A 21-year-old artist named Melicka Ghafouri has become an internet sensation through her unique creations on TikTok and Instagram. Ghafouri, who is based in Coventry, has gained over 40 million views for her artwork, which involves turning trainers into various objects, such as ambulances and apartment blocks. What started as a hobby has now become her full-time job, with Ghafouri designing custom pieces for YouTubers and showcasing her work in Paris.
Ghafouri’s artistic journey began with self-teaching. She learned how to paint on trainers by watching YouTube videos and purchasing a starter pack of leather paint. Intrigued by the concept of wearable art, she aspired to turn it into a career. Her breakthrough came when she transformed a Nike Airforce 1 trainer into a detailed model of an ambulance, complete with flashing lights and moving wheels. A video showcasing the creation of this piece went viral, attracting a diverse audience.
While Ghafouri received praise for her craftsmanship, she also faced criticism from some who questioned the purpose of her creations or made derogatory remarks about a woman using power tools. However, Ghafouri remained unaffected by the negativity, viewing it as an opportunity to reach a wider audience. She found the experience enjoyable and continued to focus on her work.
Ghafouri’s talent and dedication have opened doors to incredible opportunities. One of her early designs, called Mibraine, was featured in an exhibition at the Galerie Sakura in Paris. Recognizing the personal significance of the piece, she flew to Paris to repurchase it after the exhibition. She has also collaborated with London brand Notwoways, founded by YouTube star Callum McGinley (Callux), to transform a trainer into a multi-storey apartment block. This project, known as Sole Storey, includes intricate details such as a swimming pool and a ‘zen’ garden, all housed within a Notwoways shoe box.
Looking ahead, Ghafouri has ambitious plans. She aims to work with more brands, creating marketing campaigns and sculptures for stores. Additionally, she envisions opening pop-up shops across the UK to sell her clothing designs and connect with people who appreciate her artwork. The support and positive feedback she receives from her audience are a constant source of gratitude for Ghafouri, who finds joy in making art for those who truly appreciate it.
In summary, Melicka Ghafouri, a self-taught artist, has captivated millions on social media with her ability to transform trainers into extraordinary objects. Despite facing criticism, Ghafouri remains focused on pursuing her passion and sharing her unique artwork with the world. Her journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists and highlights the power of creativity in capturing the attention of a global audience.