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By way of introduction, here's our Converse painter's reply to my inquiry regarding his various names. "My name is Peter Robinson. I am a musician and I create hip-hop, electronic, and dance music and when I do that I go by P Smoov. When I create visual art I go by Ten Hundred. In each aspect of my life I go by a different name. It can be confusing, I know."
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Nordstrom special projects gal Olivia Kim facilitated a collaboration with Converse whereby artists from all over the country were invited to go to town on a pair of white canvas high-tops. Robinson is one of a small handful of Seattle artists chosen to represent locally.
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"At first I was only supposed to do 30 pairs for the Bellevue Nordstrom. But then when they saw the first photos of my work coming back they asked me to do 30 more pairs for the downtown Seattle location," Robinson told us.
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"I submitted sketches to Converse and they chose a design that they liked. When I did my sketches I actually sketched out a shoe first and then sketched the design on that to try and do something that fits into that specific shape of a Chuck Taylor. The timeframe to complete the work was very short and I ended up painting non-stop to get the work done. But it was a very cool experience and I am honored to be a part of such a cool project."
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"Painting 120 individual shoes, the process of repetition is what really gets you. Usually when I make a painting it is a one of a kind and when it's done, you move onto the next idea... with this project I would go through and do each step of creating the finished product 120 times. That can drive you a little crazy."
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Robinson at the Bellevue Nordstrom Converse popup. Local artists Jesse LeDoux and Frances Nelson were also featured.
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After seeing skateboards and more with Robinson's universe transcribed on them, I asked the artist about his chosen medium—if, in fact, there was one. "I do a lot of paintings on canvases that I salvage from thrift stores, or antique shops, or alley ways or wherever. I like to take things that people have thrown away and breath new life into them and make them beautiful again. People commission me to do all kinds of things like shoes, and toys, and snowmobiles and I enjoy branching out, but at the core, right now, I enjoy painting on old crappy mass produced art that you might find in the lobby of a hotel, or in your grandparents living room, or something like that and putting my crazy, colorful, contemporary stuff right on top of it."
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"I did shoes as small as kids size 11 up to adult size 12. I made at least two pairs of each size. The adult sizes are $75, which makes Nordstrom the most affordable place to get my artwork."
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"Art is so therapeutic to me because it trains me to look at my world as one giant inspiration. One thing that is inspiring me right now are all the cultures from around the world that seem foreign to me. With my art, I am trying to create a world, and just like with our world, I want my world to have lots of different kinds of people in it. In our worlds there are so many different kinds of people, and religions, and customs, and traditions, and clothing, and so on and so forth and I want my wolrd to be that way too." Get inside Robinson's world by visiting the downtown Nordstrom now. These colorful kicks won't last long.
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