This was a visual delight. Every set piece was intricate, the makeup was great and most of the acting was solid.
However there are a couple things to touch on here that no one has really brought up yet.
Story and sound. Two of the most important parts of a film in my opinion.
So I'll break down this story as I understand it:
* The man is poor and makes art
* His art makes other people happy
* A man comes up to him and makes him feel like garbage for being poor and about his love of art and simultaneously desperation for shoes
* he's hurt and contemplates it, "am I worthless?" But he's able to bring himself back to peace when he realizes his art makes other people happy and decides to make himself happy by visualizing himself with shoes on
It all seems touching but doesn't actually go the full 9 to make it so, and so it comes off as slightly contrived to me. This tends to happen when the conceit of a story is more internal or symbolical than practical.
Goal, Conflict, Overcoming conflict, cost, and Change. (a couple of important story factors, not all inclusive)
Mainly I feel there were issues with cost and change.
The way he overcame conflict was with his art, realizing that it makes other people happy and deciding to do that for himself. It's a beautiful and symbolic message. But not by itself. It seemed it was given to him by the writer and not earned at a cost.
Every person must pay a price to learn a lesson, we don't overcome adversity by just realizing something. Sometimes we need to lose something or change a bad (or good) thing about ourselves to truly learn or understand something. All those elements, well-realized, is where a lot of that empathy comes from. How you build real people. You had a good character, but I don't think you had a fully developed person.
Perhaps if that asshole in the white destroyed his art and he tried to redraw them only to realize that his art made others happy and he didn't need to be like everyone else or he had to sell his supplies and art for shoes only to realize art was the thing that made him happy and he learned to accept himself-- Something more tangible, in my opinion, would have given your message a lot more weight.
As far as your sound goes, that was another huge disconnecting factor for me. It took me in and out of your film multiple times. It looked good but the ADR and sound effects didn't match the quality of what I was seeing. Lots of reverb in those recordings, I could tell when you were looping/reusing sounds effects but your ambiance was pretty on point, which helped a bit. I understand we don't always have the best resources and some people are better at other things. Perhaps you could have made it work without dialogue and just ambiance and non-diagetic sounds? Visuals were your strong suit here, maybe you could use that to your advantage in the future.
Take all this with a grain of salt. It can be hard to pull off drama. Acting saved a lot of what you had here. But if you ever plan on screening this I'd recommend retouching that sound. It's an immediate indicator of someone who doesn't know what they're doing. Despite the issues I had I think you did fantastic job on this and wish you luck with your next film!