which elements to keep or to modify (such as placement, sizing, colours) until the customer is satisfied with the result. That's when I get to sketching/painting!" Toca said.

The mastery behind the designs is certainly worth noting. Not only is the art form itself impressive, but Toca's intricate attention to detail is not to be missed, especially with her many anime commissions.

As for the future of TocaBoutShoes, Cristine really wants to expand her love for shoes and anime across the city.

"It would definitely make me happy to see Montreal anime lovers being able to represent their city by wearing my designs. It's something that's still in the works, so stay tuned!" Toca told MTL Blog.

Now, with spring well underway, it could be time to freshen up your sneaker game and get a custom pair that you and only you can have.

Mike Chaar
Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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