Back at the end of August, Los Angeles, California based shoe customizer Jacob Patterson was featured on the pop-culture TV show titled “Attack of the Show” on the G4TV network. Patterson’s video game themed shoes were part of the “SneakerHeads” segment the show regularly puts on. Now that some time has passed I caught up with Jacob about his experience on the set as well as a few of his thoughts and plans using YouTube as his main outlet to share his custom shoes and art with the world.
Its been few weeks now that you were featured on G4TV’s Attack of the Show but its always fun to look back on unique experiences of getting recognition for your work. How did this come about? Did they contact you or you submit information to them?
After making the God of War Dunks (The Kratos Kicks) I created something of a small press kit and had my manager send it out to major blogs. We focused on sites like HypeBeast and Kotaku. We were really excited about Kotaku, as they are a gaming-based blog known for showed custom items themed after video games. About a week later they featured me, and we got tons of emails from major game and television companies interested in what I do. One of these was G4TV, who wanted to feature me on Attack of the Show and highlight my custom kicks.
You spent some time in the AOTS studio right? How was that? Any one thing stick out in your memory?
The thing that most interested me was the size of the studio. They don’t have a very big one; indeed, there’s not even a live audience. They explained that they do this on purpose because they simply don’t need any more space than that, and they allow the crew to act out and laugh loudly as their “audience” to make the show seem more personal. It also allows Kevin to make more jokes to the crowd and gives the show more character. I remember them asking us to laugh loudly at things we thought were funny. It was a blast.
As a shoe customizer you have stuck to a niche in sharing your work that not many others use, video marketing through YouTube. Do you have any advice on how or why other shoe customizers can implement a video to help gain exposure?
I am not sure any other customizers will choose to utilize YouTube the way I have done. It is a constant battle between the artist, designer, online personality, and actual personality that I am to maintain that online image. It’s tough work to stay consistent and I am only barely scratching the surface of profit (where most of the changes start forcing themselves upon your career). I have a producer and manager now, and we have plans to work out large marketing schemes to hit bigger audiences. One thing that sucks is that I have to do more public-friendly designs. One thing that rocks, however, is that I get to pick projects that have interesting stories.
My suggestion for anyone who would like to utilize YouTube as a marketing platform is that you focus HEAVILY on presentation. Mine is nowhere near where it needs to be in order to be taken seriously, and simple custom shoe reviews would kill it for me. If you are going to make something out of YouTube in line with your work, every project needs to have a video in mind before starting. If it’s something you plan to tack on at the end, don’t bother. You’ll actually hurt yourself and your image. At least that’s my opinion. You should go for full online transparency OR the classic mysterious artist image so that people can ask “how did he do that? Those paint strokes/gradients/textures are amazing!” For me it’s something I can hope to work for because I am focused a lot on YouTube as a primary source of income in the coming months, but only a select few people can hope to achieve that and I have spent a good three years setting it up. Lol long answer.
YouTube and Internet video in general is really an amazing medium available to nearly anyone in the world with internet and access to at least a cheap camera. It is pretty interesting to see how individuals have used the platform to meet others, share their talents, and reach dreams. What you can share about the plans you have with your Youtube channel in the near future to do those same things and spread the word of shoe customizing?
To be honest, my favorite thing that YouTube has done for me is allow me to meet people I could not have met otherwise. EmmanueLabor was one of my idols. I wrote a report on him in an art history course. Now I am working on a collaboration with him. Over the next few months I am flying all over the world with a humanitarian organization to paint murals with the locals of different countries and documenting the trips. In the very near future I will be collabbing with and featuring spotlights on all of the customizers I respect and look up to (as long as they are free to do so). I have a couple of series planned on the channel, along with some big collabs with other YouTubers and some videos that are more focused on the video as the end result of an art project as opposed to a documentary OF a finished piece. I am excited to see where I go as I transition from artist/online personality to online personality/artist. I just have to figure out how to stop being so damn awkward on camera.
If you have anything else related to the show or Youtubing as a shoe customizer feel free to share.
The only other thing I can say is that I am now working full-time as an artist and YouTuber, so there will be a jump in my work that will be very visible. You’ll see a ton more content and a lot of different content. There are a lot of ideas in my head both for customs and other stuff, and I think I will finally have time to do some of it. I am eager to take the current commercial-art-conscious climate that is present in the city of Los Angeles into my own work and see where it goes.