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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!

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Fast Company Uncaps Their Most Creative People of 2012 List

What do CeeLo Green, Aziz Ansarii and Sharpie have in common?! They all made Fast Company’s list of 100 Most Creative People in 2012!

Our very own Sally Grimes, global vice president of marketing for Sharpie, was named to Fast Company’s 2012 ”100 Most Creative People in Business” list.  The annual issue celebrates some of the best and brightest in business, academia, entertainment and more.

Our fearless and creative leader, Sally Grimes, global vice president of marketing.

Sally is among some INCREDIBLE company. Just check out last year’s line-up which included Oprah Winfrey, Tina Fey and Sharpie showman, Conan O’Brien (remember Conan’s Sharpie?).

This year, Sally is rubbing elbows with equally good company, including execs from Amazon, Spotify, Facebook, Starbucks, Google, J.Crew, Nike, and Twitter.  Not mention some major A-List celebrities including, performer/producer CeeLo Green from “The Voice,” actress Jessica Alba for her health-minded children’s company and comedian Aziz Ansarii!

Sally gives major love and credits YOU, our amazing fans, for her and the brand’s success.

We couldn’t do it without you and the AH-MAZZZZING things this wonderful community starts with Sharpie every. single. day.

Sally Starts with our very own Sharpie community!

The issue is online here and hits newsstands next week.

Congratulate Sally and give a little shout-out for this outstanding achievement by posting a comment below!

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Sharpie.Snap.Share…

…With Sharpie on Instagram!

Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever. Then share it with your friends on Instagram and  on a photo-by-photo basis on Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. Additionally, if you specify a location with your photo, you can opt to have them check you in on Foursquare. Pretty nifty right?

In honor of National Photography Month and to celebrate that Instagram is now available on iPhone AND Android phones; I thought it was about time to introduce the world to our best kept secret, Sharpie on Instagram! Ok, ok, its not that well-kept, we already have more than 14,000 followers and growing ( #humblebrag ;) ).

Want to check out Sharpie on Instagram? 

1. Download the FREE Instagram app to your mobile device (NOTE: it is currently only available on iPhone and Android devices)

2. Create an account and get snapping!

3. Follow @sharpie and be sure to tag us in all your Sharpie-riffic photos!

Instagram also has a pretty sa-weet blog that showcases the best pictures from around the Instagram universe if you want to check it out, we highly recommend it!

Happy snapping!

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S is for Spring… or Sharpie…

…either way it’s a STUPENDOUS letter that opens up a whole new world of possibilities! Say hello to spring with sunshine, flowers, days of dreaming of playing hooky and cruisin’ around in a sailboat (WHOOO worked in another “S”!)

So while we get to work on commandeering our summer transportation or making a really awesome friend who has one…how about a sprucing up your day with a bouquet of brilliant new colors from Sharpie Pen!

You too, can pick from the growing garden (insert courtesy chuckle here) of Sharpie Pen colors and add Hot Pink,Turquoise, Coral and Clover to your spring collection!

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Pinning is the New Winning

Sharpie has joined in on the newest and fastest growing social media platform, Pinterest and is making its mark and wanting to share yours!

Stop by and show us what you're starting! http://pinterest.com/sharpieuncapped/

In case you haven’t been on this fast growing and addicting social media darling, Pinterest is best described as a vision board-styled photo sharing website and app where users can create and manage theme-based image collections.

Pinterest’s mission statement is “to connect everyone in the world through shared tastes and the “things” they find interesting.” Which is exactly what users are doing! People are using Pinterest to help plan their weddings, decorate their homes, organize favorite recipes, build fashion archives and more. By labeling and creating theme-based image boards, users populate their own boards with inspiring images and videos found online using the “Pin It” button

Sharpie is joining the pinning party and has officially launched its own page!  With 10 boards and more than 130 pins already, Sharpie is covering everything from DIY to die for, aspirational home décor and inspiring ways you can start something with Sharpie!

Check out Sharpie on Pinterest and be sure to “follow” all the different boards to stay inspired and up-to-date AND tag us in your Sharpie creations so we can check out what you’re starting with Sharpie.

BUT be sure to brush up on all the pinning rules and regs prior to getting “pin-it fever”! For more information on Pinterest,  to get an invite and get started visit their help page!

Pinning really is the new #WINNING…

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SHARPIE GETS TED

Ideas are what make the world go round.  They’re the foundation of the future.  They’re what inspire us to dream big dreams and climb big mountains and solve big problems.

At Sharpie, ideas come from our fans.  And they’re an inspired  bunch.  Have you seen what they’ve created?  Have you seen the ideas and inspirations and possibilities they’ve put out into the world using Sharpie as the conduit to creativity?  Maybe you’re even one of them.  Maybe your idea is one worth sharing.

Every once in awhile an idea comes along and somebody notices.  The TED award for “Ads Worth Spreading” recognizes great ideas in advertising, and today Sharpie was named one of 10 recipients of the 2012 award.

TED is a nonprofit group devoted to ideas. Since it started in 1984, it has become a driving force in advancing open dialogue, creativity and innovation in the areas of Technology, Entertainment and Design.  Through its annual conferences, TED brings together thought leaders from around the world to collaborate, learn, listen and engage toward a better tomorrow.

TED selected Sharpie’s webisode featuring pen cup artist Cheeming Boey to receive the award. It showcases Boey as he takes us on his artistic journey and the role Sharpie played along the way.

Boey was featured in Sharpie's print campaign, too!

The TED “Ads Worth Spreading” award is given to ads that become part of our cultural story, that amplify passion instead of ambushing viewers, that elevate the craft of storytelling while beautifully blending traditional and digital media.

But you be the judge.  Watch and weigh in with your thoughts.

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NEW Stainless Steel Pen is Your New Favorite Stocking Stuffer

In 2009, Sharpie® debuted our Stainless Steel Marker, the grand daddy of the Sharpie marker world. Sleek and stylish, the Sharpie Stainless Steel marker is a thing of beauty, encased in brushed stainless steel and finished with an etched Sharpie logo on the barrel. 

Well, we have done it again for the 2011 holiday season, and are proud to introduce the Sharpie Stainless Steel PEN!! A deluxe pen version designed specifically for everyday writing and perfect for the Sharpie lover on your list (especially the eco-friendly one given its refillable cartridge).  Its ultra-fine point tip and no-bleed ink make it perfect for taking notes, journaling, and adding a personal touch to holiday cards, gift tags and more. It’s the gift that just keeps on giving!  

The new Sharpie Stainless Steel Pen lays out the same bold, smooth, high-quality writing experience you have come to expect from Sharpie.  It’s also fade-, water- and smear-resistant when dry.   

Be a good Santa and drop one of these under your tree, into a stocking — or smuggle one away for yourself. ‘Tis the season to shine!

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The President’s Harley

Whether it’s the freedom of the open road or the precision and distinctive beauty of the bikes themselves, motorcycle enthusiasts are passionate about the ride.

Sharpie President Ben Gadbois
Ben Gadbois is passionate about a few things: His family, his health, his work…and motorcycles. As president of Sharpie, Ben recently found a way to combine his passion for Sharpie with his love of motorcycles.
Ben worked with renowned NASCAR artist Nick Pastura to customize his own Harley-Davidson motorcyle with Sharpie art. Before getting started, Ben talked at length with Nick about his vision — juxtaposing the hard edge and rugged persona of the Harley machine with images symbolizing beauty, peace and strength — images often associated with Japanese art. In the end, Nick presented Ben with a design that included traditional Japanese symbols — dragons, Koi fish and cherry blossoms.
“I gave Nick full creative license,” Ben said. “I told him to come up with something really bold, and he definitely delivered.”
Scroll through the pictures, then read an interview with artist Nick Pastura on the project:

The bike took NASCAR artist Nick Pastura more than 120 hours and 275 Sharpie markers to complete.

In Asian culture, dragons are considered symbols of good fortune and protection. In both Chinese and Japanese mythology, the dragon is closely associated with water and is often surrounded by water or clouds.

The Koi fish symbolizes energy and motion and is sometimes interpreted to mean non-conformity. Koi also means strength in time of adversity, persistence, and the ability to overcome resistance.

According to the Buddhist tradition, the breathtaking but brief beauty of the cherry blossom symbolizes the transient nature of life.

 

 

ARTIST NICK PASTURA SHARES HIS SHARPIE SECRETS

While Nick rarely shares the secrets of his trade, he agreed to give us this interview about his use of Sharpie markers on this classic motorcycle:

After you landed on the overall design concept, what were the next steps for contributing that vision to paper?

I started out doing a lot of research on traditional Japanese imagery and colors. I wanted to stick with the classic Sharpie colors as my main stay…after that, it was just a matter of what tip shapes and sizes would work well together on each motorcycle part.

How did you transfer the design onto the bike? Transfer paper.

What type of Sharpie marker did you use to:

Were there any special techniques you used to ensure the marker ink lay down properly or covered the area properly? I used small, tight, circular motions.

Did you blend any of the marker colors to create custom colors, and if so, how? Again using three similar colors to add to the main base color to complement it and blend.

Were there any other techniques or tips in the early stages to note? Yes. When blending colors, make sure the ink is still wet in order to blend easily.  You have to work quickly.

Once you completed the finished design, what did you do to seal it?  What type of sealant did you use? First, I applied three light mist coats of Dupont 622 Intercoat Adhesion Promotor.  Then I let it sit for four hours to dry thoroughly.  The final clear coat was Dupont g2 4500S Fast Activator.

Did you encounter any special challenges with the ink application and if so, how do you suggest managing them?  Make sure the colors are dry before moving on to the next color or they will bleed.

Do you recommend lay artists give this a try on their own bikes?  Any tips for a practice run? Yes, but try to practice on an old gas tank or fender if possible.

What do you like best about Sharpie markers for creating your designs?  What makes them unique? What do they bring to the design that other art tools, i.e. spray finishing, don’t? Sharpie markers give you the ability to blend three similar colors together.  In automotive painting, it is just not the norm to blend colors like that. Using Sharpie markers was both exciting and intimidating at first but I got the hang of it quickly after a few test runs. It was great to have the markers right at your reach…the color reference is so visual that way.

Ben's sons, Helmut, 13, and Julius, 10, at the Fox River Harley-Davidson dealership in St. Charles, Illinois, just after the new Sharpie-drawn tins were installed.

This weekend, the bike will make its debut at the Irwin Tools Night Race in Bristol, Tenn., where Ben will take it for a lap around the track during pre-race ceremonies tonight.  Sharpie is a partial sponsor of the NASCAR race.  Irwin Tools and Sharpie are sister brands, both part of the Newell Rubbermaid family.  Here’s a sneak peak of Ben’s trial run Thursday night:

 

Start With Sharpie

The Sharpie Harley couldn’t have come at a better time as Sharpie launches its new Start with Sharpie campaign.

The campaign focuses on the legions of Sharpie fans (almost 2 million on Facebook alone) using Sharpie products in inspiring and creative ways, challenging them to start something with Sharpie.  To find out how you can submit your Sharpie creation to the Sharpie gallery and be part of Sharpie’s You Tube Takeover, visit www.sharpie.com.

If the president of Sharpie can start something this cool, what are you gonna start?

 

 

 

 

 

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Employees Start with Sharpie

As you know, we, the Sharpie folk, have been kicking off our new Start with Sharpie campaign and we have seen some amazing things rolling in from our biggest Sharpie enthusiasts– including our own fabulous Newell employees.

We challenged our amazing Newell family to share what they are starting with Sharpie and now we are taking the opportunity to feature one of these internal Sharpie rock stars and what they (or in this case their daughter) has started with Sharpie.

Myra Lee, Director of Marketing Communications for sister brand, LENOX Industrial Products & Services in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, submitted this adorable photo of her 11-year-old daughter, Paige, who took creative liberties when writing her name on her new bag with Sharpie markers.

It’s amazing how something as simple as labeling your stuff can turn into an outlet for self-expression!

Now that you have seen what some of us are starting with Sharpie…what are you gonna start?

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SKATEBOARD ARTIST MARK RIVARD STARTS WITH SHARPIE

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude! So call me lame but that’s the first thing that pops into my mind when I think about skateboarding. I’m sure the skaters of the world would prefer I not refer to them as dudes, mostly because dude has a somewhat negative connotation, as in slacker, lazy, wandering, aimless – you know, The Big Lebowski kind of dude.

Dude or no dude, fact is there are more than 20 million skateboarders in the U.S., most of them under the age of 24. These dudes (which I mean only in the coolest way) ride their boards for lots of reasons, among them this one that I thought was particularly insightful extracted from the dclaim blog: Carving out creative lines under cloudless skies.

I get it. Like sky writing and more. Skateboarding IS an art. So is it any surprise that this daring form of self-expression should also find its way onto the skateboards themselves?

Sharpie has a dude (well, we are sort of just borrowing him) — an acclaimed skateboard artist who takes no offense at the term because his amazing art speaks for itself. Meet Mark Rivard. Mark currently appears in Sharpie’s new advertising campaign alongside one of his amazing skateboards and the Sharpie MINI Markers he used to create it.

Here’s Mark’s Sharpie ad, currently running in issues of TransWorld Skateboarding magazine:

Mark got his start designing skateboards after a serious skiing accident left him with time to ponder — and practice — his art.  In his own words, borrowed from Mark’s website:

Skateboards are the cornerstone of my work.  They are what sparked my re-interest in art.  We’ve all heard skaters say “Skateboarding saved my life.”, well in my situation it was a skateboard that literally altered the direction of the rest of my life.  I don’t think I would have died if I had never started skateboarding but I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for that first board and that first sketch.

Mark’s story is a good one, so we put together a video where Mark takes us behind-the-scenes and shares with us the details of how he came to discover his passion and the true mission of his life:

Something else you should know about Mark. We’ve been working with him for awhile now as part of his participation in the Sharpie Squad,  and he gets our vote for best-skateboard-artist-all-around-greatest-guy-ever!  It’s awesome to be able to point you to someone so deserving of all the praise.  Mark is one nice guy…he’s the duuuuuuuuude!

 Friend Mark on Facebook, then check out his appearance on FUEL TV:

 

Sharpie MINI markers are small enough to go anywhere. They offer:

 

  • A portable fine tip marker in half the size
  • A cap clip that easily attaches to key chains, golf bags, lanyards… and belt loops perfect for skateboarders on-the-go
  • 8 assorted colors, including Turquoise, Red, Blue, Lime Green, Green, Valley Girl Violet, Black, (and Magenta, not pictured).

Visit www.sharpie.com for more.