i know this is very late but i do know how you can paint on leather [not sure about suede, but could find out] without cracking
if the leather you are using has any varnish or treatment on it you first prep the leather [just the area you are going to paint on] with some acetone [nail polish remover]
then you get hold of paint called Angelus [you gotta order this stuff from the US which is a bit of a pain]
paint whatever you want on it in thin multiple layers and then varnish it
the result will be a really nice design [so long as you have the skill to paint well]
you can also airbrush [you have to increase the viscosity with medium so that it doesn't kill the airbrush] and stencil with this paint- airbrushing will give a nicer finish
i know how to do this because i used to customise trainers, which obviously get a lot of wear, so i'm sure it would work really well.
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