Shoes tell a lot about a person, especially when the shoes are a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Gordon Cooper Technology Center Graphic Design student Jeffrey Morehead of Prague uses an airbrush, brushes, paint pens and special paints to bring colorful scenes to life on canvas shoes. Some shoes are painted to honor a sports star, others action heroes, and others
depict movie stars or abstract designs.
“Every pair of shoes has a part of me in it,” Jeffrey said. “Art allows me to show who I am and what I can do.”
After graduating from Prague High School, Jeffrey planned to study for a career as a chiropractor. The door closed on that plan, but a new door opened.
“Everything happens for a reason. God has a plan for each of us,” he said.
Jeffrey remembers in detail the morning he got up early and loaded his car to move in to college. After a day and a half on campus, financial obstacles brought an end to his college plans.
Jeffrey was angry and upset until a new plan came into view. Jeffrey’s mom and grandma advised him to consider the Graphic Design program at Gordon Cooper Technology Center. A few days after he left college, Jeffrey enrolled in Gay Ketchum’s class to learn all about graphic design.
“I love this place and all the opportunities for creativity in Graphic Design class,” he said.
In Graphic Design, Jeffrey learned how to use a computer to create art with PhotoShop and Illustrator software applications and designed a Facebook page to market his budding business. Jeffrey calls his new
During high school, Jeffrey’s interest in painting shoes was inspired by a post on Pinterest. He painted the ET Extra Terrestrial movie character on a pair of canvas shoes and wore them to school. The shoes created a buzz at school and friends started advising him he ought to start a business.
With encouragement from school art teachers, Jeffrey custom-painted shoes for friends and family. He has painted shoes depicting Marilyn Monroe, the Flash, a salute to combat veterans, a Super Bee pair to match a customer’s bright yellow muscle car, Star Wars, lots of
different cartoon characters and a variety of original designs.
Jeffrey has painted a number of sports teams and sports star themes. A local favorite is a pair with a Dallas Cowboys design on one shoe and quarterback Dak Prescott on the other. He has created designs based on
the Nebraska Corn Huskers football team, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and the Boston Red Sox. He is creating a line of marbleized shoes.
These days he creates shoes for customers across the country. He does that working in a bedroom converted from a garage that he shares with his brother. A basic shoe design takes about 4-5 hours to complete and
costs about $80 a pair.
He is even branching out to paint shirts, wallets, basketballs, stickers, business logos, cars, traditional canvas, and murals.
Jeffrey’s talent was noticed by FireLake Designs, a Citizen Potawatomi Nation enterprise, and he is working there in addition to growing his custom-painted shoes business.