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Why yes, of course I made it! (sort of…)

 OOooh so you’ve heard.. Sharpie was at NY Fashion Week.  Well Sharpie enthusiasts, this blog post isn’t so much about the fact that we set up a Sharpie Bar in the tents of Bryant Park but more about the tools we had to play with! 

Sharpie markers were spilling out from every nook and crany (does anyone still say “nook and crany”) in our little DIY lounge where we let creative juices flow by adding Sharpie flare to all kinds of fashion accesories. 

So much fun, right?!  Well I don’t know about you, but I’m not necessarily the best at “crafting,” let alone designing something to be worn on my face (ie: wayfarers)!  How can I possibly make a canvas bag look cool when I still can’t even draw a decent heart?! 

BEHOLD!! STENCILS to the rescue!

Stenciling with Sharpie 2 001Our new friends at Stencil 1 came up with a full array of stencils just for us; and let me tell you, these are super cool!  While I don’t really get this one there are tons that I do love and cannot wait to put them all to use.  Among the bunch are music notes, high heels, a horse, bird, letters & numbers, not to mention a boat load of shapes, designs and patterns! 

My absolute favorites are the boom box, tape cassette and the spray paint can.  (For those who may be to young to know what a ”tape cassette” is: It’s the only option for music in a rental truck.)

These are some of the “stencilings” that I’ve made with my Sharpie markers:

Stenciling with Sharpie 003

Stenciling with Sharpie 010

Stenciling with Sharpie 2 002

Stenciling with Sharpie 006

Stenciling with Sharpie 015

Stenciling with Sharpie 2 006

sort of reminds me of Star Wars/ pattern on a houndstooth jacket

Stenciling with Sharpie 016

Check outStencil 1 for more tips & tricks of the trade: http://stencil1.com/

Click HERE to read Stencil 1′s posts about Sharpie!  

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The ‘SHARP’ in ‘SHARPWOOD’

Looking to add a little color into your home?

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…Take a tip from Karen Edwards, a wife, mother, and full-time college administrator who has taken her hobby to a whole new level! Making old things new again, Edwards is the chief operator of SHARPWOOD, a line of re-worked home décor, musical instruments, utensils and more, all of which are designed by hand!  Her very first designs can be found on basement pipes, switch plate covers, old dresser drawers, however since then Edwards has graduated to front doors, table settings, even guitars! Check out how Karen Edwards uses Sharpie Permanent Markers to turn drab into fab!

“SHARPWOOD products have been salvaged from their misguided fate because of their inherent beauty and potential for re-design!”

Where does the name SHARPWOOD come from? SHARP refers to the Sharpie markers that I draw with, and WOOD refers to the medium I usually work on.  In our household, “SHARPWOOD” has become a verb!  The other day, I was wearing a dress with a lot of detailed designs in the fabric and my 6 year old asked me, “Mama – did you SHARPWOOD your dress?”

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Where do you salvage these items from? Do you stick to your hometown? Stumble upon them?  Travel to find pieces?  Most pieces were found at second-hand shops or garage sales. I have a hard time driving by either without making a quick stop. My extended family is also in the habit of noticing treasures when they second hand shop. Sometimes when walking into a 2nd hand shop I feel like a kid in a candy store, how do you decide among pieces that you want to re-design? I’m picky about the pieces I buy. I look for unique shapes and features. If the piece doesn’t inspire me, it just sits in the basement and gets passed by as I pick the next thing to work on.

How long have you been “re-designing” items? I’ve only been doing this for a couple years. I picked it up when I was between jobs. I’ve done at least 60 pieces… I started with a pair of candle sticks – I just looked at them and thought “I could make those look better!” The next thing I knew, I wanted to draw on everything in the house!

SAharpwood CUpYou mentioned that SHARPWOOD is your hobby, what other things are you interested in? I’m a wife and the mother of two active boys. I’m also a full time administrator at a selective liberal arts college, working to support our international student population. I love culture and travel and my art is inspired by my interest in ethnic arts, designs and colors.

What is your favorite piece that you have worked on? A number of favorites are in my home – chairs, light switch covers, even my front door. My favorite piece on my site is the Masai Chalis – my father-in-law found this very unique piece at a sale in Minnesota. In the end, though, my absolute favorite project was a guitar that I decorated for a friend.

I LOVE the SHARPWOOD Treasure cup! What kind of treasure would you fill this vessel up with?! I like that one too. I imagine it holding unique stones or coins from someone’s travels…

 Your designs are beautiful, so detailed! Where do you draw inspiration from – A certain culture or era, perhaps? I notice designs and patterns in things – fabric, wrapping paper, stationery… I love ethnic food, clothing, art, and culture – especially with South Asian or African origins, so some patterns come from that. I can’t really trace a specific source.

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What is the design process like? Give us the play-by-play! I don’t usually plan a piece, I just start working it and the design develops. Sometimes I find myself working with the wood grain, to trace a line in the wood or in the workmanship, but usually it is very random. I like to leave negative space so the color of the wood comes through, but that doesn’t always happen either. One design or color determines the next. I like to cover the surface, and then add texture and layers with dots and metallics.

Where do Sharpie Markers come into play? What kinds do you use? Favorite Sharpie? I’ve used a variety of permanent ink pens, but Sharpies are the most vibrant, last longer, maintain the tips, and offer great color variety. I tend to use deep colors, metallics, and a lot of black. I mainly use fine point markers, though the ‘big boy’ version works well on larger pieces (like my front door). I also like to use brush tip pens – but they are very hard to find.

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At a dinner party, let’s say, do you ever find yourself having to hold your hand back from snatching up the salad bowl? YES! I’ve actually snagged a few pieces that way! One day I was in a meeting with a colleague and actually asked him if I could SHARPWOOD his lamp. It was an old ugly thing, heavy wood, and I was just sitting there distracted thinking “That is an ugly lamp that COULD be made really funky!” He didn’t let me take it, and I was bummed and slightly embarrassed. I also find myself wanting to do more inside my home, which was built in 1904. I would LOVE to SHARPWOOD our old oak banister!

 sharpie on sharpwood  cup

 Is there any item that you haven’t been able to find or would love to work on? The guitar turned out really well – I’d love to do another.  It would need to come as a custom request, though, so I suppose that isn’t too likely. I also love to tuck words into the designs, so I enjoy custom pieces that can have meaning for people. 

Are you working on anything new at the moment? I usually have several pieces going at once. My front door is a work in progress, and I’m also working on a drum shell, a pair of book ends, and a headboard right now. Yesterday, I ran across a figurine of a mother pig with 2 baby pigs – I might start working on that one tonight (it will be very fun)!

You can Find & Purchase SHARPWOOD at etsy.com The full internet address is http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6051638

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These pieces will not only liven up your own space but this is a great gift idea too! 

 Head on over to your local second-hand shop to see what you can find.  Better yet, take a look around your house – go back into your crawl space, climb up to the attic and pull out a piece that can be given a new life! 

For more DIY check out www.sharpieuncapped.com

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Sharpie with Lunch!

It’s Back To School Season and we know one dad that has kids wanting to go back to school! 
Next time you think you need to add an extra sugary treat to child’s lunch to give them something to look forward to, think again and take a tip from our very own Sharpie Squad members, Derek Benson! 
Benson  designs original art every morning for his kids, right on their lunch bags!  His drawings have created a lot of buzz and even landed him a featured spot in Parents Magazine.  Adding personal touches with a simple brown paper bag and a few Sharpies, Benson gives his kids a new kind of lunchtime surprise to look forward to every day!   Take a minute to see how equipped with Sharpie markers and a creative mind, this dad has “Uncapped What’s Inside.”
 
 

Benson: My day job, I make art for video games.   futurama

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

Benson: I was setting the kids’ lunches up, I wrote their names on the bags…then things just got fancier and weirder.

Q: Which bag has been your kid’s favorite? What’s yours? 

Benson: So far the kids like “Robot Dinosaurs that Shoot Beams When They Roar.”   I like that one okay, too.

Q: Why are Sharpie products a good fit for this? 

Benson:  I would love to give you a good reason, but it simply never occurred to me to use anything else.  Sharpie markers have been a basic art supply for me since I was a kid.  “Awesomeness” is the reason.

Q:What specific Sharpie tools do you use?

Benson: Markers, pens, etc.  I use the black markers, and also the oil-based paint pens.

Q: So you make these bags during your lunch break? When do you eat lunch? Multi-tasker eh?   

scooby dooBenson: I make them during my lunch break, I make them at home while helping the kids with homework.  When I make them at home, I tend to get a lot of help.  My kids can’t resist art supplies.

 Q: What do your kids do with the bags once they have eaten lunch? (Save them I hope )

Benson:  Sometimes they bring them back, sometimes they toss them out. Our preschool teacher saves them, too.

Q: What was your reaction after learning that you would be apart of the “Sharpie Squad?”  

Benson:  I wanted a uniform, frankly.  With a cool hat that looks like a giant Sharpie marker.

Q: Is there anything you haven’t drawn on a bag that you are just itching to draw? 

Benson: Ha!  There are things I’d get in trouble for drawing and sending to school.  I try to keep it kid-friendly, unless a grownup relative has a request.  Sometimes people want images of classical art, which usually means naked people.  There are movie monsters I’d like to do, but they’re just too scary.  But other than that I don’t have a lot of filters, and grown-up stuff is never as fun to draw as kid stuff. 

pokemon 

See More Lunchbags http://lunchbagart.tumblr.com/

Contact  Lunchbagart@gmail.com

Sesame Street Fans!

Q: Tell me a little about your business.

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Kickin’ it…Sharpie Style

We constantly hear about how celebs and large companies use social media tools to attract attention-  whether it’s Oprah broadcasting live via Skype, Taylor Swift selling ## albums off her MySpace page, or Starbucks promoting a contest on Flickr, big names are taking over the social media circuit.  Well, move over Harpo, put down the mic Tay, and cool it caffeinated Mermaid, there’s a new kid in town…

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Let me introduce you to Peter Mullin, the mastermind behind the creativity, the art, and of course, the cool factor of OPC Kicks.  Since sixth grade, Mullins has been using sneakers as his canvas- transforming them, with paint and Sharpie markers, into virtually new shoes!  Soon after rockin’ his custom kicks around school, his friends wanted in on the action!

“Ever since I did my first pair, I started getting used shoes from my friends and customizing their shoes.”   

Realizing his potential and that of his product, Mullins began selling OPC Kicks on Ebay.  Wanting to spread the brand further, he created an OPC Kicks page on Facebook where he could promote and show off his shoes.  After receiving so much positive feedback, this sneaker savant is now designing and selling both new and used custom designed shoes to people all over the internet! 

What DREW (pun-intended) you to painting shoes?  I always have had a love for shoes; my favorite thing to do was to find the craziest shoes on the market.  Then I wanted cooler and more colorful shoes that were exclusive - that no one else could have.

opckicks1Be honest…how many pairs of shoes do you own? And Does the shoe have to match the outfit?  Haha!  This is probably one of my favorite questions to be asked…My mom and Dad think I’m crazy, but I have 31 pairs of shoes.  I have my favorites, including my customs, some very rare Nike Dunks and, of course Jordans.  There is nothing better then waking up and looking at which pair to pick, and especially putting a new pair on!   But NO… my shoes don’t always match the outfit.  Sometimes though, because the girls like itand I like to match too.  But sometimes I just like wearing whatever shorts I have clean so that people can see the full image of the shoes I am wearing. I also like when they POP out more than my clothes.

Why did you choose Facebook.com to be a main outlet to spread the word about your business?  When more and more people started asking to see my work and not having a way to show them, I made a profile for OPC KICKS.  It was easy to create and easy for friends to get to.  Once I created the page I was getting crazy friend requests and getting awesome messages from people supporting the shoes and my business. That got me more and more pumped up to work harder and keep on putting up more pictures.  It just seemed like people were using Facebook a lot more then other sites.

Well, now that our friendship is OFFICIAL seeing as we are FaceBook friends and all… I read on your profile that you only paint Air Force Ones.  Why is that?  Where do you get them? I have [worked on] other types of shoes before and they never ended up looking as good as the Air Force Ones. I like the Nike Air Force Ones because they are so simple and everyone (especially me) loves Nike. It seems like they were made to be customized because they have good sized proportions to be painted. To me, Nike Air Force Ones seem to be the most clean and original shoes to ever hit the shoe market.  I have an awesome shoe connect too, who I met on Ebay.  I bought my first case of 16 shoes from him, one of the biggest purchases at that time, and was nervous of a scam but then two days later; sure enough a huge box was waiting on my front porch when I got home from school.  Ever since that first case, I would just call and tell him when I needed more and he would ship them out.   Now he ships me 3-4 cases of shoes at a time, at an amazing price!

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Do you know every word to Air Force Ones by Nelly? Haha No. I do not.  I like the song a lot but I’m more of a Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne fan.

What kind of Sharpie markers do you use on OPC Kicks? Favorite Sharpie? I use the original fine point Sharpie.  My favorite Sharpie color is RED, but I defiantly use BLACK the most.   Each pair I do has Sharpie on it somewhere, whether it is outlining, detailed designs, or putting someone’s name or a number on the shoe.

Why Sharpies? Why do you like them? Sharpie markers are the bomb, they never come of the shoes, and I can add more detail that can’t really be done with a paint brush!

sharpie fine pt

What goes into designing a shoe? How long does it take? Usually I like to free hand my shoes, especially the ones sold on Ebay. But I also get a lot of orders from people wanting specific designs or colors.  On an order like that, I draw it up to show what the shoe will look like and make sure it is exactly what the person wants.  After that I have to rub down the shoes with a special chemical to take of the factory gloss finish from the leather.   After mixing paint with the right chemicals, [making his own paint cuts costs by 10-15 dollars] I GO TO WORK! 

Time really depends on how complex the paint job is.  I can finish some, complete and ready to wear, in 3 hours.  Others, I could spend up to 10 hours on.   I try to work on 3 to 4 shoes at a time which saves time while paint is drying.opckicks5

How do you cover up/correct a mistake? If you ever do you ever mess up, that is! Not perfect yet…but if I mess up I can rub it right off before the paint dries. I try to keep the steadiest hand I possible.  Messing up with Sharpie isn’t too noticeable but if it is either I try to make it into a whole new free hand design or start all over on a new pair!  And that big of a mess has only ever happened twice!

Do you have any funny stories using Sharpie markers that you could share? The really funny ones are just drawing on somebody with Sharpie when they fall asleep!  One time, my friend fell asleep really early at a family graduation party and the parents were not too happy about that.  He had his shirt off already so, four friends and I got as many Sharpies together as we could find and went crazy on him!   Drawing full-body Sharpie art all over him – including drawing a TUXEDO and whatever else we could think of, all over him.

tuxedoshirt*Note*  Sharpie does not support or promote the drawing/writing on your own or others’ skin with Sharpie permanent ink.

Who are your main buyers? A lot are from school, as well as people who have heard about me and have personal orders.  I’ve been getting a lot of calls from moms wanting custom shoes to give to their sons or daughters as birthday or graduation presents.  The bulk of my shoes, I would say, are definately sold through Ebay.

opckicks7If you could design a shoe for any one person (athlete, celebrity, musician, politician, singer, etc.) who would it be? That’s a pretty hard question…but if I were to choose one it would probably be Kanye West.  He is always wearing some of the craziest shoes, plus I really like his older music.

Does every shoe have a different design or do you make several of each? A lot of my shoes are one-of-a-kind, especially personal orders.  If they’re just a certain color scheme that sold high, I’ll make more.  BUT if the listing says “One-of-a-Kind,” there will never be another pair made like it.

Aside from painting some really cool sneakers, what else do you enjoying doing on your down time? I really enjoy hanging out with my friends. I spend a good amount of time with my friends, but when I’m not with them, I love playing lacrosse, the original Halo 2 every once in a while, playing roller hockey, and just chilling and enjoying the free time.

Look into your crystal-Air Force One OPC Kicks- ball, now, what do you see for the future OPC Kicks?  I love the creative questions!   I would really like to start designing more and more shoes.  After a couple vacations this summer, I am going do be working on shoes like none other.  Once I start planning more time to work, I think OPC Kicks is going to start blowing up a lot more!   If things go really well during the school year, I would love to open up my own boutique, or maybe start a website throughout college then open the store…  I’d love to just do shoes all day but I like keeping my good grades and am getting very excited to go to college

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Where can we find OPC Kicks? You can find me on Ebay!  I have 3 accounts right now and in about a week, I’m going to have a ton of new customs shoes up! 

Most Used:  opckicks

Second Used: opc_kicks

Third Used: opc_kicks09

Anything else you’d like to add?  Staying in contact with you [Sharpie] has made me want to work harder and harder!  So I would just like to thank you for keeping in touch!   [what a nice guy! Sharpie loves OPC Kicks!]

***Be sure to satisfy your OPC Kicks craving by checking out Peter’s custom designed sneakers on Ebay and ‘Friend’ OPC Kicks on Facebook!  

UNCAP WHAT’S INSIDE!

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Sharpie Prom

 

"A lot of people didn’t believe me that the dress and suit were done in Sharpie, I guess the idea sounded a little crazy to some people. Others thought we bought them, but little did they know both the dress and the suit started out completely white."

“A lot of people didn’t believe me that the dress and suit were done in Sharpie, I guess the idea sounded a little crazy to some people. Others thought we bought them, but little did they know both the dress and the suit started out completely white.”

HEguys and girls! With the new school season about to start… who says it’s too early to start planning PROM!?? You only have one right? Well, see how Amy decked out her prom outfit… and she probably saved a fortune doing it.

Q: How did you come up with the idea to make outfits for prom?

Ekbom: It was actually my boyfriend who made me think of it. He wanted to wear a suit that looked absolutely ridiculous, and we already owned a white suit and a white dress, so I figured we could save some money and look extra unique by having matching outfits. 

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Q: How big is your Sharpie collection?

Ekbom: I have a good sized box full of Sharpie markers, and Sharpie products only. During the process of making the dress & suit I was constantly running out of black markers, so over the period of time that I was making them, I probably bought a pack of black markers every other week.  Sharpie was the only product I would trust with a project like this. The colors are bold and vibrant, and from my experience of using them they never run.  I wanted to use something that I knew I could trust to look good, and last long. There was really no second guessing myself with what I was going to use.

Q: What specific Sharpie tools do you use? Markers, pens, etc.
Ekbom:
I use the standard fine point permanent markers, ultra-fine point markers, retractable markers, water based (and a few oil based) paint markers, and my personal favorite Sharpie Accent highlighter liquid pens. 

Before and After

Before and After

What a date!

What a date!

Look at those designs. Look at those designs.

sleeve

Q:How long does it take you to make an outfit (on average)?
Ekbom:
For this particular project, I worked on and off from the time I found out the date of prom. Overall it took about 2 or 3 months to complete. Although it could have been a shorter amount of time if I wasn’t also busy with school work.

Q: What’s your favorite outfit/piece of the outfit?
Ekbom:
My favorite piece out of the whole set was the dress, not only because I got to wear it but it was a bigger canvas and the material was a lot easier to draw on.

Q: What were people’s reactions after seeing your Sharpie prom outfits? 
Ekbom:
A lot of people didn’t believe me that the dress and suit were done in Sharpie, I guess the idea of that sounded a little crazy to some people. Others thought we bought them, but little did they know both the dress and the suit started out completely white.

tim 018Q: Have you had any requests from friends or family to make their prom outfits?
Ekbom:
I have actually had no requests for another prom outfit, but people ask me all the time if I will draw on other articles of clothing, or just draw them a picture.

Q: Do you draw on other “everyday clothing” or was this a one time thing?
Ekbom:
I suppose this all started when I drew on a hat (worn in the picture) for my boyfriend. Since then I’ve used Sharpie to draw on 4 different hats, the prom outfits, and pair of pants and 2 shirts. I’m hoping to get a pair of white Converse and draw on them as well.

Learn more about Amy! www.myspace.com/cool_kid_with_amyspace 

Amy’s Contact: xoamyox38@yahoo.com

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Graffiti Garcia

This is no ordinary 17-year-old. This man's got skills...

This is no ordinary 17-year-old. This man's got skills...

We are all looking to save money these days. Why not be unique at the same time? This upcoming senior knows what being unique is all about. Doodling and drawing since the age of 13, this young man has a canvas all his own – SHOES. Converse or Vans…you choose.
 
Q: How long have you been drawing?

Garcia: I’ve been drawing since I was 13. I was influenced by a graffiti drawing my sister brought home from school one of her friends did for her. Since then I’ve taught myself new techniques and forms of art there was to be learned. I would really like to explore the different types of art and things there are to be offered, but then again…money isn’t always around to help out. 

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z

Q: What are the main types of shoes you draw on?

Garcia: Plain white canvas Vans and High top Converse are the shoes I focus on the most for their material. High top converse and Vans are very useful for all the space they provide me with to draw. It’s so easy to draw on and works great with the sharpies. No smears or smudges except for water. That’s a big problem I have right now. Protecting the art. It would be nice if I could experiment with the different types of paints and art supplies to better my designs though. Other colored shoes aren’t great with multi colored sharpie art which is why I stick with white.

Q: Why are Sharpie products a good fit for this?

Garcia: Well I have tried pens and other plain school markers, map colors and pencils. No other writing utensils match up to the great sharpie. If only there were a greater variety of colors to choose from. I’m sure there is or maybe I just haven’t heard of them. But I love the easy glide sharpie gives when drawing on the shoe. It makes it so much easier than having to constantly go over the same spots again and again. Thin sharpies don’t bleed as much as thick sharpies do on the canvas that’s why I prefer them most. And sharpie also keeps its thick bold color on any surface.

Q: What specific Sharpie tools do you use? Markers, pens, etc.

Garcia: Since I discovered my talent for drawing on shoes from the beginning I’ve only been using thin sharpies. Once in a while I’ll use thick

Got my vans on but they look like sneakers...

Got my vans on but they look like sneakers...

 sharpies to save time for bigger spaces to be filled on the shoes. Everything I do is done free hand. I don’t use any stencils. As for measurements and shape placements, I just wing it and hope it comes out as I plan.

Q: How long does it take for you to complete a design on a pair of shoes?

Garcia: My last design took me three hours. And I believe that was the longest time than I took on any pair before. FYI my last pair was the pair with the Looney Toons and Cars on separate shoes that I just posted on the sharpie website. I have so many ideas and people’s opinions to help me out all I need is a great supply of materials to get the job done. Not only do I get to spend days and possibly my lifetime doing something I love but I also get paid for it.

Q: What’s your favorite design you have made? Why?

Garcia's favorite... I think it's mine too!

Garcia's favorite... I think it's mine too!

Garcia:The Looney tunes design is my favorite. Since I came up with that idea I knew it was gonna be a seller. I loved the challenge and the different characters it involved. So unique. That shoe itself took me about an hour and a half. The first day I advertised them I got so many compliments, requests and phone numbers. It was amazing to me and flattering at how many people admired my shoes. It was definitely worth the time and always will be.

Q: Do you wear the shoes? Sell them?

Garcia: I wear the shoes every day. I only have a pair for myself but I wish I had the money to have a different pair everyday. I do sell them as well. Right now for very cheap as a matter of fact. 40 dollars isn’t much in my pocket. Especially when I have to keep providing myself with more supplies. I’ve been told by so many people though that I’m under-charging and that I could be charging near the hundreds and possibly more.

converse

Q: Have friends or family asked you to draw designs for them?

Garcia: Everyday. I do do my family’s shoes for free

Q: Anything else you’d like to share that I didn’t ask?

Garcia: Yes. Well, I’ve recently been offered a job in Corpus Christi for an underground clothing line. I don’t really trust the owners and my family knows how long I’ve been waiting for my time to be noticed. I’ve looked around so much and as far as this interview, this seems the closest I’ve gotten to being in that limelight. And even if this doesn’t go as I planned I’d like to thank you for requesting this interview and helping me out any way you can. Thank you.

See more of Aj’s Worhttp://www.myspace.com/ajgarcia19

Hit him up for shoes!  snbntaurelio@hotmail.com

Visit www.sharpieuncapped.com for more ideas on how to get creative with Sharpie.

 

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Put a Sharpie “Schwager” in your step

rob-schwagerRob 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:

spiderman

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.

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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.gogogs2

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 SCHWAGER really 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 Sharpie mostly 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.

dontfeedtheanimalsWhat does the creation process involve? 

1)Planning out my graphic

2)Transferring the design to the substrate

3)Busting out the Sharpies and 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!cherrybomber01

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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sweet_leilani2Need 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!

Rob’s Homepage is http://www.robschwager.com

Check out his blog too!! http://www.robschwager.blogspot.com

Take a look at Shwager’s photos here http://www.flickr.com/photos/robschwager

Follow him on Twtter!  http://twitter.com/robschwager

And of course, hop on over to MySpace:  http://www.myspace.com/robschwager

Rob Schwager knows how to Uncap What’s Inside!! logo-sharpie-home

Want more Sharpie Artists?  Click HERE to see the creative things people are doing with their Sharpies!  

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Hot Wheels

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

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Designer For a Day

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Whit with Sharpies

It’s raining interns over here at Sharpie and today it’s Whitney Kelly’s turn to show off her blogging skills.   Whitney graduated from the University of Kansas and is FOR HIRE.  Here’s my “job wanted” poster for her:

Super fashiony friendly fast-working firecracker fiercely dedicated to finding whatever it is and getting it done without fanfare force of nature.

How can you refuse THAT@?@?@  Heeeeeeeeeeere’s Whitney…

 

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I’m sure you all have seen the commercial for TOMS Shoes, featuring an attractive young man (Blake, the Chief Shoe Giver) operating a successful business while giving back to deserving kids.  Well, ever since I saw that commercial, I wanted  to get me some TOMS!  Not only are these shoes pretty sweet, but for every pair sold, another pair is given to a child in need! Now, I don’t know about you, but with a program like that, I should just exclusively buy/wear these kicks!  OOH Wait, wait, wait..business casual is required at work…okay I’ll buy a couple other brands but outside of the office, TOMS it is!

Anyhoo, enough of me… A super cool event is coming up at the end of the month!  Zulu Creative, a Houston-based niche marketing and brand development agency, is celebrating their 3rd anniversary by teaming up with TOMS to host Style Your Sole, a TOMS shoe designing party!  The event will provide children in need with a new pair of shoes & give attendees the experience of being a shoe designer for a day!  Pretty Cool!!zulu2

twintwintiptipHow do you get an invite to this event?  WELL my Sharpie loving friends, not only do you have the option of adding “Shoe Designer” to your resume, it’s FREE, for all ages!  All you need to do is send a quick reply to RSVP@zulucreative.com. So GO!! Join the rest of the party goers at Zulu Creative’s 3rd Birthday Celebration & TOMS “Style Your Sole,” design some FLY KICKS and be a part of a great cause!  The partaay will be held at Spacetaker’s Artist Resource Center (ARC) at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street in Houston, July 26, 2009, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

If that isn’t enough excitement for you, guess who else is going to be there!?!  No, not Brad & Angie, even better, SHARPIES!! TONS AND TONS OF SHARPIES! I’ve been working with Tina Zulu, founder of Zulu creative, and have placed an order for literally hundreds of Sharpies – Paint Pens, Twin-Tips, Fine Point, Medium Point… and in aalll sorts of colors!  I’m pretty psyched to see what everyone is going to design with the STELLAR assortment of Sharpies and some hot pairs of TOMS shoes!

For more info. on Zulu Creative’s 3rd Birthday Celebration & TOMS “Style Your Sole,” TOMS shoes and Zulu Creative check out these sites:
 
Click here to read the full press release.  Or Check out the story in the July issue of Yellow Mag!

Get out there, Be Creative – Express your Individuality! <3

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Be sweet and say I Love You with Sharpie

Better than store-bought anyday!

Every once in awhile Sharpie gets in the middle of a little romance, doing its part to connect people and sweeten the sentiment.  In this case, Barbara Nixon, who describes herself on Twitter as ” PR professor (Georgia Southern University in Savannah), PhD candidate, listener, Presbyterian, NASCAR fan, Auburn fanatic and mom of four,” used Sharpie to create this really clever Valentine’s Day card for her husband, Kevin.

I always shop the top of the card aisle for those big $5 greeting cards.  In fact, when it comes to my mother-in-law, the bigger the better.  Sometimes I even get crazy and buy up a card that sings.  Personally, I think there’s nothing more special than a handmade card like this one.  In fact, I am going to copy it and make one for each of my kids, albeit with a few adjustments (i.e. Hot Tomales and kissable lips).   Leave it to a PR pro like Barbara to come up with such a clever idea.

So sweet.  So Sharpie.     

Clever Girl