In October of 2011, I designed a series of Chuck Taylor Allstars for Tauntr.com, featuring popular TV characters. Since I'm a huge fan of Breaking Bad, I jumped at the opportunity to design a shoe featuring the show's main character, Walter White. I drew a portrait of Walt and then made some mockup images of what the shoes would look like in Photoshop. Shortly after the pictures were posted, emails started pouring in from fans asking where they could buy the shoes.
The problem was, I had absolutely no idea how to print onto an actual shoe. Assuming that I couldn't afford to have the shoes printed anyway, I made peace with the fact that it simply wasn't going to happen.
Then a few days later I received a surprising email from the personal assistant to Bryan Cranston (the actor who plays Walter White). She informed me that Bryan had seen my shoes, loved them, and wanted a pair for himself. I began then scrambling to find some way to print the shoes.
Lucky for me, right around the same time I was also contacted by a shop in California called The Ave Venice, who had built their very own printer for making custom Chuck Taylors. Fast forward a week later and I was holding my very first pair of Breaking Bad Chucks.
I shipped the shoes off to Bryan and once he got them he not only called personally to thank me, but he also mailed me a photo of himself with the shoes, a Breaking Bad watch, and even invited me to be his guest on set in the spring.
Everyone involved with the show really went out of their way to make me feel appreciated. In a situation that could have ended with a cease and desist, I have been consistently treated like a friend of the show. I couldn't have asked for better experience as both an artist and a fan.
PS: Watch Breaking Bad.