Chatty Feet: David Sock-Knee

I love textiles, especially socks. I was always interested in designing things for people to wear, and finally got a chance to test out my skills on a real life project with Chatty Feet – one of my favorite sock design companies. When the studio commissioned me to illustrate a series of designs for them, it rocked my own socks right off!

Our first project was David Sock-Knee.

Chatty Feet is a London socks company, focused on character-driven designs. They have been successfully creating socks featuring funny illustrated characters inspired by artists and celebrities for a while now. This time, they wanted me to create a sock character inspired by the famous British artist David Hockney.

I wanted my design to be an interpretation of Hockney’s own works – featuring bold color combinations and strong use of patterns. I’d take these elements and filter them through my own style, as well as through the technical requirements of sock weaving.

Although I was familiar with the artist’s work, I wanted to take this chance to reacquaint myself with his art. This meant filling my reference folder with photos and scans of his paintings. I also collected many photographs and portraits of him, to better understand his facial features.

I always prefer working in raster, rather than vector graphics – having more natural control over the textures, color mixing and brush quality. From initial sketches I worked in Adobe Photoshop.

Once the design was finalized and approved by the client, I brought it over to Adobe Illustrator to create the final crisp design.

I was very happy with the final result, and so were the client and the customers. As a result of this first project, I ended up getting commissioned to create three more designs for Feet Mondrian, Albert Einstoe and Stephen Toeking! They all turned out to be really nice socks.

Designing clothing articles feels very different from more traditional prints or digital illustration. It’s kinda cool knowing that someone out there is currently wearing the socks with my art on them. Coming from motion and interactive design background, creating art for physical products was a completely new experience, and I am so happy Chatty Feet gave me the chance to see my sock design wishes come to life.

Designing for socks was definitely a learning experience for me!

“David Sock-Knee” was the first in a series of sock designs I created for Chatty Feet. You can see the remaining ones on the company’s site.

For other projects including illustrations, fabrics, packaging, animation and even virtual reality, visit my own site at – and don’t hesitate to say “hello” via email or social media.

Chi Michalski

Chi Michalski is an illustrator, artist and occasional art director in Seattle, working under the name of ChiChiLand. For the past decade she was a half of the creative duo running Istanbul’s beloved motion design studio – imago. These days she focuses on art and illustration while continues to create work in the field of animation and design.

Chi’s unique style is inspired in equal part by nature, urban culture and folk art. To create her pieces, she uses a mix of traditional and digital media, utilizing both the techniques that have been around for thousands of years and all the latest developments of the digital era.