Meet the Ipswich 'super artist' who paints shoes for children with cancer

Marta Kukanauskas paints colourful shoes for children who have cancer Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Marta Kukanauskas paints colourful shoes for children who have cancer - Credit: Charlotte Bond

They take hours of meticulous artistic handiwork - but these shoes, lovingly painted by an Ipswich "super artist", not only look good but give children with cancer strength and hope.

Marta Kukanauskas has building up her drawing and illustrating portfolio ever since she moved to Ipswich five years ago.

Marta Kukanauskas paints colourful shoes for children who have cancer Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Each shoe takes between four and six hours to paint, depending on the design - Credit: Charlotte Bond

But the mother-of-two "wanted to do something for other people" - so applied to charity Supershoes to create bespoke footwear for young cancer sufferers.

The 31-year-old is now one of the organisation's "super artists", spending between four to six hours painting each converse trainer exactly how each child wants it.

Marta Kukanauskas paints colourful shoes for children who have cancer Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Marta Kukanauskas has painted three pairs of trainers for Supershoes so far - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Receiving her plain white shoes and a detailed brief in the post about what games, sports and TV programmes the child likes, she carefully crafts the design in waterproof acrylics.

The volunteer then sends them back, so they can bring a little bit of joy to children at a testing time.

Marta Kukanauskas paints colourful shoes for children who have cancer Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

This particular pair of shoes was designed in a Sonic the Hedgehog theme - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"I've always been drawing and painting. It's a relaxing thing to do and I just like doing it," said Mrs Kukanauskas, of Dales View Road, Ipswich.

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"All my life I've just been doodling in my books in school and in my notebooks. It's just who I am.

Marta Kukanauskas paints colourful shoes for children who have cancer Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The bespoke shoes are said to bring joy to children at a testing time - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"When I heard about Supershoes, I thought: 'I really want to do this.'

"The shoes are there to give them some strength and hope, as well as cheer them up.

Marta Kukanauskas paints colourful shoes for children who have cancer Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Marta Kukanauskas greatly enjoys painting for Supershoes - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"When they arrive, they are so happy. You can't get those kind of shoes in the shops. They are very special.

"I really like what the charity does. If I can help them in any way, then I will be happy.

"Supershoes is a beautiful charity doing a wonderful job and I am extremely happy to be a part of it."

Mrs Kukanauskas - who lives with her husband Tomas and children Maja, five, and Marius, three - is moving to Poland in September but hopes to continue painting for Supershoes long into the future.

Supershoes says its trainers are designed to "capture that child and all their favourite things - games, sports team, music, animals, colours, TV programmes".

For more information about Supershoes, visit www.supershoes.org.uk 

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