This week Sharpie Canada launched its second annual Remix Project where it challenges Canadian fans to start something with Sharpie for a chance to win a trip to see any band anywhere in the world! This year our favorite Northern neighbors have from April 22nd to September 15th to submit their Sharpie creations through partnerships with MUCH MUSIC in English-speaking Canada www.muchmusic.com/sharpieremix and MUSIQUE PLUS for French-speaking Canada www.musiqueplus.com/sharpieremix.
The Remix project is so huge that it will be split up into THREE phases with THREE different themes! Kicking it off will (of course) be “Music” and we can’t wait to see what our fans create inspired by all the different music that people love! The Sharpie Canada team will be announcing the other two themes throughout the summer so keep your eyes peeled!
AND just to keep it interesting, each phase will have a randomly chosen cash prize of $2,500 for anyone that submits a Remix (WHAT?! Can you say CASH money, money?!?!). Oh, we don’t stop there, in addition each creation submitted will be entered for a chance to take home the whole enchilada, the kit-and-caboodle, the GRAND PRIZE EXTRAVAGANZA: A chance to see ANY band, ANYWHERE, which will be announced after the contest wraps in September.
Just in case you weren’t hanging on my every word last year, let me offer a little background on the Sharpie Remix: Sharpie Canada and Much Music launched the Remix Project last year on April 15th and for six short weeks had hundreds of Canadians show off their talents and creativity with a Sharpie products. They remixed everything from toilet bowls (yep. even the ‘ole porcelain throne wasn’t safe) to filing cabinets and reallllly stretched their Sharpie muscles. When it came time to pick a winner, the team had a tough job selecting the ULTIMATE Sharpie Remix but eventually no one could deny Amanda Gobin from Toronto who remixed her. entire. room. The room remix included it all; the bedding, walls, clothes, shoes, no space was left blank. As we understand it, she was not grounded. Major props to Mom and Dad Gobin, wouldn’t ya say?
NOW, Amanda had the hardest decision yet- she could choose ANY show, ANYwhere. ANYWHERE! Can you IMAGINE ( well, if you’re this year’s winner… YOU will!) Amanda ultimately decided on jetting down to see our favorite Aussie country singer Keith Urban in his old stomping grounds of Australia. UNFORTUNATELY this time the show couldn’t go on and due to unforeseen circumstances had to be cancelled BUT we take care of our winners! That lucky girl got the chance to stay and frolick outback style in Australia and then when she got back home was given tickets to a whole slew of shows that were taking place in her very own hometown, Toronto.
Where will our new 2013 Remix winner choose to go? It’s up to YOU! Check out the Remix project pages to view, vote or create yourself! Annnnnd remember, this one is only open to our Canadian fans… those guys get have all the fun(for now…) .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Sharpie Squad creates custom prosthetic leg for teen football star
We recently had the AMAZING opportunity to help a local Atlanta teen, Erik, create a custom designed prosthetic leg using our products. When the INCREDIBLE team at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta approached us with the idea, we were both thrilled and humbled at the prospect of helping Erik uncap his creativity and his love for sports through his prosthesis. In fact, we even invited our own Sharpie Squad (a group of some of Sharpie’s most passionate and creative fans) to get in on the action.
Erik (middle) and the AMAZING CHoA team
After a few exciting brainstorm sessions, the Squad got to work. Eventually Erik decided on a combination of two designs from Squad members and artists Drew Michael and Lauren Seal.
Last November the Sharpie Canada team and the Design Exchange (DX) museum in Toronto teamed up for an exciting project. We challenged DX’s large design community to come up with a Sharpie marker holder that would make their office a happier place.
We KNOW the happiness-inducing effects of a Sharpie marker, but in far too many offices our colorful little magical wands are hidden in a drawer with paper clips and tissue paper. We knew we needed to change this. As luck turned out, the DX was in the final stages of their The Happy Show exhibit featuring the work of international renowned graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister. The show is the output of his ten-year exploration and takes a visual, empirical, interactive and quirky look into what makes us human-folk happy. Can we say match made in heaven?!
So, after a quick open call and less than a month later we received thirty amazing entries including renderings, inspirations and detailed design specs. From this amazing group we had the difficult task of choosing ten finalists and had them show us their stuff! They were each tasked with creating their Sharpie designs in time for the opening night on January 9th.
Then it was up to us to show them off! We set up an all white cubicle complete with a white desk, carpet, trash, tape dispenser etc.Truly a blank canvas for some Sharpie inspiration! Guests strolled through the exhibit floor and registered their vote with (what else) Sharpie markers on a giant grid scorekeeper. To date, we’ve been through over a dozen of these and the DX expects to welcome 35,000 visitors by the time the show wraps up!
The cubicles and Sharpie Holders were a permanent part of The Happy Show until it left town on March 3rd. We will have a winner chosen at the end of the show but DON’T WORRY, we want you to have a say, too! Be sure to cast your vote on Facebook and help us select our winner TODAY!
Are you in the Toronto area and want to check out the Design Exchange? Head right downtown to the Design Exchange and for more information, please visit the DX site www.dx.org.
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!
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!
Introducing Joe, Jayson, Dan and Graham, also known as California Wives, the men behind the music!
From left to right- Graham, Joe, Jayson and Dan
Tell me about yourselves! Where are you from? Interests? Likes? Dislikes? Pet Peeves? Give us the good stuff!
Three of us grew up in the suburbs around Chicago. Dan and I actually went to rival high schools, but we got over it. Graham moved to Chicago a few years ago, but he grew up in Florida. We all like Science Fiction and are proud fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Judge us if you must, but Captain Picard is one our heroes. Not too many pet peeves, but Graham cannot stand ketchup, or catsup for that matter.
Being Chicago natives, where did the name California Wives come from? ( Feel free to start with … “It came to me in a dream after a Real Housewives marathon”—we’d get it. We’ve had the same dream…)
California Wives as actually just something one of us said once. It was winter and it was super cold in Chicago and we happened to start making music that sounded sunnier. When we realized it, we all thought, “didn’t somebody say something about ‘California wives’ the other day?
What is inspires you to uncap what’s inside?
That moment when you start bobbing your head while playing a song, or beat, or melody. That inspires us to keep going. Once you’ve got a song that you really like to play, you want to write more.
Tell us how you got started with Sharpie!
We used to burn a lot of CDs of demos that we made. We’d mark each one a Sharpie marker so we could tell them apart. There are piles of CD-Rs with odd song names on them hanging around someplace. If you run across some, let us know, they might be ours.
My mom describes us all as, “in need of a haircut.” I respectfully disagree.
Color really seemed to impact your upcoming album, Art History, what is about color that influences your writing?
Colors are something that are easy to associate with moods. You can use them to allude to a feeling without necessarily having to name it. I think that’s why they appear in so many of our songs.
(HEY Sharpie fans- don’t forget to download this AWESOME album on iTunes!)
You crazy kids are about to head out on tour (with a full supply of Sharpie markers on hand!) What or where are you most pumped for?
Getting to see Stars and Diamond Rings live every night is pretty exciting. Besides that, it will pretty cool to drive through the Southwestern United States. Speaking of colors…
Do you have a soft spot for one of your songs in particular? (I know we do! Hint hint, Sharpie fans, check out “Purple,” which debuted in our first ever music video!)
Light Year. It was the last to come together, so it’s the newest to us. It’s like the band puppy.
If each of you could have one super power what would it be and why?
I [Joe] would never get tired or have to sleep so that the band would not have to deal with my snoring. It would also be nice to not have objects thrown at me if I pass out in the back of the van. Seriously, though, if I didn’t have to sleep, I would have an extra third of my life to do stuff.
Jay would have an infinity stomach. He’s a pretty skinny guy so it would be funny to see him wipe the floor with some competitive eaters. They’d just stare at him and think, “where does it all go?”
Dan would be able to read 7 books at the same time. That way he might have time for a few other hobbies. Really, it only seems like’s he’s always reading because we spend so much time in the van.
Graham would be able to talk with dogs. He does all the time, anyways. It’s just usually a very one-sided conversation. I’m sure he’d like to know what the dogs think of what he’s saying.
If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who and why?
Ray Kurzweil seems to know a lot about what’s going to happen in the future. I wouldn’t mind having him drop some knowledge on me.
Dont you just feel closer to the coast already? Wanna check these guys out live?! Well you’re in luck they are heading out on tour with Stars and Diamond Rings
You know those wildly difficult-to-fold pieces of paper called maps? Those oversized contraptions soon to go the way of GPS? Well they’ve found new purpose. Thanks to Enrico Miguel Thomas, subway maps now have soul.
Enrico is a subway map artist. He uses Sharpie markers to create magnificent works of art on subway maps.
Based in Brooklyn, Enrico got his start as a map artist after he discovered that Sharpie markers were the perfect medium to express his urban style. Using subway maps as his primary canvas, Enrico created a style — a genre, even – all his own. Subway maps became the “drawing paper” that allowed him to express his unique perspective, including the incredible and inspiring views of New York City that capture his imagination.
Take a minute to get to know Enrico in our interview below — he won’t disappoint — and who knows, maybe you’ll find your way to a one-of-a-kind canvas that inspires you.
The Apple Store
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What are your interests, likes, dislikes? Pet Peeves welcome too.
My name is Enrico Miguel Thomas and I was born in Los Angeles, California. I love to draw and always have. The legendary comic book artist, Stan Lee was one of my first artist role models. I used to constantly study how he drew his super heroes .
A good day for me is one hundred push-ups first thing in the morning, followed by a bottle of water and then off to my favorite cafe in Brooklyn, Le Petit, for some apple pie with an iced chai tea latte for breakfast. I am also a film fanatic and a huge X-Men fan and some day I would love to have a part in a cool action film! I am usually always a positive person and can’t stand when people don’t at least try to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. I admire people who have persevered through the greatest odds and keep going anyway!
What is inspires you to Uncap What’s Inside?
I first started using Sharpie markers in my second year at Pratt Institute. As a drawing major, I found Sharpie markers to be so easy to work with as a drawing tool. They were so compatible with virtually every drawing surface I tried whether it was paper, wood, or even foam core. After I graduated, I stuck with them and have always insisted on using them. While at Pratt and afterwards, I began to draw lots of architecture and nothing compared to the black Sharpie Marker! They always had such a smooth feel on the paper’s surface.
Eventually, I would try using a subway map as drawing paper and Sharpie markers were perfect for this new drawing surface! The beautiful architecture in New York City and the cool subway trains and stations inspired me to go out and draw. I love the challenge of creating the illusion of a three dimensional space on a two dimensional drawing surface.
Also, my childhood was very difficult so art has always been a refuge for me and always gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. It gives me a new identity as an artist instead of someone who had a difficult early life.
How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?
In my work, Sharpie markers are used in a way that I think is a metaphor for a part of my personality, which is that of a fighter and someone who perseveres. I can take a package of Sharpie markers and create a colorful drawing that looks as though it was created with the most expensive art materials. e.g. oil paints, acrylic paints, etc. For example the Sharpie Silver Metallic marker works perfectly for the color of the subway cars that I draw on the subway maps. The bottom line for me is that it doesn’t matter how much you have without. Instead, it is what is within that matters. If the will power is there you can create with anything. This is what “Uncap what’s inside” means to me.
How would you describe your style?
My style is all about speed. The speed of New York City. I love to draw quickly so my style is definitely illustrative and architectural but can also be classified as fine art.
How did you get started?
I started drawing at the age of eight. I remember being in an art class when I was about thirteen and the teacher would say, “Enrico it is time to go”, but I would want to stay and finish my drawing because I loved art so much. I continued to take art in high school and college and always received encouragement to keep doing it from family and teachers alike.
You have really put a new spin on “following the map” – tell us the story behind using subway maps as your “canvas.”
I started using subway maps because I wanted to try a new challenge. Life without challenges is pretty stale so I gave it a go even though I wasn’t sure if I would like the result. To my surprise, using subway maps as drawing paper, added the additional challenge of working with the colors already present on the map. It wasn’t always easy collaborating with the map but I was determined to make it work. This is the message that I would like my art to send out to the world. In life you have to keep trying until you are happy with yourself. You have to refuse to give up!
The city really seems to inspire you and your art; do you have a favorite subject or a place in the Big Apple where you find inspiration?
My favorite place in the city, by far, is New York City’s upper west side at 72nd Street. There is a huge exterior subway station there with a smaller one behind it and in the background, beautiful tall buildings that provide the perfect backdrop for the negative space of the drawing. I have always found this space to be architecturally fascinating.
Your art has a really cool “sketch” effect that I can imagine is hard to create with a permanent marker! Do you free-hand your work or plan them out first?
I definitely free-hand all of my drawings. It is just a gift that I am very thankful to have and it has been a wonderful refuge for me all my life.
The New York Philharmonic
Franklin Street Station
How do you decide what you want to tackle next, slash can you tell us what you ARE working on next?
I basically just walk around until something that I find beautiful “catches my eye.” And then watch out because Enrico Miguel Thomas goes to work on the spot and basically doesn’t leave till the drawing is complete – just like I did in Junior High School! There was this one time about two months ago, when I was working on two interior watercolors of the New York City 72nd Street Station and my work session didn’t end until about 5am! Right now I am working on a subway map drawing of the New York City Freedom Towers that are actually still under construction.
Do you have a soft spot for one of your designs in particular?
I definitely have drawings that are favorites. I love my 72nd Street drawings and my Flatiron building drawings.
72nd St on Subway Map
Best part of your “day job”?
I decided after Pratt Institute, to give my life to my art so it is all I currently do. I believe that when you make up your mind to do something nothing is impossible. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” – James Allen
If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
To fly so I could travel for free. First stop…Paris!
If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who and why?
Finally, what are you just JAZZED about for 2012 (trends, upcoming projects, personal life)?
In 2012, I am really looking to branch out even more as far as additional exhibitions of my work. I am also going to study more acting. Studied some already about five years ago at H.B. Studios here in New York City. Also looking into doing art work in Amsterdam and Paris.
Check back to see what Enrico Starts next and be sure to follow him on Twitter @NYCSubwayArtist for daily updates.