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Woman overcomes addiction with art, one brush stroke at a time

<i>WPVI via CNN Newsource</i><br/>A Bucks County woman is opening up about her battle with addiction and how art helped save her life
Arif, Merieme
WPVI via CNN Newsource
A Bucks County woman is opening up about her battle with addiction and how art helped save her life

By Alyana Gomez

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    WARRINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A Bucks County woman is opening up about her battle with addiction and how art helped save her life, one brush stroke at a time.

“I paint to keep me out of my head,” said Kelly Murphy, founder of Shameless Soles.

Murphy is a self-taught custom shoe painter who never knew she could even draw until she put pen to paper while in recovery from an opioid addiction.

“I spent 14 years in and out of addiction and treatment centers. I couldn’t get clean,” admitted Murphy.

She says a friend suggested painting as a hobby and once she started, she couldn’t stop.

Art became the addiction, but a healthy one that turned into a business she now calls Shameless Soles.

“I just wanted more for myself, that was it. I didn’t even know what that meant but it was either that or I was gonna die,” said Murphy.

She does it all by hand, drawing the creations first on canvas or leather sneakers and then coloring in the intricate details with acrylic paint. The entire process she says takes about five days on average.

“I put my heart and soul into every pair,” said Murphy.

One pair of custom kicks costs about $275, but the price includes the purchase of the shoes. From color blocking to character designs, Murphy has fulfilled more than 200 orders in the last two years.

“I did a Jason Kelce pair which was really cool, him and the mummers, I had fun doing that,” she said.

It’s not the money that motivates her. Murphy says painting has given her purpose and encourages others to find something they love more than using.

“It’s not an easy demon to fight, but if you keep fighting no matter how many times you fall, just keep getting back up,” said Murphy.

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