As a child I always adored art. One of the earliest childhood memories I have is my mum giving me paints with paper to paint on. Apparently, it was the only time I was able to stay in one place. When being creative, for me, it was my outlet and it simply relaxed me.
I grew up in the London borough of Lewisham and bonded with my art teacher in Secondary School. My teacher inspired me in so many ways, encouraging me to use my imagination and to think creatively, encouraging me to be the best I can be. By visiting many art galleries, my appreciation for art was further enriched; being exposed to numerous artists, mediums and styles of artistic representation. In awe of it all, and being a perfectionist when creating my artwork, my teacher repeatedly reassured me (whilst banning the use of rubbers) by saying “There are no mistakes in art!”
Till this day, as simple as that quote may seem it has stayed with me. Using it as a mantra it has enabled me to manoeuvre through difficult situations and is fundamental to Mythical Canvas. It is important to encourage children to ‘just go for it' and let them know from a young age that there are no mistakes, just learning opportunities. Through art, we are allowed to express ourselves without limitations or judgement, which young people need to help forge positive behaviours and attitudes for their future.
I went on to graduate in Product Design and worked as a Graphic Designer for several companies. Then in one of my Graphic Design roles I decided to take the leap and quit my job to pursue Mythical Canvas. It's development became my mission and I decided to apply for support from The Prince’s Trust. I can’t begin to thank them enough for all their mentoring support and insight in helping make my dream ‘Mythical Canvas’ a reality to share with you all.
The main idea of Mythical Canvas was to produce a canvas shoe from scratch, inspired by an artist’s canvas, with the final product having concentrated key factors of quality, workability, endurance and inspiration. Over three long years, I liaised with shoe designers, factories and received loads of samples. This was to ensure the perfect product was produced to stimulate inspiration; and give a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment for each child that receives and completes a pair of shoes.
It had been quite a long process forming the foundations for Mythical Canvas but not being one to procrastinate I decided to train and qualify as a Primary School Teacher. The amount of joy, insight and knowledge I have received each day with working with these young people has literally blown me away. It has only further reiterated my reasons for launching Mythical Canvas and the benefit it will have on them.
The imagination of young people is limitless; by exposing them to art and inspired projects it will aid ongoing development and boost self-confidence. Mythical Canvas encapsulates all of this with the added opportunity for them to express the individuality through fashion. Something that they can wear with pride and literally take little steps further towards their dreams, whatever they may be.
This is only the beginning, but the dream is finally coming true. So please join us on the Mythical Canvas journey and remember that…
there are no mistakes in art!
David, Founder of Mythical Canvas