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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 & TOMS at Georgia College & State University

You’ve probably seen Sharpie at a few TOMS Style Your Sole Events before and I’m happy to say that we’re at it again!  Recently, Sharpie was able to supply Georgia College & State University with a variety of markers in support of the One for One Movement. 

Thank you to the incredible group of GCSU students who allowed Sharpie to be apart of their Style Your Sole Event, and thank you for being passionate young role models who are making a difference in the world – one step, one shoe, one Sharpie at a time! 

Click to read what GCSU had to say about the event

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Sharpie Squad Guest Blogger: Linda Ellett

Today’s guest blogger is Sharpie Squad member, Linda Ellett of the popular L’Esperence Tile Works on Etsy.com.  Linda, who has been on the squad for two years, is a professional artist specializing in decorating pottery with Sharpie markers.  Celebrating 31 years of tile-making with L’Esperence Tile Works, every one of Ellett’s tiles is handmade and hand-glazed in her upstate New York studios!  Take some time to get to know Linda Ellett…

Hello Sharpieland!

I’d like to take a moment and introduce myself…..My name is Linda Ellett, and I live in Rock City Falls, just outside Saratoga Springs, in upstate NY.  I’m a ceramic artist who creates handmade tiles for a living, and that’s how I got to be on the Sharpie Squad for the last 2 years. I decided to create a line of tiles entitled “A Day in My Life”….and, of course, one of those hand carved tiles was of a Sharpie. Why? Well, I think the inscription on the back of the tile says it all: “I can’t live without my Sharpie”. And it’s true!

Sharpie Tile front & back

Sharpie is the marker of choice for everything I do that needs marking in the studio. Labeling boxes, writing notes, making tile and pottery sketches…it goes on and on. I use Sharpie markers & pens to create colorful cards and thank-you notes to my customers. I use them to decorate paper wrappings and even my shipping labels.  And, I doodle, especially while I’m on the phone – hey, studies have shown that if you doodle while listening to someone talk, your memory retains more of the information – and some of my doodles inspire my carvings and pottery. I’ve thought it might be fun to have my doodles analyzed….but I’m just too scared.

Doodling with an Ultra Fine Sharpie marker

Doodling with a Retractable Sharpie Pen

I’m such an enthusiastic Sharpie Squad member that it comes up a lot in conversation. Always, always when I mention it, I hear about a Sharpie project that’s just been done or how someone they know has used their Sharpie for great artistic endeavors. Case in point, my friend Linda. Let me tell you about her daughter….
Allison May Kiphuth is currently in her senior year at Smith College. A studio art major with a concentration in the graphic arts, Allison is almost never without her Moleskine and a good selection of Sharpie products. She is a huge fan of detailed work and small things, and using Sharpie markers always allow her to add the perfect burst of color to pieces such as her tiny cityscape drawings. Take a peek at her wonderful art -
I’ve also started a “Sharpie Spotting” post on my blog “She’s So Clever!” and add to it whenever I can. Check out this one about my pottery student, Ali DeRagon.  *(You can find this original post at – http://linda-ellett.blogspot.com/2010_08_01_archive.html)
As a proud member of the 2010 Sharpie Squad, I’m always on the lookout for people using Sharpies. It’s amazing how many people depend on their Sharpies everyday!  Honestly I have seen Sharpies used in many different businesses and by many artists to create unique and wonderful art….but I didn’t have to look very far to find a young artist who has put her Sharpie markers to good use! Ali is my pottery student who I’ve been working with all summer.
Of course she needed a personalized apron to keep the clay off her clothes while working….so I sent her home with a fistful of Sharpie markers and a clean white apron and she came back with a work of art!
Ali asked me to collaborate with her on the design, so I added some details across the top and mixed in here and there.

I must have a Sharpie near me at all times, even when I’m asleep. My motto “A Sharpie a day, keeps me healthy, wealthy and wise”. Or something like that. Sharpie rocks!

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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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Sharpie Walking the UK Cat Walk

What’s Sharpie up to over-seas?  Check out this current UK promotion!

 

This year, Sharpie is one of London Fashion Weekend’s official sponsors and we’re giving one lucky winner and a friend a fashion-filled weekend to remember!

Sharpie will be treating the lucky winner to two Gold tickets to London Fashion Weekend on Sunday 26th September, which includes an exclusive catwalk ticket and a goodie bag packed with all your style essentials.  The winner will also spend one night, including breakfast, at the oh-so swanky Guoman’s The Cumberland hotel on Park Lane. To top it off , this winning fashionista will receive more Sharpie swag than they’ll know what to do with!

By filling out and submitting a questionnaire, the chosen GRAND prize winner of this fashion fabulosity will win to two Gold tickets to London Fashion Weekend on Sunday September 26th.  In addition, the prize includes an exclusive fashion week pass, a fabulous goody bag packed with all your style essentials, one night’s accommodation with breakfast at the swanky Guoman Hotel The Cumberland, and  £100 to spend on the latest trends plus bunch of Sharpie goodies to design DIY fashion masterpieces!

What an amazing opportunity!  I hope we can bring this to the states!

Gotta love the personal touch!

oo La La!

Check out London Fashion Weekend on Facebook!

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What’s Red, White & Blue with Sharpie All Over?

Happy Birthday America!

I’m always in search of a good piece of Red, White & Blue flair to show off my American pride- especially on the 4th of July!  Nothing caught my eye this year so in true Sharpie fashion, I took it upon myself to DIY the colors of the flag…  

Celebrate USA in with these DIY Sharpie Shades

In just about 5 minutes, you too can sport team USA and be the envy of all your friends!  All you will need to make these American flag Sharpie shades is:

Steps

  1. Start out by drawing an outline of half of a blue box on the left eye with a blue Sharpie paint marker.  Color in the “L” shape you’ve made while drawing star outlines as you go. 
  2. Next,  draw red stripes with a red Sharpie paint marker across the remaining area.  If you are worried about drawing straight lines, just do as I did and cut thin strips of tape to lay across the rim.  This will also ensure that the white stripes are even with the red. 
  3. Lastly, (this may not apply to everyone) if you smeared any red or blue marker onto the white space use a cotton swab to wipe of access ink.  Wet one side with Rubbing Alcohol then wipe off the paint, then dry that spot off with the other end of the cotton swab. 

TAH-DAH! You’re finished!  Now you are set to look Sharp(ie) & celebrate the holiday weekend with family, friends & fireworks!

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

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Happy Camera Day!

Did you know that June 29th is deemed Camera Day

In light of such a great holiday, why not dig up those Polaroid cameras out of the basement and put them to good use!  Take pictures of your favorite things, favorite people, or make a funny face, then scribble down a note using a Sharpie to express yourself one step further! 

This would be a fun activity to share with kids, friends or even an afternoon project by yourself.

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Benson’s Sharpie Art in the News

You’ve seen him featured on the Sharpie blog several times for his amazing lunch bag art and for his involvement as a Sharpie Squad member

Most recently though, Derek Benson has been recognized by the San Diego UpTown news for his incredible work!  Check out the article below:

"Derek Benson draws a new image on his three children’s lunch bags every day"

Mission Hills resident Derek Benson has been chosen as one of 20 members of the 2010 Sharpie Squad.

The squad’s artists and bloggers are a group of passionate Sharpie marker users who serve as vocal brand ambassadors, sharing their enthusiasm, creativity and unbridled passion for Sharpie products.

 A Namco Games employee by day, Benson creates art for video games. But away from gaming he is known for his lunch bag art, consisting of intricate drawings of cartoons and super heroes, which he showcases on his blog, lunchbagart.tumblr.com.

 Benson has been using Sharpie markers all his life, he said. The father of three children ages 9, 5 and 3, Benson began drawing art on their lunch bags every day as they went to school, eventually adding 370 entries to lunchbagart.com.

“I do this mostly as a hobby for my kids,” Benson said. “They really have the final say in what goes up on the blog, I definitely take constructive criticism from them.

“Only draw what you are passionate about” -Derek Benson

"Lunchbagart.com contains more than 370 pictures of Benson’s artwork, which earned him a spot on the Sharpie Squad."

 “I like to draw things that are weird and what I feel is cool. Right now, if you check out my blog, you’ll see I’m drawing things from this cool comic line called Dreamland Chronicles.”

Benson is formally trained as an artist but insists that daily practice is a better teacher.

“Only draw what you are passionate about,” he said he advises prospective young artists. His art is displayed on the walls of his son’s preschool and has been published on the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune and on the cover of “Parents” magazine.

 “It’s an honor to have been chosen to be on the Sharpie Squad, but actually I was very proactive about it and I actually contacted them myself to see if I could become part of the squad,” he said.

As a Sharpie Squad member, Benson will be tweeting, blogging and sharing his out-of-the-box creations and ideas on what is possible with a Sharpie marker throughout 2010.

In return, Sharpie will provide Benson new product news and shipments, virtual meetings with the Sharpie brand team, and publicity through blog posts, Twitter and Facebook.

To meet the rest of the Sharpie Squad and to check out their latest endeavors, go to sharpieuncapped.com.

***

Congrats Derek!

You can find this article at San Diego Uptown News’ website. Be sure to check out more of Derek’s lunch bag art at LunchBagArt.com.

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Sharpie & PS-I Made This… on ReadyMade.com

I am so excited to report that one of our stellar 2010 Sharpie Squad members, Erica Domesek and the design, DIY & style expert behind P.S.- I Made This… is currently featured on ReadyMade.com  with a DIY to die for post entitled, “Create Summer Stripes in a Sharpie Snap”  Here, she demonstrates how easy it is to re-purpose empty cartons with Sharpie Twin-Tip markers to make a bold-expression in any room!

 

“I was inspired by pottery genius Jonathan Adler and fashion designer Paul Smith’s famous colorful and vivid stripes”

                           -Erica Domesek, PS-I Made This…

 

What you'll need...

"Re-use milk or cream cardboard containers you have at home. After emptying, clean the inside and let dry. Use a sharp pair of scissors and cut off the top of the container."

"Wrap container with white masking or paper tape. Trim any excess tape and cardboard to even out the top."

To make your designer-inspired stripes, pick a color palate from Sharpie Twin Tip markers. I suggest using 3-4 colors that work well together. Start at the bottom using the thicker marker tip to make the heavier lines. Use a ruler to help keep your lines super straight."

"Get creative and vary the stripe designs."

"When clustered together, DIY-striped Sharpie vases in different size heights in like color palates will help spruce up any nook in your home and enhance any summer fete!"

 Be sure to go to ReadyMade.com to see Erica’s DIY project in all it’s glory!