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Daniel Roberts is out of this world

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

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

Check it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Favorite Sharpie?  Why? 

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

5. How would you describe your style of art? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Black is Beautiful

Many Sharpie fans pride themselves on their vast markers collections, however I have yet to see a fan who prides himself/herself in owning one type of marker. Allister Lee, operator of Studio B.I.B, a Toronto based creative studio, is working on just that - building the most extensive collection of black markers in the world, and drawing each one to scale, according to Design Milk. Lee has titled his collection the Black Marker B.I.B.L.E.

Allister Lee

“What began as a handful of drawing supplies in a shoebox has steadily grown over the past decade into what may already be the world’s largest collection of black markers and marking devices.” -Studio B.I.B.

To commemorate the 500th marker, Studio B.I.B released this print, which you too can own to fulfill your marker obsession. At 523 markers and growing, Lee aims to collect 1,000 markers and own the Guinness Book of World Record title of the largest collection of black markers. I wonder how they will commemorate that triumphant day?!

Own the Studio B.I.B. 500 Marker Poster

“I started the collection in 2002. London was expensive. Drawing was free. I spent a lot of spare time drawing. I needed a bunch of different black markers to get certain effects in my illustrations and to mark on different surfaces so I stockpiled an assortment in a shoebox. You get to know and appreciate the things you use on a daily basis. And I guess I got to know and appreciate black markers. I only collect black because that’s what I think looks right when I put nib to surface.” – A. Lee

Can you spot the Sharpie Paint Marker?

Find out more about Allister Lee, Studio B.I.B., and read a Q&A with the artist at Design Milk.

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Well I’ll be a Sharpie’s Uncle!

Artists have all different quirks, types of personalities and styles, hence such creativity and self-expression!  For instance, maybe you’re  the shy-pensive photographer, or perhaps you know a  moody- heart broken sculptor, how about those out-of-the-box, off the wall painters (Warhol anyone?).  The list can go on and on… but by chance, have you heard of The Gross Uncle?  In short, The Gross Uncle encompasses all sorts of personality and talent beyond compare (see question 3 for an accurate formula).  Unfortunately for you, Fortunately for him, there is and can be only ONE “Gross Uncle.”  Let me introduce you to him.. 

Grant Gilliland, artist, uncle and super model

Grant Gilliland: Artist, Uncle, Super Model

 

 Grant Gilliland aka “The Gross Uncle” is a cartoonist and illustrator with a style COMPLETELY his own.  One cool aspect about this artist is that at your request he will put his Sharpie marker to work, sketching anything you wish and ship it out to you for a measly 20 bucks!! (One-of-a-kind art? Yes please!  Placing my order as we stare at monitors) Turning a cool hobby into a career, Gilliland strives to enjoy life, have fun and create work that he loves, while being confident in all that he does.  Combining big talent with an even bigger personality, this young artist has a long and successful road ahead of him.  Let’s dive right into it and find out more about this Sharpie artist…   

sharpie fine pt   

 Tell me about yourself!    Hello! My name is Grant Gilliland; I have a blog called “The Gross Uncle” and I love to draw and make things.  I spend the majority of my time drawing cartoons and illustrations for all sorts of reasons…sometimes for clients, sometimes just for fun.  I am based in San Francisco, originally from Ohio, a place where I spent a great deal of time playing and being creative.  As I recall, I also went to high school there, but really all I remember is skateboarding and making funny home movies with my friends.  I also enjoy coffee, bike riding, daydreaming about absurd images, scouring the web for inspiration, and meeting new people.  How did you get started as an artist?  What kind of experience do you have?   I started my artistic career in my high chair, cranking out crayon-styled depictions of geometric cars, amorphous birds, and freakishly proportioned people. I would probably stop a minute to spit up or scream some gibberish towards the sky, then after wiping my face and getting something to drink, it was back to work… Come to think of it, not much has changed since then…besides the fact that I use a regular chair now. 

 When I was a little older, I took art classes after school and then once I got too cool (air quotes) for those, I started making comics with some of my friends.  I went to The Columbus College of Art & Design in 2001 and got super-inspired there - It’s when I started to take art a bit more seriously. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Illustration, I balanced a part-time job as a barista with freelance work.  I started getting my feet wet and figuring out my style and eventually met up with my agent, Scott Hull in 2007.  I am still pretty new to the world of freelance illustration and am looking forward to what things I am inspired to make in the future.    

 

Gilliland's work displayed at an art show

Gilliland's work displayed at an art show

 How would you describe your personal style?  This personal style recipe yields one to two editorial illustrations, one overworked 4×4 painting and about half a dozen blog posts with too much writing, it serves an infinite number of portions if rationed correctly. 

  • 1/2 cup of season 1 Ren & Stimpy mix
  • 4 tsp of Surrealism
  • 1 page of The Maxx comic book, shredded
  • 2 small vinyl figures from Kid Robot (under $40), massaged in oil
  • 1 Sonic the Hedgehog cartridge (Sega Genesis), quartered and cut into large pieces
  • Pictoplasma to taste
  • 1 pot strong black coffee
  • sarcasm to taste

Directions:  Mix in a blender. Pour over a 4 year art-school education, slowly adding strong black coffee to the batter, while playing a post-punk mixtape in the background. Sprinkle sarcasm over the condensed result. Let bake in the California sun for four years, and enjoy.  

SharpiemanWhere do you draw inspiration from?  I spend a lot of time absorbing podcasts, YouTube videos, music, comedy albums, you name it… I just like hearing creative material from people.  If there is a sense that they know what they’re doing and have their own voice, usually I’m game to listen.  I get in these modes where I get into a certain podcast and just listen to it nonstop…even if I don’t really like it all that much or wouldn’t want someone to walk in on me listening to it.  I will go into the archives and listen to the whole thing – sometimes I will listen to the same episode several times.  I guess I’m sort of sponge-like when it comes to most things…sometimes vaguely loofa-like, but rarely.  How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?  What is your favorite Sharpie?!   I like the way Sharpie markers make a nice strong line.  I have used other pens in the past, but I always ended up coming back to Sharpie for their consistent quality.  I love the way they draw on laser jet photo paper…so smooth!  I like the regular fine-point Sharpie marker…I have about two dozen lying around at any given time. 

 Where did you come up with the idea to sell $20 Sharpie drawings?  How does this work?  wanted to sell something on my blog that was affordable and fun for me to make.  The cool thing about doing these drawings is that I get to post them on the blog and say who they are for and where they are being mailed.  People seem to like the idea, and each drawing is made just for them. Also, it’s really helped me loosen up…the more people that order the drawings, the better they will get because of all the great drawing practice I’m getting. All you need to do to get your own is email me at seegrantdraw@yahoo.com and ask! I am open to creative suggestions and I will gladly draw your dog. 

What children’s books have you illustrated for?   Just one.  The book is called “Theo” and there is a blog where you can check the whole thing out (http://theobook.blogspot.com).  The book was conceived and written by the talented author Kentucky Lim.  We are planning a whole series of books together.    

Theo

So tell me, do you have a gross uncle or are you the Gross Uncle?  Maybe I should just ask this: Where did you come up with the name for your blog? 

 I him!  He me!  We be me!

…Actually, the whole alias came about one summer when I was thinking about how great and sneaky it would be to have this “alter ego” that I could get extra illustration work as.  So there’s Grant with his cute little round style and then there’s The Gross Uncle with his bizarre, awkward, hairy drawings…and all the time it’s just one guy.  I basically scrapped the idea when I decided to use the name for my blog, so I just ended up mixing elements from the two styles over time.  Nowadays, The Gross Uncle moniker gets used the most when I participate in gallery shows…seems to fit…and it’s easier to say than my last name.   

GrossUnclebanner 

If you could design for any one person who would it be? Why?  I would design for the auto-tune machine because that’s the most popular singer these days.  Other than that, I have made a character design for my friend Donny Papermaker…he’s pretty famous on the YouTube nation. 

 I’m curious…What do you think is the “funniest looking appendage” and why?  Great question! I like the nose. That’s an appendage, right?  There are just so many great ways to make a nose…you can abstract it and add all sorts of funny joints and angles and planes that shouldn’t be there and it can really add a lot in terms of visual punch.  If your drawing is looking real good, then you could put a blue nose on a guy and it could work. 

Laser Portrait

Hippie Style

Tattoos

Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about?  I’m finally getting back around to working on a cartoon show called “Touch Base with Gregg Sween.”  The show is basically a cartoon version of a daytime talk show…it started out as a puppet show that my friend Patrick Kouse and I did last summer.  We performed the whole show live at Fivepoints Arthouse in San Francisco – we only did it twice. We haven’t touched it for a year and now I think it’s time for us to get back in touch with our inner thespians (cue laughter here).   

Anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?  Yes. Can you direct me to the Instant Sharpie Replacement Hotline?  That would be nice.  I’d put it on speed dial and then a Sharpie representative can send new pens to my house in 2-3 business days. You accept drawings as payment, right?  (Grant, you can reach me (the Sharpie Rep) at 1-800 illlosemyjob) -cue sarcasm here : )   

 

 Do you have any advice for other young artists? It’s always important to be into what you’re doing for the fun of it.  No matter what circumstances you are under in life, fun plays a major role.  Just being in a good mood can really negate and remove (even permanently) any real or perceived obstacles in life.  Also just keep the world up to date on what you’re doing…post blog entries about it, take progress pictures, share…being active is more important than being really good.What do you hope for in 2010?  There are some major projects that I hope to finish either this year or next…patience can be tough.  Honestly, just to be happy and satisfied with life sounds nice…to be happy with whatever I am working on without doubting it and to spend the rest of my time playing.  

He desgins shoes too!

 

  

Find out more about how Grant Uncaps What’s Inside on his website: www.seegrantdraw.com

Check out Grant’s blog: www.thegrossuncle.com!

Want more? Follow him on Twitter and take a look at more of his art on Flickr

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Hot Wheels

sportbike

Now this is what I call HOT WHEELS! As a kid you were probablly told never draw on anything with a Sharpie.  Heck, you probablly tell yourself that even as an adult!  Well, leave it to two young guys in Jacksonville, North Carolina to break the rules and go to town on a $10,000 Honda sportbike! 

Spending over 50 hours tagging this bike, Jesse Lockhart, 25, and  Nick Schuman, 27, went by their own rules, took out their Sharpies and simultaneously began drawing on opposite sides of Schuman’s brother-in-law’s sportbike.  The duo decided to name it Shiyonin, meaning “Servant of God,” reflecting their Oriental backgrounds.  And with no professional background, Schuman and Lockhart, with a total of only 4 Sharpies,  uncapped their creativity and drew whatever came to mind!

You may want to take a second, third, even a fourth look at Shiyonin because every time you look, you are sure to find something new!  And no Sharpie fans, you are not seeing things- I asked and yes, that is the Michelin Man and Woody the Woodpecker!  Check out these pictures and learn about how Lockhart and Schuman used their talent to create one AMAZING piece of work.

sport bike3

Tell me a little about yourself and everyone who contributed!  My name is Jesse Lockhart, I’m a 25 yr old male and  Nick Schuman is a 27 yr old male.  Our wives definitely had a big role in contributing to this bike because.  Alongside our 9-5 work week, we had to work on the bike after hours, LATE into the night.   One of our biggest contributors, we would both have to say is Jesus, for giving us the talent to do it.

How long have you been riding?  I started when I was 8 on dirtbikes, so for 17 years I have been riding.  Nick has been riding for 15 years, starting when he was 12, on a minibike.

Do you have an art background?  Professional artists?  We both have had artistic talent since we were young.  Our minds have always seen things differently that most people don’t usually see – Curves, Colors, Shapes, Texture!  We are not professional yet, but we sport bike 6are well on our way to becoming full-time custom painters. 

What made you decide to Sharpie up this HOT bike? We are in the process of opening our own custom paint shop and we wanted to do something that would definitely stand out amongst the crowd and shine some light on our business.  This bike was actually done for Nick’s brother in-law, who was more than willing to lend a bike to get tagged when he heard the idea of a “Sharpie bike.”

Why Sharpie? Why did you go with Black & White?  Nick and I have always been big fanS of white vehicles ( Both of us and our wives all have white vehicles).  White is very clean and the bike itself is mostly black, so it was kind of a no-brainer that we would both want to do black over white.  All our lives we were told to never to write on anything with a Sharpie because it was PERMANENT, so when we had the chance to use a Sharpie on something big and important like a $10,000 machine, we were all over it!

About how many Sharpies went into this? What kinds did you use? Believe it or not, I had 2 markers and Nick had 2 markers and neither of them ran out!  We both had 1 fine tip for outlining and 1 fat chisel tipped for filling in.

sportbike-21

Did you have a plan? Tell me about the process!  NO PLAN!!! We both stepped back with a blank stare, he took one side and I took the other and we met in the middle.  Whatever popped into our heads went on the bike. Total improv.

I would be terrified to mess up…Who made the first mark?  How nervous were you?    We both started at the same exact time with both of us laughing at what we had gotten ourselves into!  We knew it was going to be a long process.   Then about 10 minutes later we started cracking up at the “squeeekie,squeeekie” sound that came from the tips of the markers- that never stopped.  It was hilarious...we weren’t nervous!

sportbike 5How many bikes do you own? Kinds?  I have a 2008 Suzuki GSXR 600. Nick traded his beloved Honda “Nicky Hayden Edition” RC51 in for his son’s new dirtbike.

Does anyone actually ride it or is it just for show?  Yes!  It is driven daily, we haven’t even been able to finish it.  He (Nick’s brother-in-law) was told to bring the bike back the next day for touchups and here it is a month later and it still hasn’t made it back (he just likes the attention)!

Any other designs in the works?  Yes, but it’s a secret for now.

What’s next for the bike?  Lowering it, extending it, finish custom exhaust, and Sharpie the wheels.

***

Be sure to visit Lockhart’s myspace page to see more photos of Shiyonin and the hard work that was put into creating the design. 

Also, look forward to their new website and new updates on http://www.shiyonin.com/