Sharpie’s Atlanta Interns are taking over the Sharpie Blog today! Caitlin Peterson (@cbarrettp) and Chelsea Gattung (@cgatt777) are two smart, sassy and quick-witted young ladies who have been working hard for us all summer long. We thought it would be fun to put their blogging skills to the test and give them a chance to take over the Sharpie blog.
Today, Caitlin has put together an amazing interview featuring an Atlanta-based artist with a knack for Sharpie Paint Markers, which I’m sure will knock your socks off! So there you have it, now, take it away Caitlin…
Ready to “Get hit with a Sharpie?”
…Because that’s exactly what Atlanta artist Mark Boomershine does to every painting, adding his own flare and style to iconic images eliciting a new smile, laugh or thoughtful pause to every piece.
Using Oil-Based Sharpie Paint Markers to add that little something extra to every piece, whether with revealing words or finishing highlights; he creates a look that sets his stuff apart from the rest.
Boomershine has always harbored a passion for art, carving his own path to fuel his creativity and fashion the stories that are told through his art. After completing his studies in art and business at the University of Alabama (as a Georgia Bulldawg I’ll try not to hold it against him) he explored a variety of different avenues, including life as a salesman, entrepreneur and inventor, before recently deciding to “Uncap” his craft full-time.
His unique style mixes text and imagery using a simplistic, color-block portraiture technique that is made powerful by the words spoken by and about the subject. Staying true to his roots, he honors his inspirations while redefining the original, creating his incredible and individualistic pop art.
His cool southern charm and collaborative style has warranted some rightful attention and placed him within the pages of The Atlanta Magazine and The Atlanta Journal – Constitution. His piece, “The Real Man Behind the Mask,” a portrayal of the Native American hero, Tonto, from The Lone Ranger television series, resides alongside the art of greats like Andy Warhol and Steve Penley in the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. There the unique works hang in the Contemporary collection in the American West Gallery.
Boomershine has said that his work isn’t complete without a little Sharpie love… and we’re OK with that! So if you’re ready to “get hit” read on and check out the complete interview with one of the coolest artists coming out of the Southern city.
How did you get started as an artist?
I have always been into art. In fact my art probably caused my not-so-stellar grades in every schooling before college. I was drawing or painting for hours upstairs when I should have been studying History or Math! I excelled in Advanced Placement art in high school, and I parlayed that into a minor in Studio Art at the University of Alabama (I majored in Business Management – how about that for left brain/right brain education). I later became my own art and marketing department as an entrepreneur and inventor because I was too cheap to hire anyone else. I have made art an integral part of my life. I have come to a place in my life where I can now make my art my single focus and my full time occupation. I call it throwing caution to the wind and going for the “Art Gusto”!
Tell us a little about your genre. How would you describe your style? What makes your work stand out from the rest?
I fall into the Pop genre. My style is very bold use of color, design and composition with a fun play on words or strong use of text to make my art more dimensional. I feel my smart use of words makes my art have a layer that causes the viewer to stop and read things, which in turn means the viewer is spending more time interacting with the piece itself. I try and make my art relational.
What is one of your favorite exhibitions or events you have been involved in? Why? I recently worked with BMW and a local BMW dealership to promote the latest 5 Series model. The cool part was that I was given a vintage 1986 325 BMW to paint as a rolling canvas. I painted the car in my garage, which I converted into a car-painting studio. For the show we turned the dealership showroom into a great looking gallery of 9 pieces of my art, one hand painted car, and some beautiful and shiny new BMW’s. Who would have thought a contemporary styled BMW dealership could turn into a hot looking art gallery? (watch video below to see Mark working on the car in action)
What goes through your mind when you see people looking at your art? Is there a certain reaction you want to elicit? What do you want people take from your art? I have to admit it is a little weird. You are exposing yourself. Your talents, your thoughts, and not to mention your hours of work that went into the piece. However, I relish the viewing of my pieces. I am in the spotlight for that moment in time and I like it. If I can elicit a smile, a chuckle, or even an outright laugh I am happy with that kind of reaction. Of course a swoon of amazement and unabashed praise is always welcome as well! Ha! I want people to take away the feeling that they have seen something original when they see my art. I want to take familiar people, objects, places, or animals and combine them with a twist in the form of text that makes the piece original in itself.
Being from, and living in Atlanta, how has the city inspired you? Does Atlanta art have a style all its own? What else serves as your inspiration? First of all, I love being from Atlanta. It is a perfect combination of Southern nostalgia and charm with a contemporary urban twist. I feel the city has inspired me by its wit and charm. I think a lot of my fun play on words may come from that subtle humor that a true Southerner can put into just a word or two. As far as my look, I think it lends itself to the more urban side of Atlanta. I have also traveled the world extensively and I feel I try and bring in some aspects of the classic European masters with the cutting edge pop artist of recent times.
Why did you want to incorporate Sharpie markers into your art process? Sharpie has always been by “go to” tool. As a youngster I would use them for model airplanes, and homemade toys. As an entrepreneur inventor I would use them to mark up samples of prototype models. So when I became a full time artist I naturally went to Sharpie products as a tool I wanted to use in my art. The colors available, specifically in the paint marker area, are perfect for my needs. I use every size tip available. From the broad chisel to the extra fine tip – I use them all! I could not do the monotonous lettering of some of my pieces with out the Sharpie Paint Marker. They allow for ultimate control of the medium and I trust the adhesion to the media. I specifically use the Sharpie Paint Marker in my lettering of text. I start by a light guide layer that is printed on the canvas. As the painting progresses I then go over the light guide with the paint marker. Sometimes I spend nearly 5 hours on the lettering on say a 36”x36” piece. Monotonous, but oh so effective. A few months ago I picked up a light blue fine tipped Sharpie Paint Marker and went crazy highlighting some elements of the painting. I absolutely loved the look! I now consider my paintings unfinished until I hit them with my Sharpie. Then my painting REALLY comes alive and I consider the piece ready for display.
Why do you feel the Oil Based Sharpie Paint Markers work best for the highlighting work that you do within your art? How do they enhance your work & where do you find them most useful? There is no product on the market that gives as good of paint coverage with one swipe nor the color selection as Sharpie’s Paint Marker. Once the paint is flowing through the tip the color applies in such a fluid and controlled manner they are a joy to work with. The color also stays very vibrant. Even when applied on top of other paints. Sharpies make my works come to life in the manner in which I use the pens to add highlights to areas of paintings in the form of accent lines. As mentioned above I also use the Sharpie Paint Marker with the extra fine point to do my meticulous lettering on the background of my paintings.
Sharpie’s tagline is “Uncap What’s Inside!” Does this apply to your work and if so, how? For sure! I mean c’mon…I turned an old BMW into a rolling canvas with the help of Sharpie!