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