Sneakers with a touch of art

Wani Roslan

Possessing a strong passion for art since the age of six, Mohammad Nazri bin Ahmad has turned creative art into a full-time career, creating a business with a speciality for customising sneakers with unique airbrush designs.

In an interview with the Bulletin, he said his journey began by drawing comics and cartoons.

Mohammad Nazri said he learnt art from his mother, a housewife with a creative arts background.

He said she taught him much about art and continues to give him support.

His online-based business dubbed Rebel Comic Art on various social media platforms started by offering comic portraits and a variety of creative art offerings including wall painting with mural street art and logos.

One of Mohammad Nazri bin Ahmad’s creations. PHOTOS: MOHAMMAD NAZRI BIN AHMAD

He took art as one of his subjects in secondary school. After leaving school, he continued to pursue his love towards comics, making use of YouTube to advance his knowledge and enhance his skills.

He sharpened his skills by watching videos and learning to draw comics and cartoons, naming ZHC Comic, Vexx and Kiptoe as his favourite YouTubers who inspired him. After two years without a job, Mohammad Nazri decided to utilise his talent to make it a full-time career.

While picking up new techniques through online platforms, he learnt about airbrush painting and had the idea to create and combine his talents in drawing comics and cartoons with his airbrush skills and applying them to sneakers.

“To further my passion in drawing comics, I came up with the idea, and set up an online business offering a service of airbrushing sneakers, based on the customers’ preferences,” he said.

The idea of designing sneakers using airbrush came from his online research and he practiced the techniques until he succeeded in mastering them. He has now made airbrushing sneakers one of the main services offered by his business.

“One of the challenges of airbrushing is that mistakes cannot be erased,” he said. “So I need to be focussed and accurate. That is why I had to learn the technique and practise it to perfection.”

Mohammad Nazri said completing one sneaker can take up to a week or two, depending on the design and details while needing to complete other artwork as well.

The materials used are available in Brunei, he said. He has never purchased from other countries, adding that some are provided by his supporters.

After years of experience, he hopes to own a shop where he can showcase his art to the public and raise awareness on the artwork done by local artists.

Mohammad Nazri said, “If you have a talent, do not give up and enjoy creativity in arts. Utilise it in a good way, and make your dream a reality.”