Skill Level 0-100 (Kinda) Quick

Trial and error is the most the important part of creation. Whether you paint, write, custom, design, whatever it is, you’re going to go through different stages as part of the process. Obviously someone isn’t going to pick up a paintbrush and come up with the next Mona Lisa first try. First tries are simply that, a start.

If you’re first crack at a custom job doesn’t look so hot, no worries. I’m sure a lot of the OG’s will admit there first time customizing sneakers didn’t turn out great. Maybe that first time looked okay, but there’s always room for improvement for that next custom. That’s people become great artists.

Tyler, head honcho at Angelus Paint and Lace Lab posed a question to the rad people over at Nothing But Customs. He asked them if they wouldn’t sharing pictures of their first try custom and their most recent customs as a way to measure their progress. What we got was an overwhelming response from people who were 100% down to share their work.

We decided to pick out a handful of customizers at random to feature on our blog. If you stay up on any of the premier sneaker sites, you’ve probably seen the same names come up again and again. This is because these dudes do some crazy work. But we can’t help but feel that there are some incredible customizers out there who haven’t gotten their time to shine. So here it is!

Amongst the first actual pictures to start popping up on the thread were these first and recent trys from St. Louis based Zahmill Mimi Manuel. The comment with her first try picture was “First one omg lol,” but she posted them! No shame in your first trys.

Then we she posted her most recent:

(Source: Zahmill Mimi Manuel)

As you can see, progress goes a long way! These are incredible. Be sure to check out her IG @remixyakickz and check out her online store for a fresh pair of customs.

Another early bird poster on the thread was from Covia, CA-based customizer Robert Spurlock. Robert dropped these XI Lows as his first try:

Not bad! Now, we have his most recents:

(Source: Robert Spurlock)

How sick are these? You’ve come along way Speezy! Be sure to keep up on his IG @speezycustomz for more work when you need some inspiration.

Next, Jaxon Greening shared his firsts and recents. Jaxon went next level with his documentation and posted the entire process for his first try:

Talk about progression, we can see this first try take shape. And it’s pretty good! Then his most recent customs:

(Source: Jaxon Greening)

The fade effect on these are next level! Even when your first try comes out clean, you still learn and grow as an artist, as we see with Jaxon’s two customs. Thanks for sharing man!

Somerville, NJ based customizer Jerome Stukes keeps it moving with SBDKustoms. These are his firsts:

And these are his most recents:

(Source: Jerome Stukes)

Keep an eye for this one, because these skills are no joke!

Next we have Doug Giordano from White Plains, NY. Doug is no stranger to customization, having run the custom sneaker store SneakersmartCustoms for a while now. Doug came through with his first and recent tries right on time. Here are his first:

For his first, Doug to a crack at the legendary Reebok Allen Iverson 'Questions.' And here are his more recent customs:

(Source: Doug Giordano)

He brought a pair of OG Cortez's to have breakfast at Tiffany's. Good look!

We’re going to wrap this up with another Califas based artist, coming out of Eastvale. Tito Campos is the dude behind Titos Customs, specializing in both custom and freestyle. Much respect on the hustle!

For his firsts, Tito wasn’t afraid to go abstract on a pair of KD’s:

Some people start off small, and some people go all out for their first tries. Next we have his most recent customs:

(Source: Tito Campos)

We’re giving extra credit points for that badass sticker you’ve got there. And do we spy some of our world-famous Roshe-style laces on there? Good job man. You’re in good with us!

These are just a handful of the incredible progress stories that were shared with us throughout the week. Be sure to check out the Angelus Direct blog for more custom work from this feature.

Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone who share their work with us. There’s no shame in seeing how far you’ve come!




Michael Tesauro
Michael Tesauro

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