Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Ford.
Mark, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as a creative professional.
I’m a 25-year-old footwear designer from the south side of Chicago.I’ve been designing shoes for four years I received the name Kami “Ka-mi” at the age of 15 when I traveled and attended school in Tokyo, Japan. They gave me the nickname Kami which stands for the “divine one” when I lived out there. Since then, the name Kami had transitioned and carried over when I came back to the states.
Later on in life, when I was 21 years of age, I used to work at a local Champs footwear store at river oaks mall Calumet City, Illinois while working there, I grew fascination for the footwear and product that we carried, but I always wonder what if this item could be in a different color or style. So, one day, I looked up and did my research, one paint that could be applied to shoes. At first, it started off as a hobby but when I progress on my craft, people started noticing it more and more and like some hobbies, they turn into businesses. Since then, I’ve had this hobby open up countless doors with the help of my talent and my connections in the high demand of the shoe designs that I’ve made. I’ve had celebrities, artists, as well as customers, request my work and designs. Some of the celebrities that I have worked with and designed for are Jhene Aiko, Chicago’s Gherbo, Lil Bibby, Jeremih, Dj L Beats, DJ Hot Rod “power92chicago” Dj Zaytoven, Toni Romiti, Chicago’s comedians Reggie Babyee, Skinbone.
My goal as a designer is to make my shoe designs trendy, cost-effective, and have a deep impact with the youth in Chicago to show that there is more to Chicago than the negatives that they face and that your hobby’s and interest can open doors in a positive way.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m a footwear designer. I create products that people are interested in whether is there a favorite artist, fashion, style, color. I normally hand paint or airbrush. It honestly depends on the design or shoe. The inspiration that made me want to start designing shoes honestly was just being a fan of how shoes have an influence on our everyday life. When it comes to the finished product, I tend to always set the image that for every pair I design for a client, it’s also 1/1 in their own kinda of way.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist or creative professional?
As an artist, I define success as, using your platform and art to create an impact. That’s influences a generation or group of people to reach their fullest potential with talents while using your art as motivation. I feel that the characteristics that are essential for the success of an artist are that the artist has to be willing to look at the big picture of the audience that’s observing his/her art and use it to influence people in a good way. Also, do and create what is the artist feels emotionally through art.
Do you have any events coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your work?
I have an Instagram: kamiford. I have a retail store in river oaks mall calumet city named “everything custom” or if the customer wanted to purchase online my website www.808kami.bigcartel.com.
- Address: River Oaks Mall Calumet City, IL 60409
- Website: Www.808kami.bigcartel.com
- Phone: 7082646292
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Kamiford
- Facebook: Kamiford
Gherbo, jhene aiko, jerimih, lissy cloud9ine studios