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What Happens When A Sharpie Lands in the Hands of Scott Davies?

Scott blew us away with his stunning Sharpie mural and we knew we wanted to chat further with this brilliant Brit. We also know you do too..

Just a fraction of what Scott created with only FIVE markers

Introducing Scott Davies:  

Tell me about yourself! Where are you from? Interests? Likes? Dislikes? Pet Peeves? Give us the good stuff!

Well where do I start! I’m a 17-year-old fine art and graphic design student, studying at Wyke Sixth Form College in Kingston upon Hull, England. Since I was very young I’d always been the ‘kid who did art’ my Dad is a painter and my Mother is a wizard with textiles. The artistic/ creative lives my parents live have definitely been influential on my interests and aspirations, and after maturing, art has become the driving force in how I go about living my life. As a school kid I’d spend countless maths lessons just doodling away, anything that didn’t interest me or I didn’t believe in I’d ignore and I’d just be doing my own thing in my own world, blasting a ballpoint pen with a chewed end or something. I’d often get in trouble, but I didn’t care because I knew what I wanted to do and that there was a place for me to make a contribution to the world if I worked hard enough.  Since then I’ve never stopped creating. I’m always drawing something and I feel certain that I want to study an arts-based-course at university (whether that be illustration or fine art) and to then attempt to make a freelance career out of art and illustration.

Wyke College

Off the topic of arts, I love the outdoors; hikes and such. I’d also like to make sure I do plenty of travelling; it’s humbling and inspiring. I need to see the world, and to make a little art along the way of course. [I am] very interested in music, too and it’s my main form of entertainment and I can’t seem to draw the same without tuning in, everything from Four Tet to Sigur Rós, if it matters. And if there’s anything I dislike, its people who just give up on art or show great skills but don’t believe it’s possible for them to make a career out of it, it fills me with pity. I just find it such a shame when people don’t have enough enthusiasm to just give something a shot regardless of what may get in the way. All art is beautiful in its own right and there will always be an audience for something.

What is inspires you to uncap what’s inside?
Things I see every day, personal experience which influences me to make work with relevance to society as it is today. I often find inspiration at the strangest of times so it’s always good to get things onto paper as they appear in your mind. I’m someone that’s probably blessed with a constantly imaginative and active mind which is great when it comes to having something to work from, however it does have its traits such as stressing yourself out over the littlest things and excessively over thinking yadda yadda.

How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?

Sharpie is a very iconic company, and I’ve been exposed to the products because of that. When I was little I used to draw on toy cars with them. But apart from my mural, ‘A warning’ I hadn’t used them in a piece of art before. Because I was aware that the pens would write on almost every surface I knew I needed some Sharpie markers to create an 8-and-a-half-foot illustrative drawing. A lot of my work is created with fine refillable pens and mechanical pencil when working [on a] small scale for the intricacy, so it seemed if I was working scale up I needed a broader tip that would have all the impact that comes with black ink (Sharpie fine point), but that would still be able to give me a delicate and highly detailed outcome. And they worked a treat!

Scott's pencil and pen work

Tell us how you got started with Sharpie?  
I had a voucher and I headed to my nearest stationary supplier and picked up three Sharpie Fine Point markers (these covered much of the whole mural) and I started on the board!

You created a HUGE mural using Sharpie, tell us what inspired you to take on a project of such magnum proportions! 

My art teacher Jon was aware I wanted to work on a large scale to create a drawing like my small scaled refined drawings, he was given the old photo board of students in 2011/ 12 which he then revealed to me, it left me in shock and perhaps fear. It’s around 8 and a half ft long and a good 3 ft tall, a massive blank canvas made of smooth plastic and I was going to be making a final piece out of it. I knew internally what I wanted to create, something that was an insight as that what I believe will become of the future of society as people become more media driven, brainwashed and subconsciously under control in a situation where there would be no such thing as freedom. The mural itself is titled ‘A warning’ because that’s its intentions.

In progress...

I didn’t make a single compositional plan for the mural, lots of people told me it was the wrong way to go about doing it and they seemed concerned that I would have problems down the line, but I carried on regardless just crossing my toes (hands too busy) that it would all just come together nicely. It started with a little pencil outline of a burnt out car and developed into a huge miserable inky dreamscape.

Still going...

It took a total for 5 Sharpie Fine markers with the assistance of a water based felt tipped grey pen for mid tones, which I’d smudge around the Sharpie lines (Sharpie ink unaffected). The Sharpie markers lasted for a very surprising amount of time; each one went a long way. Even pens that had run out I was using for grey tones. The pens never blued out, they stayed black, they were precise, stayed fine for as long as I needed them to be fine and they dried so quickly.

Almost there...

They allowed me to create the result of ‘A Warning’ I highly recommend them for anybody attempting to take on something of similar scale/surface. It took a total of 11 weeks to complete and 5 Sharpie markers (fine point) I’m unsure of hours and I neglected the board for a month to work on other things.
Favorite (or should I say favourite?) Sharpie?  Why?
Well so far I’ve only used the classic fine point Sharpie markers but I’ve only recently discovered that Ultra fine point markers actually exist, they’d be a joy to use amongst larger pens!

How would you describe your style?
I’d say something like contemporary illustration, traditional methods. Illustration for me is the bridge between graphic design and fine art; somewhere that seems appropriate for me to rest. I’m definitely a drawer but I would like to master it along with painting. Painting seems like another planet I’m yet to explore, and I’ve barely seen enough of drawing.

How do you decide what you want to tackle next, slash can you tell us what’s next for you!?

With me being a college student it’s all about university prep and I have to prioritize that work over everything else, my topic for my exam unit is ‘Body Language’ so expect some other large board filled based around that topic (potentially with the assistance of Sharpie ultra fine point) I’m currently working on my illustrative coursework final piece for graphics made with pencil, some progress images currently on my page. I’m also filling pages with sketches each day which I occasionally post on my little art page.

If you could have one super power what would it be and why?

Hm, well I did once see someone answer a question like this with ‘The ability to shoot three cotton balls out of your hands every ten days’ I thought that was nice and quirky. But in all seriousness I’d love to be able to pick up any instrument and know the techniques so I could create some weird one man loop machined orchestra, people would so see that.

If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who and why?

It’s definitely Rupert Murdoch, to give him a good slap with the mackerel I’d order.

Scott is QUITE the jack-of-all trades

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen is Scott Davies! I hope you all read that interview in a British accent, ( No? just me?) and were as blown away with Scott’s work as we were!

Have another question for Scott? Comment and ask away!

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Uncap the Drop

Recently our very own Sharpie intern, Samantha DeCarlo added a little color of her own to Crane’s Drop Humidifiers when they approached her to work on an ongoing project to spice up some of their products using Sharpie oil-based paint markers!

Each month, the company will feature one artist who uses Sharpie oil paint markers to decorate the humidifier, and Samantha is the first! AND once the humidifiers are finished, one lucky fan will win the one-of-a-kind creation!

To enter the raffle, go to: http://www.facebook.com/CraneUSA

To see more of Samantha’s work, visit: http://www.facebook.com/SGDart

The ink doesn’t stop here though, Crane is continuing the Sharpie love over the next year working with some AMAZING artists, including Sharpie blog alumni like Matthew Langille,so be sure to check out their Facebook and blog for more!

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Daniel Roberts is out of this world

We love Facebook, beyond the unlimited stalking opportunities it allows,  it ALSO introduces us to amazing, out-of-this-world artists like Daniel Roberts!

We had the amazing opportunity to chat with Daniel about his work and his unique Sharpie style. .

Check it.

1. Tell me about yourself! Where are you from? Interests? Likes? Dislikes? Give us the good stuff!

First and foremost, hello, my name is Daniel Roberts from Las Cruces, but currently I’m now living in Albuquerque, NM. I am turning 22 in April, I obtained my associates degree in Business Management. I have completed/sold well over 50+ canvases as well as I’ve created custom art for a select few. I have participated in approximately 5 local art shows including two in downtown El Paso, TX. I have developed my portfolio over the past 8 years.  More than money, I want people to simply see my art and view it as they may. Enjoy it. Every single one of my canvases I have created is made 100% Sharpie products. People always ask me why I create my Sharpie Art, I tell them “because when I actually start creating with a blank canvas and my Sharpie markers, I forget about the rest of the world, forget about my problems and insecurities, about failures and an uncertain future, about everything, I lose myself in each canvas…”  Each one of them tells my story; you just have to use your own imagination to bring them to life. My work is unique, original, and overall expressive. My ideas, imagination, and creations become alive through Sharpie markers. ENJOY!!

2. What inspires you to uncap what’s inside? How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?

My inspirations and signature art twists, come from different parts of me which are influenced by the different beautiful images of life that surround me. A select few icons that are my muses include Alexander McQueen, Marco Mazzoni, Alex Pardee, High Fructose & GQ Magazines, Brandt Peters as well as other inspirational artists. Music has also been a huge part of my inspirations.

Each and every one of my canvases are made with 100% Sharpie markers. As a final touch and when I decide I’m finished with a final piece, I like to spray paint the boarders with black spray paint to create a perfect fitted frame. This also helps contrast perfectly against the vibrant Sharpie colors on the canvases.  I’m always keeping imagination, creativity and the arts alive!! These are only a few things what inspires me to uncap what’s inside!!

3. You create some amazing blended looks with the marker ink, any tips on how to achieve this?

I ALWAYS get asked how I am able to manipulate the Sharpie Ink into such a smooth coating. I would love the share my secrets with the world, but that is something I’m also very proud of. I enjoy knowing that it is such a mystery, kind of like chefs “top secret recipes.” I like having a unique medium that I truly enjoy creating with. This gives my art an interesting edge, as well as brilliant colors. My personal tip, black Sharpie markers are the key to bringing all of my major and minor details a life.

4. Favorite Sharpie?  Why? 

By far, my favorite Sharpie markers are the original Fine Point Sharpie. I love the outstanding variety of colors. I have different art supply boxes and bags FULL of black and colored Fine Point, Retractable Sharpie markers, Twin Tip, and of course the Chisel Tip. I use nothing else but 100% Sharpie for my pieces! I recently fell in love with the black Sharpie King Size marker; this truly helps me with a lot of my major detailing, considering my bigger sized canvases.

5. How would you describe your style of art? 

I would describe it as Nontraditional–Urban. New Age. Unique Art. I create and design beautiful images, but there is a darker, sicker twist to each piece. I create things that don’t exist, but I really wish they did. I like to incorporate elegance and beauty with a touch of obscenity and vulgarity. When I start to create a canvas, I like to find ways where imagination and creativity can be explored with images never seen.  [D.R.]

6. Your work is pretty whimsical and other-worldly, how did you get started?

All of my life I have found that different art comes from different minds. I remember creating my first few art pieces throughout school with acrylic, pastel, oils, and other art supplies, but I never found my true medium that inspired me to explore further. I was 13 when I started creating with my Sharpie markers. I was leaving my mark with Sharpie everywhere; it was around 14 when I discovered my ability to manipulate the Sharpie ink. That’s when my entire world and visions of art changed. I truthfully started to appreciate the colors and details in each piece. I already loved creating with my little monsters, box-headed figures and strange images, but my “Top Secret Art Recipe” was what brought each character to life and pushed me further to explore my limits as an artist.

7. What projects are you working on currently or can you tell us what you ARE working on next?

Currently, I am working as a barista for Satellite Café in Albuquerque, NM. I’ve been selected to participate in creating the marketing flyer for “Live in the Living Room”, which is different events that are featuring local artists, actors, and musicians that come to perform for in our café. I also have been searching for different art galleries in New Mexico and around the country to try and participate in a show or even just get help in pointing me in the right direction for my kind of art. And always, I’m continuously working on different canvases around my house, which accumulate all of my wall space!! My Sharpie Art is my passion, my inspiration is everywhere!

8. Do you have a soft spot for one of your pieces in particular?

Well, of course I have my favorites, but each canvas contains an emotion of me. My heart, mind, body and soul go into each piece, my life and experiences (good and bad) are what influence my art. There are both happy and very detrimental pieces in my art collection. The titles of each canvas can also usually say a lot, but overall, your imagination is what really shows me as an artist I am telling you a story. I want people to view my art and focus on something nontraditional and let their minds explore.

Want to more? Check out all of Daniel’s work by becoming a fan of his on Facebook and checking out his website!

Want to OWN one of these other worldly peices? Shoot him a note at bleepy00012@yahoo.com

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Professor Rivard

It started with a skateboard. Which turned into an ad campaign. Now, Mark Rivard has started a movement.

Recently, Mark launched an art education program, The Mark Rivard Skateboard Art Education, a unique program designed to provoke and inspire students to strive for success through hard work and recognition of one’s potential.

Skateboards. Art. School. Stop it. Where the heck was this when I was trying not to bang my head against my desk praying 4th period would just end!?

Everyday we are blown away with what can start with Sharpie. Today, we have been blown to pieces, so we will let Mark tell you about it while we try and wrap our head around this amazing-ness!

Tell me! What have you been up to lately!?

What a rollercoaster ride it’s been since the 2011 campaign!  I have been busy!  The last year has seen so much opportunity for me it’s been unbelievable, but the most important opportunity came in the form of an idea I’ve had for quite awhile.  I started a skateboard art education program, which has been a passion of mine.  I’ve been creating art, painting, skateboards, sculptural pieces, just really letting the creative process grow which has been really interesting.  Life is good, and art is STILL FUN!

Skating selfie.

I know WE KNOW how, but tell us how you got started with Sharpie! 

My relationship with Sharpie started about five years ago when my aunt, who is an office supplies manager, mentioned to her Sharpie Rep that her nephew used Sharpie markers to illustrate skateboards.  That rep must have said something to the marketing team and the next thing I knew I was doing an interview for this very blog!  Then in 2009 I was invited to become a member of inaugural Sharpie Squad, from that opportunity we have just continued to spitball ideas and I am yet to find a better skateboard illustration tool…  There’s a lesson here too, foster your relationships.  Young artist are always asking me, “How did I get where I am?”   It’s those around you that are so instrumental in your success.  When I got my foot in the door with Sharpie I ate up every opportunity I could, I’ve been pestering the bigwigs over there for years with ideas and projects I want to work on (Pestering?! PLEASE- we love it!!) .  If someone would have told me five years ago that I would have the relationship I have today with Sharpie I would have thought they were crazy, but here we are, and you guys still answer my calls!!!  Thanks Sharpie, it’s been an incredible five years! Cheers to us! 

Since being THE skateboarding force behind 2011’s ad campaign- you have started up your own education program? Fill us in!

This has been the one thing in my life I can honestly say I am the most proud of.  I used the momentum and recognition that 2011’s Sharpie campaign afforded me and developed a program called Rivard Art Education.  I wanted to find away to give back, not only to skateboarding, but also to kids that are a lot like I was growing up.  School didn’t come naturally for me and I always had a hard time finding things that I was genuinely interested in.  The older I’ve gotten the more I realized my passion for helping people figure out their role in life.  I was fortunate in the things I’ve been through that I was able to find an outlet that I was so passionate about.  I was able to better my life because of it.  I want to help people learn to recognize that kind of drive in themselves.  School doesn’t have to be a drag ( seriously where were you during my 4th period class?!) and if I’m in a position to help make it better, even if it’s just for a few, than it’s something I am committed to doing.  I feel like with the campaign I was given the chance to use some of the inspirational themes to piggyback off of and create a, pay-it-forward, type momentum through the Rivard Art Education.

Professor Rivard and those lucky kids!

As for skateboarding and skateboard art itself, that is merely a tool.  I wrote this piece called “The Skateboarding Springboard”, which I think best describes the basis for the program:

“A couple of days ago I was talking with a friend about his idea to develop a skateboard school through one of the local shops.  As we were talking I realized that the fundamental reason for success with these types of programs has nothing to do with skateboarding itself and everything to do with the interactions and openness brought out by the idea of skateboarding and the aesthetic of skateboarders.  How do we sell this idea to group of people that have zero understanding of skateboarding?  The kids don’t care; they are intrigued by anything & everything when presented in manner that is giving them the freedom to discover their own outcomes.  How do you sell to a PTA?  Or a group of people who’s ideas of skateboarding is negative?  You prove to them that skateboarding is simply a means to a larger conversation.  The lesson and value of the experience is in the conversations had collectively while working on a skateboard.  It’s in the way you watch a young person come to their own realizations while pushing a Sharpie across the bottom of board.  Skateboarding is simply the springboard to so many other positive emotions and a tool used to inspire the emotions that in turn define what a young person is passionate about.  Once a kid discovers a passion they have instantly added a positive value to their own life, they’re now off and running with they’re own ideas.  And a kid with an idea is powerful thing…”

 

What has inspired you to start Rivard Art education?

I’ve been fortunate enough in the past to be invited to speak at a couple of schools around the world and those were some of the most fulfilling experience I’ve been apart of as an artist.  The first school I had ever been to was a high school in Dienze, Belgium, I was invited to speak about the differences between American and European Youth and Pop Cultures.  I was in Belgium doing an art show and a friend, who was a teacher there, thought I would be a good compliment to her current study of American Cultures.  It was a true honor and the response from the students was incredible.  I was also graciously invited into an all boys’ Muslim school in town called Al Kohr just outside of Doha, Qatar, in the Middle East.  I started to realize that through my art and my story I had a positive message to spread.  That message was in a way it’s own internationally and culturally recognizable language, the values were relatable through cultural barriers.

After the 2011 campaign I received an email from a local elementary teacher stating that I was an artist her school was going to being featuring and studying over the course of their school year.  I responded and told her that I was honored and would love to stop by and say hello to the students.  We got to talking and essentially created the Rivard Art Education, which had its first official run as a five-day residency at Liberty Ridge Elementary in Woodbury, Minnesota.  From there it has snowballed into national and even international interest with offers to visit schools, conferences’, and seminars as far as India!  I have a lot of appreciation for the support and insights that a few key teachers and educators have provided me in getting Rivard Art Education off the ground.  Tess Soucheray, Jill Brown, Jessica Frisco, Lorelli Byrne, Shannon Opichka, and Joanne Toft were all key’s to inception and success of the program and they deserve so much appreciation for their efforts in helping me get this going.  Thank you!

 

I know I would be psyched if you had come to my school, how could kids/schools get involved?

You can contact me through my website:  www.RivardArtEducation.com!  There are so many ways and ideas for incorporating the program!

A new level of class.

Are you still working as an artist and creating those amazing Sharpie decks we have come to love?

Absolutely!  My time spent actually creating has been challenged with the birth of all these new projects, but at the end of the day I still find myself sitting down and sketching out skateboards…  I’m an artist all the time, you can’t shake that…

What’s on the horizon for the rest of 2012?

The rest of this year and going into 2013 are looking busy.  I have a number of schools I’m going to be visiting and the program is turning into a full time job.  One project I am super excited about is an opportunity to work with Brunswick High School in Virginia.  We are doing a project where I will hand deliver 100 skateboards to the school to and be making art with the students for a few days there.  It was a project that hit near and dear to me when I learned of the high school.  They had approached me about making a visit and after a lot of brainstorming we came to the conclusion that there was simply not enough funding for the trip.  The teacher had talked to me about her schools budget for the art department and I thought I had to help in some way.  Instead of giving up I proposed a challenge to the school, and to myself, to raise the money and make, what I’ve since branded as “The Virginia Project” a reality.  The ultimate goal of what I do is to prove that you can do anything in life you put your mind to, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to prove that.  So in January of 2013 I will be going to Virginia to spend a week with the students of Brunswick High School!  I’ll also be visiting schools in Ohio, Colorado, and all over my home base of Minnesota with more opportunities coming up daily!

Where can we find you? :

RivardArtEducation.com

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

And be sure to “Like” the Rivard Art Education page on Facebook as well as Rivard Art Inc.!

Talk about having the coolest teacher EVER?!  Mark Rivard just won’t quit making his mark and we just love him for it!

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Tim Goodman Blows The Lid Off Vegas

What do Sharpie, Tupac Shakur and Timothy Goodman have in common? One heck of a live art mural in none other than hotter-than-hot, Las Vegas!

This amazing wall mural Tim created for FlexFit Headwear at the MAGIC S.L.A.T.E. trade show in Las Vegas back in August is just the latest in Tim’s amazing hand lettering feats (remember these!?!).  FlexFit is a headwear company located in Los Angeles that—like all the companies at the MAGIC show—appeals to the urban or ‘streetwear’ fashion community.

FlexFit challenged Tim to come up with an idea for a mural that he would draw, real-time, during the first day of the show. Tim’s focus was based around creating not only a great piece of work but an entire experience for people stopping by,  “While it was important that the mural was relative to the culture of both FlexFit and MAGIC, I also wanted to create an experience for the passersby that wasn’t too literal to the brand.” And boy, did he! Just check out the video below!

image via Timothy Goodman

Get the full low-down on Tim’s website along with EVEN more photos from the event!

Do it, to it.

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Sharpie LIVE at Evil Olive

THIS Friday, October 19th, Chicago’s own Evil Olive in the very cool Wicker Park neighborhood, will be hosting “UnVeil,” a collaborative effort between Sharpie artist Keith Skogstrom of Geodesic Designs and Loren Egeland of Soulfume Ink.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY! Sneak peek at the installation! See the real thing THIS Friday!

Keith, a furniture and mural artist in Chicago, IL,  took a minute to fill us in on how this awesome project came to be!

I contacted the owner and requested to place a temporary mural on a vacant wall in his venue. Professionally, I’m constantly searching for public spaces in which to display artwork. For me, the idea is that as an artist I need to be making objects, and continue to put them in the public eye. It forces me to generate work and to maintain a presence in the community. I used my recent work at Violet Hour and Back Room, as examples of the proposed mural and after formally pitching him my proposal he put me in contact with the management team. We collaborated on how the installation would reflect both my aesthetics as a designer, and the needs of the venue. In order to best  suit our collaborative needs I invited graphic artist, Loren Egeland of Soulfume Ink to participate in the creation of the installation. Loren created digital renderings of his contribution to the piece.

It all starts somewhere...

I then put together some drawings of the overall arrangement and design of my 12 panels.

Sharpie sketches...

...at their finest!

Together we spent the last 4 months in my studio, also known as “The Sandbox”, building and designing the installation.

My contribution to the installation is inspired by the radial symmetry of­ gears, along with the mechanical processes involved in creating the shapes and panels themselves. I see the mechanical ratios of gears as patterns which I can distort. I use Sharpie markers to create implied depth and functional pattern on sculptural elements.

The wheels are officially turning!

The final arrangement and size of the individual panels, is determined by the location of the mural within the venue. In this case, it is nestled under the steel stairs on a brick wall.

We look forward to unveiling this art installation and encourage everyone to join us on October 19th at 8PM at  Evil Olive (1551 West Division).

You’ve seen how it all started, now head over to Evil Olive THIS Friday to see how it turned out!

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James Victore: The Simplicity of Being a Genius

Every once in a while we get a little star struck; especially when it comes with discovering a certain creative genius is a fan of us, little ole’ Sharpie! James Victore is just that creative genius. The renowned American art director, designer, and author turned us into screaming fan-girls around here when his team reached out to let us know of James’ Sharpie love. I mean the guy has published a book, held his own awe-inspiring conference, oh, and has had his work exhibited in The Museum of Modern Art. NBD.

We (and by “we,” I obviously mean “me”) stand by our fan-girl status. We also proudly own the possibly embarrassing display that occurred when he asked if he could contribute a guest blog post. I will just leave it at “excessive”. What? He’s awesome.

But enough gushing from me, let the mustached man inspire you to Start with Sharpie for himself and find out what’s next on the horizon for this celebrated genius.

The 'stache. Gets me every time.

There is power in even the simplest of tools…

Graphic Design is an intellectual field, we spread ideas, the images are just the teaspoon of sugar– or vitriol– that we use to cloak the message. I find it satisfying to illuminate ideas using simple tools. In every thing I make, I want to entertain, educate, and enlighten with the simple twist of the cliché—images that are deceptively simple.

Why Sharpie?

My weapons of choice have always been a Sharpie and a pair of scissors. There is something so honest about ink on paper. Black and white is truth. For me, there is no quicker way to get thoughts on paper—the pen is my freedom. Even today, a Sharpie and an opinion is worth more and stronger than the shrewdest marketing strategy.

I’ve used Sharpie pens in work for all my clients; Esquire Magazine, Aveda, Moet Chandon, Bobbie Brown, the City of New York, The New York Times and Time Magazine. Most of my work hanging in the MoMA was made with Sharpies. (SEE! Let’s see you try to not drop your jaw)

Moet

I begin every job by sketching. Just putting thoughts on paper– trying not to judge or evaluate too soon– just rough first drafts. Later I refine these, but too well. I rarely use the computer to clean up or alter hand-made marks. I try to leave all the fingerprints. Today’s reliance on technology makes the human mark even more impactful and memorable.

What’s Next?

“Take This Job & Love It”. Was a day-long symposium here in New York on September 29th. I spent the day discussing creativity—and how you to reclaim it in your own life. A big part of that is showing you how to lose your hang-ups, the things that stifle your creativity and to start thinking about the things you create as a “gift”. By believing your work is a “gift” it radically changes what you create. I think this is a revolutionary idea. it’s no longer about client approval or a paycheck, but aspiring to make work that has meaning and purpose in your life and for your audience.

The next big design project here in my studio is a poster series called “New York I Love You, But…” We will be designing a series of faux motivational posters to hang throughout NYC—simple reminders of core values and philosophy like personal responsibility, etiquette, and discipline—not preachy, just honest.

One of these posters uses the 1960′s classic icon “Hang In There Kitty” as a starting point. Our poster will say “Let Go Kitty” meaning let go of fixed thinking, of the status quo forget all the preconceived notions of what life is supposed to be like. Look for it on Kickstarter this fall.

James Victore…

in the MoMA

http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=35811

Website

http://www.jamesvictore.com/

Take This Job & Love It

http://www.jamesvictore.com/takethisjob

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And the Winner is….

YOU! Ok, well it could be- all you need to do is whip an AH-mazing design and enter THIS contest!

To celebrate their first tour, our favorite band, California Wives, is offering you the chance to DESIGN their Tour Poster with Sharpie! The winner walks way with major bragging rights and $500 buck-a-roos!

Are your hands shaking with excitement? Well, then head over and check out all the rules and Start Something!

Be sure to share your entries with us on Facebook or tag us on Pinterest!

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Jam Out and Make Your Own Sharpie Music Video

This back-to-school season, Sharpie is showcasing the work of some of its most passionate creators in the brand’s first music video.  The video, which debuted as a TV spot last night during the “2012 MTV Video Music Awards,” features hundreds of images of Sharpie fan creations set to the music of indie band California Wives.

BUT we didnt stop there! Utilizing the latest advancements in web development – HTML5 and CSS3 and a lot of other fancy technology, we created a Sharpie Music Video Mashup that lets our fans, just like you,  create a customized Music Video Mashup that can be shared on your social networks!

All you gotta do is visit the Sharpie Facebook page and upload your own creations to the Sharpie gallery, or select from more than 18,000 existing images that fans have already contributed!  From there, just drag and drop the chosen images into place, hit play and watch YOUR Mashup come to life to the tunes of California Wives!  Each Music Video Mashup is a totally unique expression, where you can be your very own mix masters.

Share what you started with Sharpie and shoot us your finished Mashups– we will share our favorites here!

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Sharpie Star, Emmy Star Brown

It’s that time of year again! Sharpie is excited to announce the bright new faces appearing in its 2012 advertising campaign! You may remember last year’s “Start With Sharpie” ads that featured some of our most passionate fans.  We were so inspired by what fans just like YOU are creating with Sharpie that we HAD to showcase a new round of amazing talent in 2012!

Allow me to introduce you to Sharpie’s newest rising star, and one of the stars for our 2012 ad campaign, Emmy Star Brown! (Yes, I am having a touch too much fun with her name; I mean, who wouldn’t?! It’s AWESOME!) 

Our very own gold star, Emmy Star Brown, Sharpie 2012 Advocate!

Emmy is a Chicago graphic designer and artist who got her start by creating eco-friendly, freehand expressive artwork on salvaged glassware and glass windows. And this cute-as-a-button creator is pretty rough and tumble when it comes to her craft– from dumpster diving to garage sales– she digs in, taking other people’s discarded treasures and giving them new life with our new Metallic markers (NEW Gold and Bronze colors joining Silver)!

Tell me about yourself! Where are you from? Interests? Likes? Dislikes? Pet Peeves? Give us the good stuff!

I grew up right outside of Chicago, in the suburb of Glen Ellyn. I think describing a bit of my childhood may explain where my artistic roots came from.

 As a kid, both of my parents were teachers. Mom taught elementary school, Dad was a middle-school art teacher. With his summers off, Dad would pull me around in a little red wagon through the flea markets. As an art guy himself, he would go seeking old books, tools, and things for his classroom. This really opened my eyes to the world of finding, salvaging and reusing early-on, which has stuck with me my whole life.

 

Likes: Design-wise, I have always loved mobiles, typography, modern/minimalist work. Keith Haring, Robert Rauschenberg and Alexander Calder are my heroes.

I’m also a huge dog lover. I have a 14-month Welsh Corgi named Mickey. He looks like a little bear. He’s good company at the studio too.

As you can probably guess, I love salvaged furniture too. I’ll often stumble upon old wooden coffee tables, chairs and/or shelving in our alley, most of which I somehow make room for. I have had pretty good luck lately. My most recent find was a pair of really nice mid-century mirrors.

What inspires you to uncap what’s inside?

Most of my inspiration for my current work comes from my background in graphic design, specifically typography. I have always had some attraction to letter forms and script fonts. I just love their movement, line weight and sharpness. I also feel incredibly inspired by my friends! My closest circle of friends all work as independent creatives as well, which I feel allows for us all to feed ideas off of each other. This group includes an animator, jeweler, craftsmen, seamstress & illustrator.

How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?

All of my work began with ink drawings! If you were to flash back to three years ago, you would find me sitting in a corporate office, filling sketchbooks and scrap paper with doodles in my free time. I had stacks of them. Little did I know, these were the start to something much bigger.

Favorite Sharpie?  Why? 

Bronzed and Beautiful!

My favorite Sharpie is the fine point black markers. Black ink has always set the foundation for me, always the best starting point. I also love the metallic markers, they appear beautifully on black surfaces.

How would you describe your style? 

My style could be described as: abstract, controlled, intricate, whimsical, expressive, smooth, seamless, organic, free-flowing.

Because my lines are so controlled, my work is often mistaken for screen prints or paper cut-outs, which is interesting. It’s actually a compliment.

One of my friends recently said to me, “your gift is your control, your skill is painting.”

You have done some amazing things on VERY different surfaces and go to some pretty unconventional lengths to get them. Tell us, do you REALLY go dumpster diving?

Yes! I have many times. Its not a daily thing but I have gone to extremes to find old windows. Surprisingly, most are found in my own neighborhood, Ukrainian Village. I guess I have been lucky to settle in an older neighborhood, but I definitely keep an eye out for them all the time. I commonly find them piled up in the alleys, dumpsters or around construction sites. Its always funny approaching construction workers, as I’m not taken too seriously at first. But you’d be surprised with how many I wind up walking away with. Lesson learned – It never hurts to ask. I really prefer to find the old windows myself, rather than buying them. I love having a story of where they came from. Of course, the more I can salvage, the more I can keep my prices of paintings down too.

What are you working on next?

My next project is going to be a grouping of smaller glass paintings.

I don’t know about other cities, but the Chicago suburbs ‘unlimited garbage day’ is taken very seriously around here. Once a year, each suburb is assigned 1 day to throw as much junk on their lawn as they please – which often is very usable furniture, housewares. etc. This results in scavengers, like me, spending hours rummaging through it all. I was fortunate enough this past May to salvage around 50 old photo frames, all of varied sizes, colors and materials. Jackpot!

Because most of the glass was either missing or broken, I did replace lots of it. But finding each frame adds a little more personal story behind each piece. And it feels good knowing that this ‘waste’ will be reused into a piece of artwork worth keeping.

Sassy in silver

Do you have a soft spot for one of your designs in particular?

Yes! One of my first ink drawings I ever completed was a piece titled ‘Feather.’ Not only was it my first 2-piece drawing, but also my first piece which I felt worthy enough to frame. Fast-forward to 3 years later: I saved enough money to get my first studio space in Chicago, which ironically is called the ‘Feather Lofts ‘ so I now feel a little more even attached to it.

Best part of your “day job”?

There are so many best parts! I love the freedom of making a living, doing what I love. It’s really a dream. I was often told growing up that ‘art is a hobby, not a career.’ but overcame the obstacles to make it happen for me. It really feels more like a lifestyle than a job at times.

Working directly with clients is another great part. They are so appreciative, kind and supportive.

If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who and why?

I would choose Robert Rauschenberg. He was an incredible inspiration in my dad’s classroom, as well as in my creative process the past few years. He created non-traditional collage work using layers of found photos, prints and trash. He salvaged things to recreate from, which of course, is a major component of my own work. He also took risks and was experimental and didn’t care. His experimentation lead to ‘surprise and collectiveness’ as he said, which allowed him to really run with his style. Every artist, aspiring or professional, could learn from this guy.

Want more on Emmy? Check her 30-second ad that will be coming to a television screen near you!

AND the full-length version right HERE!

Also, be sure to check out her profile in the Sharpie gallery and see EVEN more on her website and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, on Flickr and on Instagram at emmystarbrown!