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Color that Cube with Sharpie Canada

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.

 

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The Gilded Age of Sharpie

Sharpie is coming into its Gilded Age and illustrator Eric Rosner is leading the way. Eric has been an artist for more than 20 glorious years using Sharpie to shine the light on stunning Manhattan during its iconic period, its golden era, its gilded age. And we are more than a little impressed with what he can do with a Sharpie!

We had a little chat with Eric about his work, his favorite marker (spoiler alert: it’s a Sharpie!) and some of his most famous fans!

Eric Rosner

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

Hello, my name is Eric Rosner.  I am a New York artist specializing in illustrating the Gilded Age of New York.  I love to illustrate the old world of 1880-1910 Manhattan.  It was such an exciting period of science and discovery, progressive thinking, growth, epic architectural construction and unique forms of new entertainment.

I was born in Brooklyn and  grew up in Las Vegas.  I came back to NYC after college and have worked as a Director of Animation (2d/3d) at MTV, Nickelodeon and TVLAND for 23 years.

I love to explore the city looking for forgotten treasures…small relics from the glorious past of Manhattan.

What is inspires you to uncap what’s inside?

I  think that there are personal stories to tell about the old history of New York. I’m mostly interested in exploring the everyday tales of people from every corner of the world and from every profession who had come to New York to live a dream. I like to illustrate those moments in my art.

How do you use Sharpie markers in your work? 

I love my Sharpie!  I have tried using other brands but the road always turns back to Sharpie.  I think the ink lasts the longest and the feel is just perfect for me.

I search for reference photos of a 1880-1910 NYC structure or a scene that I want to illustrate.  A brand new Sharpie is just a perfect, constant line that is a deep black color. And then the magic just happens, simple as that.

Favorite Sharpie?  Why? 

Ultra Fine Point!!!  It’s just the perfect line for me.  I can get the details that I desire and perfect the style that I have been working on.

How would you describe your style? 

Hmm… not sure.  People say it’s very unique in its ornateness yet modern feel. To me it’s just my way of expressing motion and flow.  I try to bring power and emotion to a NYC building.  It’s a strong structure of might and an icon of what New York was, is and will be.  I want to express a sense of purpose in the buildings that I illustrate. These are architectural wonders that have stood for decades and housed people and ideas that changed the world.

How did you get started? 

I’ve always loved to illustrate since early age.  Although I’ve never thought anything special about it until during college. I just wasn’t loving my business classes and escaping into illustration was much more pleasurable and creatively fulfilling. When I moved to NYC I got my job at MTV, a new era of pop art was emerging.  I wanted to make a mark in New York.  I wanted to contribute in a way that the great artists of the city before me did.  So I started a series called “FREAK CITY”, which is a collection of faces from average New Yorkers who had strange and bizarre stories. I illustrated the faces and added various backgrounds which happened to included some of the glorious Gilded Age buildings.  It turned out that people seemed to be drawn to the building backgrounds so much that I’d concentrated on illustrating only the buildings. Then I just keep practicing my drawing skills literally every day.

You have come across some pretty famous fans of your work, do you have a favorite fan moment, famous or otherwise?  

Having Alec Baldwin as a fan and attending one of my shows was a true amazing moment this year.  I have also received wonderful feedbacks from friends and people who have become my fans.  I wouldn’t have continued doing this if not for such incredible outpouring of praise and support.

How do you decide what you want to tackle next, slash can you tell us what you ARE working on next?

I constantly search for inspiring images, buildings, people, vehicles…iconic and epic. When I find something that really strikes me, I draw it doing my best to give it a sense of grandeur and respect that it deserves.  We tend to glorify the future  and sometimes forget the past but it is where we all come from.

My next projects are going to be concentrating on Science and Space.  I want to create art that inspires people about the positive future that we all can have and achieve.  During the 40′s and 50′s magazines would predict great wonders that awaited us all and these images pushed the imagination.  I would like to contribute to the wonders of imagination and thought and help push the next generation even further.

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

One of my favorite illustrations is OLD NEW YORK BLOCK.  This was one of my very first successful art works created in the beginning of my obsession with the Gilded Age. It all started as I happened to venture down Broadway, between 33rd to 23rd streets.  I saw this incredible building on the corner, a relic from another time. And as I stood in awe of this 100+ years old structure, I was imagining all the people who must have occupied it , the throngs of ordinary and famous people who strolled up and down Broadway back in the day.  Mark Twain stayed at the Gilsey House on 29th st.  Edison experimented in his Nickelodeon stores just down the street. Tesla, who lived only a block away. Houdini, Oscar Wilde, Lucile Ball, Bob Hope, Winsor McCay and a list of endless people who walked up and down this street  passing this building.  And here I was looking at that very same building that I decided then and there to illustrate.  It really blew me away.  I LOVE New York City and I want to convey it in my art. I felt that the day I saw that building was the beginning of my journey to achieve that goal.

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

Hmm… I love quantum mechanics…I would be have the power to explore the universe and all its mysteries.

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

Steve Jobs!  Mister Can-Do-Anything.  I love his saying “The journey is the reward”. I admire his respect of design and simple elegance, the mantra of “Great” over “Good enough”.  He is my hero. He was a glorious visionary.

YES! Movie day!! Check out Eric’s animations and short films on YouTube!

Eric’s animations

http://youtu.be/xxwm_DAnyCA

Also here are some links to some of my short films that I have animated.

http://youtu.be/yROhlgLWLME

http://youtu.be/MgEBOVnuGEw

http://youtu.be/86uM9JSgz8M

http://youtu.be/ymdfr5saN5Y

http://youtu.be/Wt7GR7cqais

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Sharpie Squad Star Needs YOUR Vote!

Election day may be over (Congrats President Obama!) but you can still uncap your vote by showing your STAR spangled support for Ms. Amanda Shupp!

Amanda is one of our AMAZINGLY talented Sharpie Squad members who is also doubling as a Top 20 finalist for the Duck Tape My Design Print Contest!

WHO wouldn’t want to see this Sharpie designed star on a roll of Duck Tape?! SO, to help make it happen head on over to Duck Tape’s Facebook page and Vote for Amanda now!

You can vote EVERYDAY through November 15th!

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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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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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Brittany Lane is Leaving Her Mark

Brittany Lane

Brittany Lane is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who calls Nashville home and is a self-proclaimed Sharpie fanatic! This 22-year-old blonde bombshell has been working on leaving her mark on the country music capital and uses Sharpie to help her do just that, including writing a song inspired by her favorite marker!

Get to know Brittany Lane and be sure to check out the song that started it all!

Tell me about yourself!

Fun Facts:

  • I was born in a small town in upstate NY, but spent most of my life in Canada.
  • ‘Lane’ is my middle name.
  • Oreo cookies are my weakness.
  • I’m addicted to Starbucks.
  • Rain and I don’t get along.
  • Fall is my favorite season.
  • I love to laugh.
  • I love to travel.
  • I thought as a kid that if music didn’t work out I would become a spy.
  • 111 is my lucky number.
  • I wish I could dance.
  • My biggest fear is of the smallest things: SPIDERS and anything creepy-crawly.
  • Biggest pet peeve: When you are in the middle of a conversation with someone and they have there phone out texting!
  • I learned to play guitar from a $6 Wal-Mart poster.

Want to know more… 

Brittany Lane is the name, and music is not just what I do, it’s who I am. I’m 22 years old and currently chasing the dream in Nashville, TN. I’ve been singing and writing music since I could talk. I remember always being so sure that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I don’t know if anyone ever thought it would stick, but here we are.

Never thought in a million years I would end up in Nashville, the Country music capital, while I was chasing a career in pop music. There was something about it that just felt like home. Now, here we are two years later; I’m still here and loving every minute.

I moved here not really sure what to expect, but the more I wrote, the more shows I played, and the more people I met, things started to move. In fall 2010, two people close to me decided to back my vision and invested in the recording of my first EP ever to be released. The project was titled “Leave Your Mark” after a Sharpie inspired song I co-wrote with my producers Nathan Walter and Blake Easter.

For the first time I found MY sound in music. Everything about that record screams Brittany Lane. It’s fun, energetic, honest and relatable.

What inspires you to uncap what’s inside?

People. People are what it’s all about! The thought that I can use my biggest passion in life to “leave my mark” on someone’s life is what inspires me to uncap what’s inside. I want to impact people and music has been a great outlet for that. When I write a song, it’s taken straight out of my life – it’s my way of getting vulnerable and letting people in to my experiences.

How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?

Where don’t I?!

I would be so lost with out my Sharpie, haha.

I use Sharpie markers for everything! Whether it’s color-coding my dayplanner, writing my lyrics and set lists out for shows, signing autographs, doodling during a writer’s session etc. I never leave home without at least one!

How did Sharpie inspire your song “Leave Your Mark”?

Sharpie is known world-wide not only for their product, but for the practical ways they serve people and what they can inspire people to start. One of the things that stood out to me most was how they impact people’s lives tangibly. I think Sharpie understands that it’s in the simplest ways that you leave the biggest mark. I want my life to be like that.

Favorite Sharpie? Why?

I would have to say the retractable fine point Sharpie because it’s the one I use to do my most favorite thing: sign autographs for my fans. It not only writes the best on CD’s and posters, it doesn’t smudge, and because it’s a push pen, it allows me to focus on my time with them instead of trying to keep track of the lid!

How would you describe your style?

Fun, energetic, positive, relatable! I always describe it as “road trip music,” the kind of music that you put in at the start of a roadtrip, windows down, singing at the top of your lungs. I love writing anything that will put a smile on your face.

How did you get started?

My mom says I was singing before I could talk and made up songs all the time. I do remember that we had this blue rocking chair I used to sit in all the time with my Sharpie and a sheet of blank paper and write out songs about anything and everything.

You have recently moved from Canada to Nashville, has the change in scenery (or all that southern charm) affected your music or writing?

I think the move made me realize how lucky I am that I get to live my dream out. I would say it hasn’t affected my music or writing as much as the people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve built here have. Nashville helped me find who I wanted to be as an artist and living in a city full of incredible talent constantly inspires me to be the best I can be.

How do you decide what to tackle next/what are you working on?

Currently I am co-writing with other artists to sharpen my writing skills, performing three or four times a week, working on connecting and building relationships with my fans, and utilizing all of my social media to give easy access to my music for my fans.

Music is something that is always changing and evolving so I try and pay attention to what my fans want. They kind of dictate what I’m going to tackle next.

Do you have a soft spot for one of your songs?

All my songs are taken directly from my life and the people closest to me, but I would have to say “Kiss You in the Rain (Kyle’s Song)” off the “Leave Your Mark” record is the one I have a soft spot for. It’s super personal and tells the story exactly how it happened.

If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?

To fly, hands down. I couldn’t tell you why other than it would just be awesome! I think it’s because I grew up watching Superman and SO badly wanted to be Lois Lane. I think the fairytale side of me hoped that her love for Superman would give her the superpower to fly someday.

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

If I could have dinner with anyone in the world, I would say my biological father. I think every girl grows up with a desire deep down to be the apple of her daddy’s eye, his little princess. Although I was so blessed with a loving mom and step dad, there has always been that question deep down, why did he leave? More than that though I think what I really want is the chance to tell him: I forgive you.

Check out more of Brittany’s songs and catch up with her on her social sites!

Website: www.brittanylanemusic.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/brittlanemusic
Facebook: www.facebook.com/brittanylanemusic
Reverbnation:www.reverbnation.com/brittanylane
YouTube: www.youtube.com/brittanylanemusic
Sound Cloud: www.soundcloud.com/brittanylane

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Sharpie Degrees of Separation

Google recently launched Bacon Number, a fun little game where you can search any actor’s name into it’s search bar and WHAM you get their Bacon Number, the degree in which said person is connected to the actor Kevin Bacon.

So, being the ULTRA famous professional that we are, we took a pretty confident stab at it, and whadya know: Sharpie comes up with nothing! Nada! Zilch! HOW is this even possible?! We are a revered actor-ess (oh, yes, we are THAT good and can play all parts), we have walked the red carpets, waved to the masses, dressed up and photographed with the stars and yet, still no recognition for the brilliant role we play in Hollywood!

It is a travesty, I tell you, A TRAVESTY! Snookie even had a Bacon Number, for goodness sake!

So, Google,  consider this our official grievance.  We are calling foul and proclaiming to the world that we are indeed pretty darn connected to Mr. Bacon

Watch out IMDb… we are coming for you next!

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California Wives Start With Sharpie

You’ve seen the music video, made the Mashup and crooned along with the music, NOW its time to spend a little QT with the four gents behind the Sharpie Music Video!

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.

Favorite Sharpie?  Why? 

The 80′s Glam kind, for obvious reasons.

How would you describe your style? 

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