I have this habit of winning things here and there, mostly on accident. The thing is I just sort of stumble into them and think “eh, why not.” Especially if it involves a film I’m incredibly interested in. Then there are people who ask how exactly it was that I won the thing that I won. The answer is usually not all that complicated.

Recently I won a pair of Nike shoes from Laika, themed on The Boxtrolls (2014). They’re pretty cool. Now I’m not really into Nike shoes to be honest. What interested me of course was the fact that they were Boxtrolls shoes and very cleverly designed by an artist.

The box was huge and designed with cut out gears as well as the films tagline “Dare to be Square.” The shoes themselves were made to look as though they were constructed from bits of leather and a potato sack. The insides have a cheese pattern to go along with the cheese theme of the film. Additionally it cam with a pair of socks that look like the bandages the lead character, Eggs and all of the boxtrolls wore on their feet. And a sugar sack to keep everything in. The shoes were stuffed with no ordinary paper, but paper made to look like newspapers from the city of Cheesebridge (where the film takes place)!

I could go on and on about the design but I will not, instead I will tell you how I came to have such beautiful creatures in my hands.

Laika created a contest on twitter where they were giving out pairs of these shoes in exchange for a cardboard themed art piece. That’s right, just make a thing out of cardboard. Something clever and artsy. Probably as a means to promote the film through hashtags (clever!).

Here we have what I created:

boxtrolls3

This is the character, Shoe, a grumpy little boxtroll and one of the leads featured in the film. I painted and penned him onto a box I found in the trash walking back to my dorm at school….

AND TURNED HIM INTO NIKE SHOES.

Now, some people think it’s a little odd that Laika and Nike would have anything to do with one another. Well, Travis Knight, the founder of Laika is actually son of Phil Knight, a co-founder of Nike. Imagine that! [more here].

A special edition pair of Nike’s has accompanied each one of the three Laika films so far. These are from their previous film Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012).

With all of that I will leave with a painting I did of the Boxtrolls gang! This started out as a pen doodle in my sketchbook and turned into a mix of watercolor and acrylics.

illustration by Damian Alexander

Until next time!

damian alexander

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