If the Shoe Fits | Vector Paths

A Sticker Set About Emotions Found in Shoes


I wrote down several ideas and how they could be related to others. I was trying to find something that could be cartoonish but still hold some kind of meaning. I also really wanted to work with characters for practice. As I sat there brainstorming I glanced over and saw a strangers shoes. “I LOVE HER SHOES!” This isn’t the first time it has happened to me. She was wearing sleek, short boots that I wish I had. As I adored her footware I also tried to image myself in her shoes, what I would wear with them, where I would wear them, and how I would feel wearing them. As I did this, I realized that I really do have different emotions in different shoes — or at least I wear different shoes depending on my emotion of that day. Don’t we all? Isn’t the average person more likely to wear dressy shoes when they’re in a fancy mood, or comfy shoes when they’re in a tired one? 


Going in, I knew I wanted to have shoes with the faces of the person wearing them. I wanted them to be cartoon feeling and feminine. My first sketches were terrible. I really don’t have a lot of experiences drawing characters, so that took a lot more work on paper than usual. I practiced with eyes and lips and other pieces before going back to shoes and working for positions again. 

Digital Composition

This worked well for me and I got some base sketches to reference on my digital drafts. I took pictures of them and pulled them into illustrator with about a thousand other references of different shoes and laces. 


I spent a lot of time on my first draft and it turned out well. I worked with the shapes first, then started working on the outlines. The Nike shoe definitely took the longest because I had to figure out a way to place the face and the laces that made sense. I made a brush stroke for the laces that make up her hair. Working with the shape of each face I tried to make sure that they were different enough to show the emotions I wanted, but similar enough to look like a set. They all started okay but I knew I wanted to put more work into them. I needed the emotions to show even more. 

After this point I continued to push the emotions in the faces and refine the shapes. I made the outlines on the edges thicker and defined the details a little more. I also added the arms at this point which also pushed emotion. After this, I started working with halftones and textures. I eventually got the idea to combine them so that the stickers didn’t get too busy. I wanted textures so that the shoes would have a more iconic feeling, and I wanted shadows to dive more depth. Combining these, I was able to do both without adding more colors. Colors turned out to be one of the trickier parts. I wanted them to be different so they had different emotional feelings, but I still wanted them to match. This was one of my trials. 

Final Composition

In the end I made each sticker a different monochromatic color so that they still looked matchy. I also created a type sticker of the title, using the same brush stroke from earlier. I also got to learn how to set up a file and print stickers.

I really enjoyed the project. What girl doesn’t like shoes? But seriously, it was great to practice with characters and dig deeper into how they related to clothes and shoes. 

Makenzie LeFevre

Makenzie LeFevre

I'm a well-rounded designer from Seattle Washington, currently studying web development with a design emphasis at Brigham Young University - Idaho.
Makenzie LeFevre

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