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Sharpie Cheer from Laura Kelly!

Sharpie Squad member, Laura Kelly, may be one of the cheeriest bloggers we have  had the pleasure of working with! For the past 3 years she has brightened the Sharpie world by guest blogging and sharing her Sharpie love with the world (and across the country, in this case); so, what better way to celebrate the season than to share Laura’s cheer with you all!

What better way to spread BRIGHT and happy love this holiday season than to add a little Sharpie fun to my already planned adventure across the country from North Carolina to California.  With my backpack full of Sharpie markers to give away, sketchbooks and other random Sharpie gear, I grabbed my stuff and made my way to RDU to meet my long time BFF and get on our way.

Ready to jet set!

 

 

We started in Raleigh, North Carolina on a beautiful sunny morning.  Having arrived at the airport earlier than necessary we decided to grab breakfast at the super yummy 42nd Street in terminal C.  When our server arrived, we informed her that she was the first lucky Sharpie winner.  From the large plastic tub of Sharpie markers, she chose green as her favorite and I used it to draw a quick “Me and My Peep” character of herself.   Our first stop was Boston and while there, I left the tub of Sharpie markers on my chair in Delta’s Sky Lounge while going to get some fresh veggies and a refreshing beverage.  Upon my return, I found the chair empty and heard the following over the loudspeaker, “Will the owner of the Sharpies please come to the front.  Your Sharpies have been turned it.”  I dashed to get them and was told that I was lucky to get them back, that sometimes valuable left like weren’t so fortunate as to be returned to their owners, like laptops and cell phones.  She was one smart concierge; she sure knew the value of the Sharpie pen collection!  I doodled a few things for some of the “business” travelers and witnessed a few overly dressed and somewhat pretentious professionals shift from uppity bumps on logs to open, connected and interesting regular folk.  Who knew that a little Sharpie doodling and laughter could create a table of new acquaintances swapping holiday stories and plans while swapping Sharpie markers from my tub to keep  or take back to loved ones at home.  My favorite guy took four, two for each daughter (pink/purple and chartreuse/lime green).

 

Throughout the day, from airport to airport and on the planes; I sketched “Me and My Peeps” for those around me and made LOTS of new friends.  The most popular colors taken from my collection were bright pink, lime green, red, black and purple.  I got to hear so many great stories about the ways people use their Sharpies, how amazing their artistic children are with Sharpies, what kind of Sharpies they wish they had more of and so much more.  I even got to doodle one of my all-time favorite men, Santa Claus.  He asked me if I wanted more Sharpie markers in my stocking to which I replied, “OF COURSE I DO!  

 

On Saturday morning we went shopping and I doodled along the way.  The workers in the t-shirt shop were psyched to get their own “Me and My Peep” drawn and put them on display behind the register.

 The dude working at the San Francisco Bath Salt store was another proud owner of his “Me and My Peep” and more than excited about the possibility of showing up in this blog.  He was definitely a SILVER Sharpie marker kind of guy…with a sparkly personality to match!

During the day on Saturday, I took my Sharpie collection along for our outing to Alcatraz, thinking I might be able to graffiti a little in the cells…JUST KIDDING!  While doodling in line I found a fellow Sharpie marker user…the girl assigned the job of marking our tickets!  She was happy as could be when I replaced hers with a new sharp tipped red and happily let me photograph her in action.  She said she wished she could use purple but that red was her only choice.  I gave her a purple to use on personal time.  She gave me a hug.  I call that a GOOD DEAL!  The boat trip over was a bit choppy so I kept my tub packed up and enjoyed the ride!

That evening we attended a wine tasting and once again, my tub was a hit!  The tasters used the markers for their customer tasting notes.  Personally, I recommend the 2010 Mendocino!  It gained a bright red Sharpie heart on my notes!

On Sunday morning, I left a black Sharpie marker with a doodled up message on the paper machine.  I watched from afar while people stopped to read it and chat up their Sharpie stories.  Finally it was taken by a teenage girl who stated as she ripped it from the machine, “I think someone left this here for me.”  She was right.  I guess I did.

That afternoon while shopping at Pier 33 and strolling Fisherman’s Wharf, I took a break to sit down and sketch only to find myself surrounded with people who waited in line for their turn to get sketched.  It was crazy fun.  I passed out Sharpies and smiles at the same time.  Some wanted to know where my tip jar was and I laughed.  Can you imagine, drawing “Me and My Peeps” for tips.  I do it for fun…for the mere pleasure of spreading cheer.  Once inside Boudans to buy some sourdough bread, we decided to head upstairs and grab a bite.  I put my tub of Sharpie markers on the bar while I dug in my backpack for my wallet and the man next to me said, “Wow, you are so lucky.  You have so many Sharpies.”  I chatted with him and ended up giving him a few doodle tips.  He practiced his skills on the postcards he was writing back home to his grandmother in Sweden.  When I gave him the handful he used for his masterpieces, he reacted as if he won the lottery.  He gave me the cheek and then the other cheek European kiss and then was whisked off with his mate to his table to eat.

I was then requested to draw the bartender and the girl on our other side so happily doodled some more, handed out some more love in the form of Sharpie marker, then celebrated my new friendships with a little time trading stories before heading back out to the piers.

I continued to doodle and hand out the markers until they were all gone.  I was invited to new places to meet strangers’ families, speak to their schools and illustrate their stories into books.  I was thanked for sharing myself, for offering inspiration and for reminding people that they too were born to create…that doodling counts too and that they are already qualified!

I learned a lot from my adventure.  The most important lesson that I was reminded of through this attempt to spread bright holiday love was that people from all over the world, of all ages and in all sizes love the joy that comes through creation and imagination.  I was reminded that although I am often teased for being a doodle artist, my gift is unique and it makes a difference in the world we share.

  Together with paper, Sharpie markers and strangers…we can connect, grow and care about others.

 

MERRY HOLIDAYS!  May your celebrations be filled with lots of BRIGHT, CHEERY and HAPPY CREATIVE LOVE!

To keep with Laura and see where else her Sharpie travels take her be sure to check out her website and find her on Facebook!

 

 

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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 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!