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Merge presents Reply All

Sharpie was the chosen weapon of creativity at the most recent Merge party, called Reply All.  On December 10th, the Chicago design community gathered to celebrate creativity and passion at a local Chi-town hot spot, Evil Olive. Organized by Mig Reyes, Kyle Stewart and a team of AIGA Chicago members, the goal of Reply All was to connect the creative community and of course, have fun.

The event had an all-star lineup of five guest speakers, local Chicago DJs kept the dance floor moving and art auctions were held through out the night with proceeds going to Reason to Give. The walls of the venue were covered with white paper and blank posters with more Sharpie markers far and wide, luring the creative minds to draw, write, scribble and sketch. Even our friends from The Hello Project were present with a dedicated area for creating those favorite 3×3 ‘Hellos’. Find out exactly who was in attendance, speakers, DJ’s, sponsors and more at LetsMerge.

Big shout outs go to the list of sponsors and artists who helped make the event possible and of course two incredibly talented photographers, Kyle LaMere of IshootRockstars and Colin Beckett who captured Reply All in all its glory (…and here are some of them!)

photo by Colin Beckett

photo by Colin Beckett

photo by Colin Beckett

photo by Colin Beckett

by Kyle LaMere of IshootRockstars (you might recognize a few familiar faces in the top row)

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Doodle Contest w/ Laura Kelly & Coffeesmiths

This Fall, Sharpie Squad member Laura Kelly challenged Cedar Rapids residents to uncap their creativity at Coffeesmiths Cafe & Drive Thru.  The rules were simple: Participants headed to Coffeesmiths to pick up a plain white Coffeesmiths cup to be designed & customized using Sharpie markers.

Laura Kelly, Coffeesmiths, & Sharpie awarded prizes to the winners in four categories:

  1. Professional Artist
    $100 in Sharpie Product. $100 Laura Kelly Stationery. $20 Coffeesmiths Gift Certificate
  2. Big People (Ages 13 and up)
    $100 in Sharpie Product. $100 Laura Kelly Stationery. $20 Coffeesmiths Gift Certificate
  3. Little People (Ages 0-12)
    $100 in Sharpie Product. $100 Laura Kelly Stationery. $10 Coffeesmiths Gift Certificate
  4. School
    $250 in Sharpie Product, 100 memo pads designed by Laura Kelly (Value $600)
    and Coffee of Cocoa for Staff meeting (160 oz Box)

The results…

Artist Winner

Big Kid Winner

Little Kid Winner

School Winner

Other entries…

 

Aritist Entries

Big Kid Entries

Little Kid entries

School Entries

From the Baristas!

Want to see more coffee cup entries? There are TONS more to check out on Coffeesmiths’ Facebook album.

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Sharpie Edition Ducati

    What do a duck, nuclear power plant safety inspector and a walking-talking robot have in common? Other than being famous icons in pop culture, each of these figures hold a prominent place in a very unique design. 
    Jody Whitsell not only rides motorcycles, she customizes them, creating unique works of art – and with Sharpie markers no less! Incorporating various shapes and patterns into her designs, Whitsell cleverly integrates iconic characters including Daffy Duck, Homer Simpson & C-3PO into her designs.  Well known for her colorful dog portraits, Jody went for a classic black and white theme when customizing her bike and motorcycle helmets.
    Whitsell has always felt an incredible passion to create and it doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon.  Take a seat Sharpie fans, you’re in for a wild ride with today’s featured Sharpie artist!
 

Sharpie Edition Ducati

  

Tell me about yourself:  

My name is Jody Whitsell and I live in Warwick, N.Y.  I’ve never been called “average” or “normal” and I like it that way!! 

How did you get started as an artist?  What kind of experience do you have? 

I use to always color and draw as a kid – especially animals.  Here’s a quick story.  In third grade I had an assignment to write a report on an animal of my choice and draw the animal on the cover of the report.  I had so much fun doing the report that I did 7 animal reports!  Fast forward to Ramsey High School (N.J.) where I get the Senior Art Award and then go to William Paterson College (N.J.) where I majored in you guessed it. Art!  Getting a job at a picture framing shop introduced me to lots of artwork, but I wasn’t ready to do anything but my framing job, as I had 2 sons to raise. Once they got out of high school, I got the itch to get out the paints. I guess being an artist or a creative person, you can’t stop yourself from doing creative things.  Sometimes I feel it’s a CURSE as I am always looking for “projects” especially around the house to appease these creative impulses. I have large murals and faux finishes in EVERY room of my house. “PUT DOWN THE PAINT BRUSH!” I sometimes have to say to myself! 

Describe your personal style: 

I’d have to say it’s a really fun style, and I like to make myself and others SMILE!  They say that artists paint what they know, and I know animals and especially love dogs, so I decided to paint my dog in crazy colors, and everyone just loved it because it was so different.  That’s how I got my start in the “paying” art world. 

But I do have a very realistic, tight style of painting too, which I like to do between the doing the dog portraits. Like I said… I am COMPELLED to paint or create! 

 
 
 

  

 

What does black & white achieve that a broader array of color would not on these particular canvases? 

With the black and white, it’s more graphic and I really loved taking my graphic design courses in college, but that was a LONG time ago!  I like the crispness of the design, and using only the black and white, I had to really look at the balance of dark and light, patterns, text, and drawings and how they related to each other, which was challenging.  My husband laughed at me and said “you spend more time LOOKING at the helmet than you spend DRAWING on it!” and that’s because I was always analyzing the design! 

What is your process like?  How long did it take you to customize the Ducati? Helmets? 

Well, I start with a list of things I want to put on the helmet/bike.  I then choose the best place on the helmet for the most important item that’s going on. I then work around that item to fill in the space as aesthetically balanced as I can, with the design items that I choose.  I like to use dots, arrows, stripes, and stars, in my “patterns” that I repeat as “fill in” between the text and images that me or my client wants. 

My helmet took me 20 hours, and my bike took me 75 hours (because I got better and faster at it!!) 

 

  

 You sell custom Sharpie helmets on  www.bigdawgzsquared.com.  What’s the strangest/funniest request you’ve had from a customer? 

It’s interesting for me to see the things that mean a lot to my clients and hear their story.  You never know what’s behind someone’s smile – both good and heartbreaking.  I think the “Iron Butt Association” logo was something funny someone wanted on their helmet! 

Your typical Chicken vs. the Egg question: Which came first the bike or the helmet? 

The helmet.  I got such a great price on my white Arai helmet that I couldn’t NOT buy it, but once I put it on, I felt like a Star Wars “Storm Trooper”!! I knew I had to do something about THAT, so my son suggested I “Sharpie it”.  Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep all night thinking about what I wanted to put on my helmet. In my mind, it was like a white canvas just crying out to become something interesting and different!! 

 

  

How do you use Sharpie markers in your art?   

I first have to scuff the surface of the helmet to more readily accept the marker, and make it easier for me to pre-sketch the important and complex images (the pencil shows up well).  I love the feel of the marker sliding across the surface and how nice and black, and crisp it is against the white of the helmet, so I guess it’s kinda tactile too for me as well as visual! 

Favorite Sharpie?  Why? 

Fine Point – definitely!! I love the pointy-ness (is that a word?!) of it. It kinda looks like it might make a thicker line than it actually does.  It gives me great control both drawing, and filling in.  When the point got a little “mashed down” to where it wasn’t pointy enough, I would take a blue sharpie and mark THAT marker with a blue dot so I knew that I was only to use that marker as “fill in”. When that marker got even more flattened, I would mark it with a pink marker, and use it as a larger area “fill in”, so I had quite the “marker system” going on!  So even though I was working in black and white, it was also blue and pink I was looking for! 

  

You incorporate some very famous characters, Daffy Duck & Homer Simpson, Stewie from Family Guy, C3PO… Is there a specific reason for these characters? 

 

Their “smile” factor!!!  For me… I AM Daffy Duck, and I put Daffy on ALL my stuff – he’s completely out of his mind! 

The rest of them just make me smile and laugh, and what’s better than THAT?  With all that’s going on to look at and read on my Ducati,  I got really playful and thought it would be fun for people to look for a specific character, and who better to hide amongst all the madness, but Waldo?  People get a kick out of trying to find him!  

What are some of your favorite drawings or written sayings on the Ducati?   

Stewie from Family Guy holding Sharpies in each hand saying… “Do you realize what the deuce you’re looking at? A MARKER I tell you!” has got to be my favorite drawing with text.  So many are my favorites as they were chosen by me very carefully!  They are personal, and tell the story of who I am.  On the back of my front fender it says… “Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube” and I agree totally! 

Proudest accomplishment to date: 

I could say having my bike shown in Cycle World magazine, or being published with my paintings, but I really am proud and thankful of my gift of making people happy (while having fun myself ) doing what I truly love to do. 

Motto to live by: 

WHATEVER  you do… make YOUR mark.

Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about?!  

I have orders for helmets and paintings, but I have a few ideas rolling around my head as how to out-do my bike,  but it AIN’T GONNA BE EASY!  (and YES, it DOES include just a few Sharpie markers!!) 

 

 

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Who Is The Bald Guy?

Sharpie Artist. Designer. Master of the Tweet. Media Enthusiast. Bald Brilliance.  

Today’s featured artist is Michael Krivicka and I think you will come to find these adjectives suit him rather well.  Krivicka, aka Who is the Bald Guy, is not limited to creating only with his Sharpie though… This artist takes on all sorts of artistic endeavors - From animation to PSAs, smart phone apps to Twitter campaigns, he even proposed to his now fiancée on WEtv! Read on to find out exactly who this bald guy really is…

Michael Krivicka

Tell me about yourself!  My name is Michael Krivicka and I am a video producer living & working in New York City. I was born in Slovakia in 1976 and went to high school in Germany from 1986. I moved to the US in 1996 for college and graduated summa cum laude from NJCU with a BA in Media Arts in 2000. While working in NYC as a video editor I started creating short films and submitting them to festivals. I am constantly working on something. Even when I can’t sleep at night I start creating things – drawings, writings, scripting out video projects. I can not “not do” anything. I have to create. All the time.  

How would you describe your personal style?  My personal style is raw and gritty. A bit dark sometimes. I never create something just because it looks cool. There is always a message or expression. It has to have a certain feel of realism. Like New York City – it feels real. Every building is real – has a history, has a life. If you compare it with LA for example, then LA seems fake – it seems made up and made pretty and comfortable for other people’s happiness. I recently made this anti-smoking PSA which is targeted at urban teens: Smoking Skills It’s raw and gritty.  

What is your creation & design process like?  I create on impulse. I get an idea and want to drop everything I’m doing at that moment and jump right into creating that idea. Some things, like my Sharpie animations for example, take a while to create. Days or even weeks. While other people would shoot themselves in the head, I find a certain peace in the very long and detailed oriented creation process. I always have a very clear end result in mind, but I find myself altering things as I create them.

Where do Sharpie markers come into your work?  They are an essential part of my every day life. It can be anything from taking a simple note on a piece of paper to creating an elaborate animation project. (BTW I used hundreds of Sharpie markers for the two animations I created for Sharpie. Yes – hundreds.) 

When did you come up with the idea for this Sharpie commercial?  What is the concept behind it?  Not too long ago I had a blog. On that blog I started writing about ideas for ads and entire ad campaigns. One of the brands I blogged about was Sharpie. Instead of writing about the ad campaign idea I decided to create two of the ads that I pictured being part of the campaign concept, which was a series of art works created with Sharpies (drawings, animations, sculptures, etc…) The tagline was “Create Life”. So I created these two very different animation pieces. That was that. The broad idea was to create user generated content and turn it into ads. That would give artists and every day Joes like me a chance to submit Sharpie creations, have them be voted on, and get a chance to be selected as part of a series (which was the ad campaign). So the commercials would be actual art works by real people. It would add the “real human touch” to things. I thought it was a pretty good idea. Here are both clips:

 

  

The second one is rotoscope animation. I recorded myself on video first and then animated the individual frame.  Here are some pics:

Michael, bringing his vision to life

Michael, Uncapping What's Inside

I first saw your video a while back, just stumbled upon it and thought it was cool.  Then one day, I find you striking up a convo on Twitter about your “Sharpie Commercial: Butterfly at Night”.  (Cool, I’ve connected with the artist!)  That’s not it though, after digging around I find that you’ve got a little something going on in the Twitter-verse…  Tell me about what you are trying to achieve on Twitter.

Glad you took notice :) I was hoping someone from Sharpie would. I do various things –mainly viral & social media stuff. I like to create “what if” scenarios, like I did with one of my virals called “Nude It”.  “Nude It” is a revolutionary iPhone app that lets the user see others naked. The video now has over 1.8 million views on YouTube alone (more on other video hosting sites) and is still sparking conversations.  I basically like creating “what if” scenarios and give people stuff to talk about.

I use Twitter for various social media experiments. My latest was to reach Jimmy Fallon (and other celebrities). The concept was to use social media and news media to reach a celebrity and have that celebrity view a website & video I created

  http://www.jimmyfallonthanksforfollowingmeontwitter.com   

 http://www.jimmyfallonpleasefollowmeontwitter.com  

The video was a creative and elaborate plea to get that celebrity to follow me. The experiment worked, and I now have Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, Wendy Williams, and David Pogue following me. I basically wanted to prove that it is possible to reach ANYONE on Twitter with just a simple but creative idea. And I did. All it takes is an idea. That’s all. It’s that simple.

If you could get one person to follow you on Twitter who would it be?  A celebrity who is alive and who is actively using twitter? That would be Ashton Kutcher. I got some ideas he would want to hear. 

You’re really good at animation, yet I don’t see a lot of your work out there.  Why is that?  I simply can’t stick to just one thing. I have to do a wide spectrum of things. I like the moving image a lot. So it’s either my HD cam or my 16mm Bolex sometimes. I absolutely love animating, but sometimes the time is just not there. I am now planning my wedding. 

 I proposed to my fiancée on my own web show, which I have pitched to Wetv. It’s called Put A Ring On It. I’ll bet you five bucks you’ll cry at the end. So, basically, that is another reason why there is so little of my animation work out there: I do a ton of other stuff. And somewhere in between I try to get some sleep :)

If you grew your hair back, would that completely destroy the direction of “Who is the Bald Guy”?  Would you change it to “Who is the Hairy Dude”?  That’s actually really funny. Yes, it would affect the “bald guy” image quite a bit. Not sure if “hairy dude” would be the right term for it then. Seriously: that was funny. Made me laugh.

Out of complete random curiosity… Would you ever consider wearing a bald cap and customizing it with Sharpie markers?  I’ve done some crazy things in my life, but I’ve never worn a bald cap that was customized with Sharpie markers. I’d be open to a crazy bet that would involve that :)

Favorite Sharpie? Hmm, I don’t think I have one. Sorry. Just being honest. It all depends on the need. If I need a thick Sharpie, then that’s what I’ll use. If I need a fine Sharpie, then I’ll go with that.

Motto to live by:

Create. Leave your mark. You can sleep when you’re dead.

When I get old, I want to be able to look back at my life and see the things I have done. I don’t want to look back and see myself watching Jersey Shore.

Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about?  Exactly a week ago I launched a new viral called “3D Hologram app for Iphone 5”.  It just got its first 100,000 views on YouTube. I am now creating a video invite for my groomsmen. It involves a lot of stop-motion animation. Will post soon :)

 

Follow Michael on Twitter @whoisthebaldguy.

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Sharpie Squad Guest Blogger: Laura Kelly

One of our fav Sharpie Squad members is our latest guest blogger!  Laura Kelly is a second year Squad member and using Sharpie markers, she creates bright, bold and simple designs that uplift the human spirit.  Laura currently licenses her work to companies in a variety of industries including gift, stationery, gourmet food and home décor as well as bank products.  She also owns her own wholesale company, Laura Kelly Designs, which manufactures stationery products for stores around the country!  Get to know Laura Kelly a bit closer & get a peak of her in action…

Greetings Sharpie Fans! 

 I am Laura Kelly and I love SHARPIE and love being a leader in the Sharpie community!   I am a licensing artist which means that I create designs for companies to use on their super fun products.  I currently license with 14 companies and enjoy being a part of each and every one of those teams.  My life is pretty crazy!  I travel a lot between my two homes in Apex, NC and Cedar Rapids, IA.  The great thing about being a Sharpie artist is that I can take my “studio” with me wherever I go.  Sometimes I find myself designing more at home, at the soccer fields, in the coffee shops and on airplanes than I do I do in my real studio.

True happiness is hands full of Sharpie markers!”

I am one of those “accidental” artists.  I drew ALL OF THE TIME as a child.  I used to trace quarters and turn them into heads on people (little did I know that was the beginning of the Paper People collection).  I stopped drawing in sixth grade after being teased on the bus by a boy who will remain nameless.  He said that my drawings looked like they were done by a kindergartner.  That is all it took to shut me down entirely. 

I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a burning passion to teach elementary school and change the world.  After teaching until I was pregnant with Dylan, my big kid, I found myself at home…bored and playing with my Sharpie markers.  I began to unleash 20 years of bottled-up creativity beginning by designing his birth announcement and…..wah lah….I was an artist!

Seriously now, my friends and family went wild and empowered me to design stationery for them at a rate I couldn’t balance with a full time job.  So, I decided to put my teaching career on “hold” and become a real artist.  Almost 15 years later, I am having more than a complete blast.  While I love to design, I more so love to empower others to access their hidden creativity.  Being on the Sharpie Squad has allowed me the amazing opportunity to get out into my communities and encourage others to uncap all that they have inside.  Through Doodle Contests and visits to classrooms and schools, I have witnessed mature grown ups as they find that inner peace that comes when one expresses themselves through doodling.  The smiles, the laughter and the joy I get to be a part of creating is AWESOME!   Whether through my direct involvement in my community or through the circulation of products with my designs; I feel honored and privileged to have this opportunity to make a difference in my world.  (And to think that I thought teaching in a classroom was the only way….)

This Doodle Contest in Apex, NC rocked the Common Grounds house with help from my two sons, Dylan and Dawson!

Meet Kylie, our “Little Kid” winner of the coffee cup doodle contest in Cedar Rapids at Coffeesmiths.

Meet the Paper People!  I designed this collection for www.expressionery.com to use in creating personalized stationery and checks.  Expressionery customers have created tens of thousands of families and created connection through the written word from coast to coast.  With a demand for the people to jump off of the paper and to other products, Me and My Peeps was created as a collection.  The “Peeps” can be found on auto decals and iron transfers from Plaid Enterprises, coasters and carsters from Thirstystone, magnets from Leanin’ Tree and will soon be available on great products from Ganz.  I have 18 licensable collection being used today and thousands of Sharpie created images in my portfolio.  At the Craft & Hobby Shows in the winter I get to guest appear for Plaid Enterprises and draw the attendees as their very own “Peeps” which is quite a treat.

Meet the Paper People!

At CHA in January I got to work in Plaid’s booth at the same time as my friend, Donna Dewberry…the famous One Stroke artist!

My favorite licensing collection that I have completed is “Happy Haunting"!

I recently traveled on a Delta flight and brought the di-cut part of my logo that represents me.  She got LOTS of attention on the plane from those around me.  I posted a picture on my facebook page and my fans asked if she could come visit them.  Who knew???  Little Laura, the flat 17’ tall me, is on her way via FedEx to Atlanta to begin her travels with Vee, one of my enthusiastic fans.  Feel free to read about Little Laura’s travels on my blog.  After Atlanta, her next stop will be West Palm where she plans to walk in the GCDSO Buddy Walk with the amazing Jackson, my beautiful little friend and inspiration.

This is Little Laura on her first flight with Delta.

One of the things that I love to do is to reuse old stuff and make it into something new.  Here are a few pictures of how using Sharpie markers can recycle common items and recreate them into fabulous treasures.  I recently was filmed demonstrating some Sharpie doodling crafts like these so check back soon for some fun!

ReUSED coffee cups and carrier make a great surprise for coworkers!

ReCYCLED note cards and clipboards come together quite nicely with the help of some Mod Podge!

ReUSE a frosting container and make an extraordinary treasure holder!

Look at me through the camera having a blast in the filming studio!

If I could send a message to my fans it would be this.   Do what you love and believe in it with all of your soul.  I know from experience that when I am creating, drawing and doodling while at the same time empowering, loving and teaching…I am filled with happiness, peace and joy!  I feel lucky that I get to share that with you!

It’s a monster doodleabration! Check back soon for some great doodling techniques and projects!

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P.S. -It’s in Print!

The Sharpie Squad’s own, Erica Domesek has been getting a ton of well-deserved buzz lately!  As you know, Erica is the founder of  the highly original DIY brand, P.S. -I Made This…  Last year at Fashion Week, we teamed up with Domesek to create Sharpie’s first-ever DIY pop-up bar and ever since we can’t stop hearing about all the great opportunities Erica has had the been involved with!  Romping around town, looking fabulous, she’s been working with some big-time publications including Teen Vogue, Glamour, GQ & Who What Wear, just to name a few!   

Most recently, this DIY rockstar has even published a book of her own, titled,  P.S. -I Made This…  The book features original projects, taking inspiration from looks straight off the runway and recreating them with materials from the  hardware store, craft store and even her own junk draw!  Erica breaks down each project in an easy way, accompanied by tips and resources from the author herself.  Watch the book trailer right here and then hop over to Amazon to pick up your own copy of P.S. -I Made This…

 

For more on  P.S. I Made This…, visit the website,  become a fan on Facebook and follow on Twitter

You can also read an exclusive at Fashionista.com, giving you an inside look at what it takes to be a DIY superstar.  What do you think Domesek  uses as a potholder?? You’ll never guess!

 

 

 

 

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Sharpie Squad Guest Blogger: Tali Buchler

Tali Buchler brings something fresh to the Sharpie blog today as she demonstrates her favorite way to uncap directly onto and into the pages of the encyclopedia. 

The Sharpie Squad’s own Tali Buchler, creative genius behind Growing Up Creative, adds her own twist to the powerhouse of all publications- the collection of text containing every piece of information one could want/need to know.  Clearly though, Tali has found something that the editors have left out and she intends to correct them… 

A new reason to open an encyclopedia…

Used objects and discarded items (or what some may call -trash), always spark my imagination. Transforming an object – giving it a new life and purpose is something I like to do. In the past, I have used discarded magazines in designing a temporary space for a fashion show in an installation called – Read. 

My new “thing” is collecting encyclopedia books that people have been throwing away.  I started folding the books and turning them into sculptural objects.  I’m not sure where this will end, still a work in progress…

In my blogs I have started a series of tutorials called “Eco kids craft” where I use design ideas and craft techniques to encourage recycling creativity and creating with “whatever you have”.

Recently, I had my family over (my brother calls it/ us “the tribe”); a total of 8 kids – enough to start a preschool!  It was so hot that day, we couldn’t go outside. After a while, I started hearing the “I am bored” song coming from all different directions… Quick thinking made me pull out some of the many encyclopedia books I have been accumulating, one per child, and our big box of Sharpie Markers.

My instructions where very clear: DO AS YOU LIKE!

Before I knew it and without any planning, something magnificent happened:  the kids were absorbed, looking through the pages of an encyclopedia, reading and admiring the black and white images.

I gave them the OK to cut and draw as much as they wanted. So they did. And so did I. :)

We used all kinds of Sharpie Markers! Sometimes we drew together, and sometimes each one on his own.  My favorite thing to do was using the Fine Point Sharpie Marker to layer different colors in across hatch pattern.  These Sharpie markers were perfect for that because of their translucent yet brilliant quality.

To do this at home, you will need:

  • An old encyclopedia (you can find it at your parents house or at a second hand store)
  • Sharpie Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

How to:

  1. Flip through the pages
  2. Find an image you like
  3. Start to color the image
  4. Work in layers, it helps create depth and richness to the drawing (try and think like an impressionist)
  5. Add details to transform the image into something new. Even add notes!

Ready, set, go!!!

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Man One Falls into The Gap

Recently, The GAP in Beverly Hills (on Robertson Blvd.) asked our very own Sharpie Squad member, Man One (Alex Poli) to do a couple live painting events for them!  Man One has documented the event on his blog, ManOneWorld and on Flickr through pictures and video.  Special guest stars, Sharpie Paint Markers, the oh-so classic black Fine Point Sharpie (custom with Man One’s signature) and the always mighty Magnum Sharpie came in handy for the artist as he personalized tees, tanks and posters for Gap customers.

Here’s a look at some of my fav pictures from the event but be sure to check out all the rest on ManOneWorld and on Man One’s Flickr page!

Gotta love a good graffiti artist –  Way to Uncap What’s Inside Man One!

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ATL Take Over with Artist, Mark Boomershine

Here's Caitlin!

Sharpie’s Atlanta Interns are taking over the Sharpie Blog today!  Caitlin Peterson (@cbarrettp) and Chelsea Gattung (@cgatt777) are two smart, sassy and quick-witted young ladies who have been working hard for us all summer long.  We thought it would be fun to put their blogging skills to the test and give them a chance to take over the Sharpie blog.  

Today, Caitlin has put together an amazing interview featuring an Atlanta-based artist with a knack for Sharpie Paint Markers, which I’m sure will knock your socks off!  So there you have it, now, take it away Caitlin…  

 

Ready to “Get hit with a Sharpie?”

 

…Because that’s exactly what Atlanta artist Mark Boomershine does to every painting, adding his own flare and style to iconic images eliciting a new smile, laugh or thoughtful pause to every piece.   

 Using Oil-Based Sharpie Paint Markers to add that little something extra to every piece, whether with revealing words or finishing highlights; he creates a look that sets his stuff apart from the rest.    

Boomershine has always harbored a passion for art, carving his own path to fuel his creativity and fashion the stories that are told through his art.  After completing his studies in art and business at the University of Alabama (as a Georgia Bulldawg I’ll try not to hold it against him) he explored a variety of different avenues, including life as a salesman, entrepreneur and inventor, before recently deciding to “Uncap” his craft full-time.  

 His unique style mixes text and imagery using a simplistic, color-block portraiture technique that is made powerful by the words spoken by and about the subject. Staying true to his roots, he honors his inspirations while redefining the original, creating his incredible and individualistic pop art.   

Bandit

Tonto

His cool southern charm and collaborative style has warranted some rightful attention and placed him within the pages of The Atlanta Magazine and The Atlanta Journal – Constitution.  His piece, “The Real Man Behind the Mask,” a portrayal of the Native American hero, Tonto, from The Lone Ranger television series, resides alongside the art of greats like Andy Warhol and Steve Penley in the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia.  There the unique works hang in the Contemporary collection in the American West Gallery.  

 Boomershine has said that his work isn’t complete without a little Sharpie love… and we’re OK with that! So if you’re ready to “get hit” read on and check out the complete interview with one of the coolest artists coming out of the Southern city.  

How did you get started as an artist?  

I have always been into art. In fact my art probably caused my not-so-stellar grades in every schooling before college. I was drawing or painting for hours upstairs when I should have been studying History or Math! I excelled in Advanced Placement art in high school, and I parlayed that into a minor in Studio Art at the University of Alabama (I majored in Business Management – how about that for left brain/right brain education). I later became my own art and marketing department as an entrepreneur and inventor because I was too cheap to hire anyone else. I have made art an integral part of my life. I have come to a place in my life where I can now make my art my single focus and my full time occupation. I call it throwing caution to the wind and going for the “Art Gusto”! 

My style

Tell us a little about your genre. How would you describe your style? What makes your work stand out from the rest?  

I fall into the Pop genre. My style is very bold use of color, design and composition with a fun play on words or strong use of text to make my art more dimensional. I feel my smart use of words makes my art have a layer that causes the viewer to stop and read things, which in turn means the viewer is spending more time interacting with the piece itself. I try and make my art relational.  

What is one of your favorite exhibitions or events you have been involved in? Why? I recently worked with BMW and a local BMW dealership to promote the latest 5 Series model. The cool part was that I was given a vintage 1986 325 BMW to paint as a rolling canvas. I painted the car in my garage, which I converted into a car-painting studio. For the show we turned the dealership showroom into a great looking gallery of 9 pieces of my art, one hand painted car, and some beautiful and shiny new BMW’s. Who would have thought a contemporary styled BMW dealership could turn into a hot looking art gallery?  (watch video below to see Mark working on the car in action) 

    

Art Car

 What goes through your mind when you see people looking at your art? Is there a certain reaction you want to elicit? What do you want people take from your art? I have to admit it is a little weird. You are exposing yourself. Your talents, your thoughts, and not to mention your hours of work that went into the piece. However, I relish the viewing of my pieces. I am in the spotlight for that moment in time and I like it. If I can elicit a smile, a chuckle, or even an outright laugh I am happy with that kind of reaction. Of course a swoon of amazement and unabashed praise is always welcome as well! Ha! I want people to take away the feeling that they have seen something original when they see my art. I want to take familiar people, objects, places, or animals and combine them with a twist in the form of text that makes the piece original in itself.  

  

 Being from, and living in Atlanta, how has the city inspired you? Does Atlanta art have a style all its own? What else serves as your inspiration? First of all, I love being from Atlanta. It is a perfect combination of Southern nostalgia and charm with a contemporary urban twist. I feel the city has inspired me by its wit and charm. I think a lot of my fun play on words may come from that subtle humor that a true Southerner can put into just a word or two. As far as my look, I think it lends itself to the more urban side of Atlanta. I have also traveled the world extensively and I feel I try and bring in some aspects of the classic European masters with the cutting edge pop artist of recent times.  

Wonder Woman

 Why did you want to incorporate Sharpie markers into your art process? Sharpie has always been by “go to” tool. As a youngster I would use them for model airplanes, and homemade toys. As an entrepreneur inventor I would use them to mark up samples of prototype models. So when I became a full time artist I naturally went to Sharpie products as a tool I wanted to use in my art. The colors available, specifically in the paint marker area, are perfect for my needs. I use every size tip available. From the broad chisel to the extra fine tip – I use them all! I could not do the monotonous lettering of some of my pieces with out the Sharpie Paint Marker. They allow for ultimate control of the medium and I trust the adhesion to the media. I specifically use the Sharpie Paint Marker in my lettering of text. I start by a light guide layer that is printed on the canvas. As the painting progresses I then go over the light guide with the paint marker. Sometimes I spend nearly 5 hours on the lettering on say a 36”x36” piece. Monotonous, but oh so effective. A few months ago I picked up a light blue fine tipped Sharpie Paint Marker and went crazy highlighting some elements of the painting. I absolutely loved the look! I now consider my paintings unfinished until I hit them with my Sharpie. Then my painting REALLY comes alive and I consider the piece ready for display.  

McQueen

Martini Curve

 Why do you feel the Oil Based Sharpie Paint Markers work best for the highlighting work that you do within your art? How do they enhance your work & where do you find them most useful? There is no product on the market that gives as good of paint coverage with one swipe nor the color selection as Sharpie’s Paint Marker. Once the paint is flowing through the tip the color applies in such a fluid and controlled manner they are a joy to work with. The color also stays very vibrant. Even when applied on top of other paints. Sharpies make my works come to life in the manner in which I use the pens to add highlights to areas of paintings in the form of accent lines. As mentioned above I also use the Sharpie Paint Marker with the extra fine point to do my meticulous lettering on the background of my paintings.  

Sharpie’s tagline is “Uncap What’s Inside!”  Does this apply to your work and if so, how? For sure! I mean c’mon…I turned an old BMW into a rolling canvas with the help of Sharpie! 

  

http://markboomershine.com

  

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Sharpie Squad Guest Blogger: Hanna Agar

I’m handing the Sharpie blog over to one of our Squad members today!  Sure you love my writing…but it’s refreshing to get a new voice on the blog. every so often.  For the next several months, (almost every Wednesday) I will pass the blog torch to one of our inspiring, super cool, muy interesante (sí sí) Squad members, giving them the chance to do basically whatever they want with the Sharpie Blog!  In doing so, I hope to give the Sharpie Squad yet another creative outlet, while also allowing you the opportunity to get to know each & every one of them a little better.

Now that you’ve gotten the rundown, let’s kick this thing into gear.  Sound the trumpets, turn on the bat signal, alert the media - our first-ever guest blogger, Hanna Agar is on stage!  Hanna is a 2nd year Squad member, is extremely creative & talented and… how about we hand the mic over to Hanna to tell you the rest - Take it away Miss Agar! *(Warning you might be blown away by what you are about to see.)

  Hi!  I’m Hanna Agar!

Here is a little bit about me…

My art pictograph

I am labeled a photographer, but I would like to think that I am more than that.  I am a craftsman, a painter, a performance artist, a stylist, a fashion designer, a set builder, and a light sculptor.  I create scenes, narratives, performances, metaphors, and I document them through photography.  I like to create very dramatic, mysterious, provocative, almost disturbing images that entangle as many skills as I can possibly manage to juggle to construct something more than just pressing a button.

I draw inspiration from stories and theater, from creepy nooks and crannies, from basements and thrift stores, and from my instinctive response to environmental trashing.  After taking a psychology class I began thinking more and more about what goes on in people’s minds. This prompted me to begin my newest body of work in which I give people writing assignments that I integrate into photos or use in performance installations.

Documented performance installations are something I find very compelling.  It allows me to create something more than just a photo.  I can create an experience.  These experiences I find to often be slightly therapeutic in that they require the subjects to really look inwards and think about themselves.  Each subject is alone in the experience and takes something different away from it.  That is my gift to them.  These performances are not rehearsed. I am compelled by these installations because the results that occur are unpredictable and unique.  The process could be repeated hundreds of times and each time would be different.  I enjoy these performances because while each image is in itself interesting, the entirety of the experience becomes truly fascinating.

Another element that weaves its way into my art is recycling.  This initially began while I was working in a photo studio and noticed that after the white background paper became slightly dirty it would be cut off and thrown away.  This always horrified me.  What a waste.  Here was this ten foot long role of semi-used paper lying crumpled in the dumpster.  I took it upon myself to be the savior, the resurrector of forgotten and abandoned material.  I started using these salvaged chunks of paper to line little nooks and crannies and to transform them into three-dimensional canvases.  These first creations emerged as documented performance installations as you’ve seen above, but then continued into creating not only sets but also costumes and props.  After reusing these materials I recycle what is left or store it away until inspiration strikes again.

 When I first received my invitation to join the Sharpie Squad I had two thoughts.

  1. It was a joke from work (I worked for two years at a photo studio called Sharp Photo and Portrait and we referred to ourselves as “Sharpies”).
  2. It was spam.

After getting over the shock that this was for real and overcoming my intimidation of feeling under qualified after looking at how accomplished all the other Squad members are I began to settle in and enjoy this experience.  When I would tell people about being a member of the Sharpie Squad the most common reaction was, “Oh, my god!  I love Sharpies”  …Yep, me too!  Since I had just graduated from college with my BFA in Photography and was experiencing a lull in creative job opportunities, joining the Sharpie Squad motivated me to keep going with my artwork and continue with my series of writing assignments.  Being on the Squad also motivated me to finally put a website together, which, drum role please, you can visit at www.hannaagar.com

For me being on the Sharpie Squad is a great way to transition from college to the “real world”.  The next step in my transition will be my move to NYC this fall where I hope to hone my skills as an assistant to some awesome photographer.  The next step…who knows?  But I can’t imagine my life continuing without some form or other of creative and exciting experiences.

 

…and that’s how you Uncap What’s Inside.  Thanks Hanna! You have an amazing talent.