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Lawrence artist hand paints dozens of shoes for Chiefs players

Players use shoes to bring awareness to causes
My Cause My Cleats artist
Posted at 5:33 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 20:07:22-05

LAWRENCE, Kan.  — When the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots on Sunday, keep a close eye on their feet.

More than a dozen Chiefs players will use their shoes to bring awareness to causes close to their hearts.

John Sebeilus is the Lawrence artist leaving his mark on the NFL.

“I constantly called and emailed the Chiefs and told them I was the only man for this job, I will keep bothering you until you give me this gig," Sebelius said.

For the past two years, Sebelius has landed the project of custom-designing cleats for the Chiefs.

“It’s really exciting for me as an artist to get a gig like that, that highlights an organization that’s doing such important things," Sebelius said.

Just by looking at the pairs unveiled this week, it would be hard to tell that before landing the job, Sebelius had never painted on shoes before.

“I’m kind of a multi- disciplinary artist, so I do a variety of things, painting and drawing, clothing and apparel and some short documentary stuff, so all across the board," Sebelius said.

The artist said he spent months working on the kicks for the NFL's annual My Cause My Cleats initiative, starting back at the Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph.

“It usually takes probably about a week, a little less than a week, to finish one pair of shoes.," Sebelius said. "KC Wolf shoes are a lot larger, so those took about close to a month, three and a half weeks."

My Cause My Cleats showcases shoes with messages about causes important to the individual players.

Team Smile (Dustin Colquitt), KC Pet Project (Ryan Hunter along with Rally Cap Sports), Fuel Up to Play 60 (Mitchell Schwartz) and Uplifting Athletes (Nick Allegretti) are among the causes Chiefs players will represent when the game kicks off at 3:25 p.m. Sunday at Gillette Stadium outside Boston.

“We were going down the list and we were like, oh my gosh, there we have our name there, so, Ryan Hunter is going to be wearing, one of his cleats will have our logo on it," KC Pet Project chief communications officer Tori Fugate said. "They will be auctioned off at a later date and proceeds just come back to help the pets here at our shelter."