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!
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!
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…
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
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!
It’s that time of year again! Allow me the IMMENSE honor of introducing you to the 2012 Sharpie Squad! Over the past 3 years we have showcased some of our FINEST fans and this year is no different! From amazing artwork to customized sneakers and too-cool-for-school rides- these ultra-fine folks are jazzed to share how they are starting with Sharpie with you!
Scroll on down to get to know these 12 talented Sharpie fanatics and be sure to check back on the reg’ for news, updates and awe-inspiring ideas straight from the Sharpie’s mouth!
At just 3-months-old Aimee traced the pattern of her grandmother’s shirt with her tiny finger, and eventually moved on to crayons, finger paint, glitter and Sharpie of course! . Aimee discovered the professional art world at the age of 12 on a trip to San Francisco for a friend’s graduation from fashion design school and hasn’t looked back since. Aimee studied art at Sacramento State University and moved to the San Francisco bay area where she started Artisticle, a fabulous website where Aimee shares her Sharpie creations! Check it out and follow Aimee socially as spends her time coloring and participating in art shows and festivals around northern California!
Alyse grew up in San Mateo, California and started drawing when she was still in her cradle! Her mom made an art table for her when she was three and it took off from there! Alyse loves surrealism and her favorite artist is Salvador Dali. To her, art is not about drawing what you see, but creating what doesn’t exist anywhere but in your mind. She balances her passion for art with her other passions which include rock climbing and the enjoying the outdoors. She’s a big fan of nature, and is even currently majoring in Environmental Studies at Northern Arizona University.
The majority of Amanda’s abstract work is done with her Sharpie Paint Markers, and Sharpie Permanent Markers. She’s always loved drawing with Sharpies, dating back to high school when she’d cover an entire page in her note book with drawings. These days, she sets out to cover an entire canvas, piece of paper, or table top with free flowing colorful designs. This lady doesn’t plan any of her creations; she simply just goes with the flow and lets her marker guide her. Her favorites are the large scale pieces she creates and would love to cover an entire wall with her art someday! Amanda is also an avid animal lover and enjoys spending my time at the beach with her friends and, of course, her pets. Keep up with Amanda by checking in on her through social networks!
Chris Dunlop is an accomplished artist best known for his Sharpie Art Cars. Chris began as an airbrush artist and custom painter and later picked up pin-striping and Sharpie art. Many of the cars Chris has customized have been featured in publications such as Yahoo!, MSN, Sharpie.com, AutoBlog, LSX Tv, and many others. He’s spent the past several years developing his skills at custom paint shops around the country and now resides in California working at CW Restoration Shop. Chris is a devoted artist that loves what he does and spends much of his time practicing his art, but also loves to skateboard and spend time with his wife, Caitlin. Wanna know more? Then take a ride through his social portfolio:
Darion Cortez is a 21-year-old aspiring shoe designer who loves to be creative and draw the crazy, wild, and fun things the dance in his mind. He has been drawing since he can remember and has loved Sharpie markers for just as long! Follow Darion in real time on Twitter!
Drew Michael is a 20-year-old senior currently studying at Ohio University. He graduated with his associate’s degree in graphic design and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in studio art. Drew loves using all different types of media to create his art and works on various different surfaces – one of them being his favorite, shoes! Drew focuses on his work every day and continues to try new things with his art and learn to expand his horizons. Get to know this college cutie even better by checking out all of his channels:
John Clark is a Michigan based portrait artist. He spends most of his time doing two things, making his wife laugh and washing Sharpie ink from his fingers. He knows a bit too much about things that won’t help him in the least, like comic books, video games, and classic 80′s wrestling, and as far back as he can remember, he’s been obsessed with drawing faces. Currently he creates black and white, film noir inspired, Sharpie portraits on old book pages. He’s pretty sure he’s the only one that does that. See his work at www.johnclark.etsy.com or at www.society6.com/johnclark.
Lauren Seal is a 21-year-old student from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. She is a senior at Mississippi State University where she is studying to become a physical therapist once she graduates! Lauren has expressed herself through her art art for as long as she can remember and even began her education as an major! She took a Sharpie to her first pair of Converse shoes when she was in high school and has created more than twenty different pairs of canvas shoes since! Lauren values her Sharpie collection so much that she tries to use them in just about every piece of art she creates. She even used them to color a drum set once! Lauren is inspired by everything around her, and her creativity never stops and is excited to be a part of the 2012 Squad to help her to continue to grow as an artist. This sassy little lady is rockin’ the social space, kick it with Lauren and follow her by clicking below!
Melissa Dalton started her love affair with Sharpie on March 8th 2007 when she got her very first package for her birthday. She used them to draw all over, drawing cartoons and eventually, as she realized their potential, she started using them to draw psychedelic artworks and even a 70 page comic called Under the Bed. Melissa is currently enrolled at the University of Nevada, majoring in Art and she still loves drawing with Sharpie to this day, OBVIOUSLY, it’s what she is here– check out all of her comic genius by checking out her sites below!
Sara Holt is an award winning artist who works in various mediums including drawing, painting, writing, and photography. Her work is internationally published and collected and she was even a Featured Director on The Independent Film Channel for her short animated film, “In the Mourning”. Check out more of Sara’s work by checking where else she plays on the world wide web!
Timothy is a designer, illustrator, and an art director based in New York City. Currently he runs his own studio, working on a variety of design and illustration projects for clients such as the Ace Hotel, Apple Inc., New York Public Library, Newsweek, The New York Times, Time magazine, and Suntrust Bank. Previously, Timothy worked in-house at Apple Inc., where he helped integrate Apple’s visual language, domestically and internationally, across third party environments, retail stores, events and campaign launches. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Timothy graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, where he now teaches. Wanna know even more about this stylin’ city fella? Just get to clickin’ below:
Zehra is an 18-year-old college freshman who grew up in the States, and just last year, moved to Saudi Arabia (!!!). Zehra is passionately obsessed with music, drawing much of her inspiration from it. She began creating Sharpie art as a means to express herself and used doodling as a creative outlet to purge the ideas in her head into something beautiful. With her art, Zehra hopes she is able to enlighten someone or at least bring a smile onto someone’s face, which we think she does beautifully! Follow this Sharpie muse right here…
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.
Johnny Legend may not be a household name just yet, but this passionate, driven, “metal man” is most certainly on his way there. The motorcycle designer and builder from the Second City has been steadily growing his business, and his acclaim, all while carrying a Sharpie Pro Metal Barrel marker with him along the way.
Legend, who started building two to three bikes a year as a way to blow off some creative energy, now boasts an impressive 6,000 square-foot garage and studio that he and his crew happily run from sun-up to sun-down. This kind of creative passion is what made Johnny the perfect fit for Sharpie’s 2012 ad campaign as the face of Sharpie Pro Metal Barrel markers.
This king of the garage puts marker to metal every day creating some of the meanest machines on the street. From custom baggers, a Harley Davidson design that can comfortably sit people and all the Sharpie markers you can carry, to stealth military-grade bikes, these award winning motorcycles are what keep celebrities and our very own president, Ben, coming back for more.
It’s not the awards though that keep Johnny holed up in garage six days a week, but rather the love for helping people showcase who they are through metal, steel and two rubber tires; “I love building custom, unique bikes for people as unique as they are. People love custom rides that they can express themselves through. They are personally involved and invested in every piece of the design process leading up to the end result, and watching them drive off on a bike that is more like a piece of themselves than a way to get around, is best part of my business.”
Johnny started out wanting to build a couple bikes but now he is helping people showcase who they are through their favorite mode of transportation; and all it took was a dream, the drive to succeed no matter what and a little marker on metal, ok a LOT of marker on metal.