Happy Fourth of July, Sharpie patriots! In honor of this most American holiday and the fact that this year’s independence celebrations fall on a Thursday (ahem, #tbt), we have gone into the Sharpie vault for some of our favorite projects and added some NEW ones to the mix!
Shine from sea to shining sea with Sharpie!
Uncap your shades! One of our most popular and worthy of #tbt!
Ed Roth has been Sharpie’s partner in crime for a LONG time and we LOVE him for it–not to mention the exclusive stencils he made JUST for us a few years ago–and couldn’t believe we hadn’t already interviewed this Sharpie stenciling genius!
Ed recently got his hands on some of our new Stained by Sharpie fabric markers for the launch of his NEWEST book; Stencil 201 and he even made us a little video …( keep on scrolling to check it out!)
Who DOESN'T love a stencil self-portrait? Ed Roth, ladies and gentleman.
Tell me about yourself!Where are you from? Interests? Likes? Dislikes? Pet Peeves?
My name is Ed Roth. I grew up in Northern New Jersey, 20 minutes from NYC. I had crafty parents, you know, in that suburban way. Mom did ceramics, Dad painted murals on the garage walls with left over house paint, etc…With their influence and being a bored suburban teen, I would raid thrift stores and buy old furniture and refinish it- paints, stains, faux finishes, you name it as well as up-cycling clothes. I was the kid that wrote his favorite band names on his Converse with, yep, a black Sharpie!
Personally, I live for design and art and have a need to be creative. After working for decades for tv networks and ad agencies as an art director and animator, I then started my own design company, Stencil1, in 2004 in Brooklyn, NY.
A stencil isn't enough for THIS face. .
Likes? Well, I like design with soul. Clever street art. Customized belongings. Things with meaning.
Pet peeves? Overly designed items or spaces. Good design doesn’t have to be over the top.
What inspires you and your work? I usually find inspiration in my design work from things outside my field such as music, a trip to the museum, being in nature, traveling , vintage shopping, being in Brooklyn. For example, a trip to the Museum of Natural History will inspire the need to make an octopus stencil!
How would you describe your style? Eclectic. I’m all over the place but have always liked nostalgia, nature, pattern, urban imagery, graffiti and pop art. Hence the range of stencil designs on the site!
Stencil and send!
You have done it all, including working as a graphic artist, animator and gallerist; as well as what we love you for, your stencils- what is it about stencils that really jazz you up?
How flattering. Thank you. I love perpetuating the art of stenciling. I love their history – their use for political outcry, their highly decorative use in castles of kings. It’s a tool without clear definition. It’s also so utilitarian, it allows someone who may not feel comfortable drawing to make art and be creative, it provides satisfaction. I love seeing how everyone who uses one of my stencils will have a different end result. Love it.
How did you get started? In late 2004, I was needing a break from ad agencies . I had run a successful art gallery in Williamsburg with friends and wanted to continue doing something art related. I wanted to design a book. I did just that. I made a prototype book of 50 stencils. I shopped it around to publishers who liked it but weren’t sure how to produce it. I decided to just sell the stencils individually so I built a website (my other background is web design). I got press right away on CoolHunting.com, then the NYTimes, then Blick Art Materials called and wanted to carry Stencil1. I have figured it out along the way, slowly growing the company, adding designs, adding art supplies. Then I started making books with Chronicle Books. We released Stencil 101 in 2008. Since then, we released Stencil 101 Décor, Stencil Stationery, Stencil 101 Journal, and now Stencil 201. Next year you will see Stencil 101 Style. I continue to release new designs on Stencil1.com
Your stencils are super trendy and, not only hit the basics when you think of a “stencil,” they also have a cool edginess to them; how do you come up with new ideas?
I think sometimes it’s simply what I like but also I have always been a trend watcher.
Do you have a personal soft spot for one of your designs in particular?
I have a few favs. I love my 7 foot grizzly bear! I recreated him in a small size for Stencil 201, this way he can fit right on your shirt! My Stencil Graffiti Mini Sets are also some of my favorites since they were some of the first designs I put out and I think define Stencil1. People seem to like these since they are smaller and super easy to use.
Get grizzly with it... can you imagine? 7 FEET!
How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?
Well, With the release of Stained fabric markers, I am like a pig in the mud, haha. I do a lot of t-shirt design work, many of my stencils are really designed with apparel in mind. Sharpie has made customizing t-shirts way easier with these new fabric markers. While painting is great, everyone can use a marker with perfect results. The tips of these markers are more brush like with a point so you can stencil into fine details or fill in larger areas easily. I used the markers at by events for people to stencil with, amazing results. Make sure you watch the video!
Favorite Sharpie? Why?
I guess now it would be a black Stained fabric marker because it’s basic, multi-surface and allows me to customize t-shirts, canvas sneakers, anything really.
Best part of your “day job” and if you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Well, the best part of being the Stencil1 owner is getting to create creative tools that people use to make things with. I love seeing what people make, it feels like you provided someone some fun.
If not this, I would still have to be creative. Textile designer? Landscape architect?
If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
Fun question! Maybe to spray paint out of my wrist like Spiderman throws webs!
What trends do you see making it big in 2012/ what are you pumped about in 2012 ( in the art world, in design, whatever)?
Trends for 2012 – I think customizing your wares and space is a big movement. The quest for authenticity. I am very excited about 2012 as I am reaching out to do a lot of collaborative work. I will not only be introducing more stencils, art tools and supplies but also working with companies to create apparel, décor, and home items.
Tell me about the video and background on the event !!
The video here was shot the day of the official book launch for my new book Stencil 201. I always have a DIY event during my book signing so people can be creative. I partnered with Etsy to have their craft nite coincide with the signing at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO. I tested the project at my studio. I cut up canvas into patches and provided Stained by Sharpie markers with stencils from Stencil 201 as well as some other Stencil1 designs. Some even brought their own canvas bags and t-shirts to customize. As you will see, the crowd really enjoyed it!
For more BOMB dot com (this phrase is making a comeback! trust me…) stencils and to check out his books, be sure to stop by his website and check him out on Twitter and Facebook.
EXCLUSIVE Sharpie perk alert! Be sure to LIKE Stencil1 on Facebook to receive the special discount code exclusively for Sharpie lovers… AND for 20% off be sure to join his mailing list (scroll down and its on the left!)!!
Rob Schwager is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. He lives in Florida where he has built a well-respected name for himself within the industry producing amazing artwork. Born and raised in Chicago, Schwager is now living his dream, working as an artist. Through hard work, “determination and a desire to do the best job possible, under any circumstances,” he continues to create art that people can’t get enough of! And he’s one of the coolest artists I’ve talked with. Not only is he super creative, he has a great personality and an awesome sense of humor! Rob Schwager is one artist you’ll definitely want to collect.
Rob’s art runs the gamut. He’s into all kinds of stuff like “lowbrow art, comic books, Fleischer cartoons, nose art, pickelhaubes, pin-up girls, vinyl art toys, cyanotypes, acrylics, oils, hot rods, kustom kulture, pinstripes, tattoos, tiki stuff, chicago gangsters, vintage metal signs, screen printing.” Rob says he likes fabricating stuff with his hands, listening to old school punk rock (the classic stuff, late 70′s early 80′s), making rock posters, ‘zines, digital painting, etc…
But I’ll let him tell it in his own words:
So how did you get started in art? Like most kids, I spent too much time watching cartoons and doodling. After being introduced to Punk Rock in the early 80′s, I started designing album covers, t-shirts and flyers for various punk bands I was friends with in Chicago. This led to abundant work as a silkscreen* concert poster artist, supplying hand crafted promotional posters to bands and venues across the country. I eventually fulfilled a childhood dream and became an artist working on mainstream comic books. I’ve spent the last 20 years working on such classic icons as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, and the X-Men. My work has helped shape comic book pop-culture as we know it today.I’ve often been credited as being a well-respected rising force in the art of color for the comic book industry.Most recently, I’ve been featured in the best selling book, The Art of Modern Rock, as well as, Kustom Graphics: Hot Rods, Burlesque and Rock ‘n’ Roll, from Korero Books.
*FYI: Silk Screening (or screen printing), is a printing method where ink is forced through areas of a silk screen that aren’t blocked out with an impermeable (water resistant) substance. A roller, squeegee or sponge is moved across the screen stencil, forcing ink into the open areas of the fabric(there’s a little bit of my Warhol knowledge for ya ).
What sets you apart from other artists? What makes you stand out in a room of artists?!My determination and desire to do the best job possible, under any circumstances.
I see that you liked to read comics as a kid? Favorite comic book? Would you ever start your own?Yep, I loved comics when I was a kid! I learned to read by reading Spider-man comics – That’s always been my favorite. I do have some ideas for a comic series of my own. Maybe someday, but for now, I’m quite content having built a nice career spanning 20 years working in the comic book industry as a digital colorist.
So you like old school punk rock, huh?! Favorite band? Have you made posters for any of your favorite groups? I grew up on the music of old school punk rock. A lot of Chicago stuff Naked Raygun, Effigies, etc… Also other bands like Social Distortion, Cro-mags, UK Subs, the Damned and Bad Brains… And yes, I’ve been fortunate enough to make posters for some of my favorite bands and meet them! I kinda geeked a bit when I met the Go-Go’s. Jane (Wiedlin) was such a sweetie when I asked her to sign my poster. I shot pool for a while with Mike Ness from Social D. I’ve hung with the DGeneration guys too! My favorite was that I had a series of long rambling messages on my answering machine from Joey Ramone when I did a poster for him. I wish I would’ve saved that.
Just out of curiosity…seriously, is SCHWAGERreally your last name (I’m slightly jealous & want a cool last name too) ?Yep! It’s my real name. First generation American and damn proud of it too!
How do you incorporate Sharpie markers into your work? I started using Sharpiemostly for accent work on my paintings. A little line here or there…. But Sharpie water-based paint markers are my favorite! I started using them to paint custom toys for gallery shows. Sharpies are easy to use; there is a nice array of colors to choose from and variations in line weight. I just wish you guys made a flesh tone color (editor’s note: we make an almond color which is perfect for pale skin tones). It would work wonders for me with my pin-up nose-art work.
What does the creation process involve?
1)Planning out my graphic
2)Transferring the design to the substrate
3)Busting out the Sharpiesand going to town!
You’ve done a lot of different types of work, poster art, designing apparel, cyanotypes..you name it, you’ve done it! What are your personal favorites? I really enjoy doing my faux nose-art inspired bomber panels. From the fabrication, to the painting to the distressing, an all-around good time. I just wish there were more hours in the day, because I’d love to make them non-stop if I could!
What has been your most well-received art? It’s a tie between my bomber panels and my cyanotypes. The cyanotypes are more affordable to most folks, but the bomber panels really leave most folks awestruck when they walk into a room and see them hanging on the wall.
What are you currently working on? Well, I’m in the process of setting up a print shop so I can start running my own art prints. It’s been over a decade since I pulled a screen printing squeegee, but I’m really looking forward to it!
What do you see for the future of your work? To be hanging on the walls in galleries and in people’s homes worldwide.
Where can I find Rob Schwager art?! In the store, at robschwager.com
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Need more SCHWAGER? No problem! A guy with this much talent needs to be seen and heard. Click on the links below to learn more about the artist, see more of his work, and then buy some art for yourself!