Artist Joseph "Sentrock" Perez feels invincible.
The Arizona native, who now resides in Chicago, has reasons aplenty to feel that way, but what's inspired the feeling this week is his winning Chicago-based shoe company Bucketfeet's next artist contest. Sentrock submitted a black, white, red, and robin's egg design on a pair of lace-ups into the contest and won based on votes, of which he got more than 5,000.
"The reason I feel in invincible is because this was left into the peoples hands," Perez says. "Bucketfeet chose me in the top 10 out of hundreds of artists, but my community and the people chose my art. That gets me so hype to know that I have the support of so many people, not just the company. Having such an amazing support from my hometown Phoenix and new home Chicago gives me the feeling I can do anything I put my creativity to."
Bucketfeet plans to release Perez's design later this year. "The design was inspired by a sketch," he says. "When I heard about the contest, I redid my sketch and tweaked it a bit on Adobe. The sketch had the words 'strength from struggle' on it, which is now the title of the shoe."
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But the shoes aren't the only things he has in the works. He has a couple shows in the works in Chicago. "I'll see how those play out and how more of the art scene responds to my work," he says, adding that he's had a warm reception so far. "I know it's going to be a a big push, but I am not backing down."
Perez has a couple upcoming mural projects and looks forward to a group show in Phoenix at Willo North this fall. It'll feature Luis Gutierrez and Martin Moreno, two artists Perez is excited to show with because they've been big influences on him. "Both artists have shown at the Phoenix Art Museum and other museums around the country, so it's definitely an honor for me!"
As far as delving further into fashion, Perez doesn't rule it out. In fact, he's totally into the idea. "I really want to get into the fashion industry, not jumping into it head first or anything, but I would love to collab with more companies and designers."