MY ARCHIVE WITH KYLA SCHOONRAAD
Meet Kyla, the Cape Town artist who describes herself as a curious creator. She uses her work as a window into her mind, & if that’s anything to go by, then it’s a world of technicolour. Vibrant colours excite her and for us, the onlooker, this leaves us captivated with a sense of joy & a hint of nostalgia.
What really caught our eye though, was her brilliant sneaker box customisation, where her colourful and vibrant use of colour comes to life. We caught up with her to chat about this, her art & style influences & latest collaborations
Who were some of your influences growing up, is there someone in your family or childhood that was also an artist/illustrator?
The earliest influence that I clearly remember was my mother because she would buy craft paints, books and stationery - Blo Pens were our favourite to use. Then she’d create posters for mine and my brother’s room, and I’d try my hand at replicating them.
Your sneaker box customisation is such a unique craft, we’ve never come across anyone else who does that, let alone thought of it—how did that come about, and why that and not the typical sneaker customisation?
Thank you! It was just an exploration of curiosity. I was working with gouache paint on a project at the time and really liked the texture it had once it dried. There was a red Nike sneaker box with a matte like finish in my room and I had an amazing blue colour in the gouache paint. I thought the colours would go perfectly with yellow and white, and that resulted in my first ‘customised’ box.
How would you describe your personal style and taste in sneakers, would you consider yourself a hypebeast or more of the traditional ‘sneakerhead’?
Am I crucifying myself by saying that I’m neither? Both of those categories require time and dedication and I usually go for whatever catches my eye with regards to silhouette, material, colour and comfort and that may not always be what’s most sought after.
We’re pretty sure there must be a lot of heat in your closet, what’s the one pair you couldn’t live without at the moment? What else is in your current rotation?
The classic black Chuck Taylor All Star are my go to’s and wheat Nike Lahar Lows are pretty cosy.
Last year you collaborated with Converse and Archive on their Gateway store opening? How was that experience for you?
Getting to do two things I’ve always wanted, which was to customize sneaker boxes for a brand that I appreciate and window art for a store was a surreal experience that I’m so grateful for.
For anyone who follows you, they know you to love music as much as you love illustrating. What’s currently on heavy rotation on your playlist?
Doja Cat, Japanese jazz and anything that would have played on Simunye Groove.
If you could collaborate with an artist or a brand, who or what would it be?
Karrimor, and I’d create a range of heavy duty lifestyle bags. It contributed to my understanding of creativity and customisation because I used to decorate my own as well as the bags of some of my peers, in high school.
Your top five sneaker brands?
- Black, Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
- Green suede, Adidas Originals Campus
- Khaki/black, Nike Air Max 95
- New Balance 574
- Smoky indigo suede, Reebok Club C 85 SG with the gum sole
Lastly, what can we expect in the future from you?
I hope for anyone observing my journey as a creator is that they’re constantly delighted or inspired by what I do.
Adidas or Nike?
I plead the 5th...haha
Air Jordan or Yeezy?
Designer or streetwear?
Low tops or high tops?
Collab or Retro?