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Creativity Worth Millions

If ever there were an article that spoke to every Sharpie user, the following might take the cake.  

Posted on the Forbes Blog, ”Is Your Creativity Worth Millions?” points out that everyone has the ability to be creative, it’s just a matter of utilizing what you have. Read on and be inspired to unleash your creativity. You never know, the next million dollar work of art just might start with a Sharpie? Maybe it’s your Sharpie…

When will you uncap what's inside?

 

Is Your Creativity Worth Millions?

Ever wondered what a painting worth $106 million looks like? I’ve seen one. It’s pretty good. In fact, it’s the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. Someone really took a shine to it to pay all that money. (It was a Picasso portrait of one of his mistresses.)

What it tells you is that creativity can be worth millions. And in terms not just of dollars but of fans and followers. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a new movement on the rise, and it’s purely devoted to the freshest sometimes fantastical things we can produce. I’m talking about creativity.

Creativity takes countless forms—music, art, sculpture, photography, illustration, and so on—whatever your mind can produce with the help of a few materials. Just Google and you’ll find loads of websites, forums, top tens and favorites devoted to all things creative.

Some of the things out there are downright wacky. But then that’s often the point. They you noticed. Creativity can spark such passion that people will even gather in large groups and go buck naked in public just to be part of a living artwork, crouching or lying nude for hours with complete strangers just to say they were there and they were part of something unique and great.

The truth is that we all have that creative spark inside of us. Why else would so many of us doodle while at work? But technology has really unleashed it. There are countless drawing and illustration apps for the iPad and games consoles, and people proudly show off their work online, inspiring others to follow suit and see what they can achieve with a few finger strokes.

Every day I tell this to the young talented creatives who ribbit in StrawberryFrog: In today’s world, when you have so little time of your own after your battles with work and the day’s stresses and strains, it’s easy to give up on enjoying your creative side. After all, you’ve got far more important things to do that sit sketching with a pencil.

But just think. Where would we be if the world’s most famous artists had felt that way? They had a passion, a seed of talent, and with nurturing and careful attention they became the masters of their craft.

As for the world’s most expensive painting, you can see it here. The fact that it’s a Picasso . . . well, that may just have added a few bucks to the price tag. Now, where did I put my pencil and sketch pad?

[article via Forbes Blog] [photo via Flickr]

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Holiday Office Party WINNERS

Today, I am happy to announce the winners of the Sharpie Holiday Office Party! Sharpie challenged you to bring the holiday joy into your work place using Sharpie products. Entrants were to brighten up their desks with reds, greens and golds, to rally co-workers to seek out areas of their office in need of a POP of color, to turn their place of employment into a winter wonderland – a place that would sure knock jolly ol’ Saint Nick’s socks off! We were looking for something BIG, something BRIGHT, something COLORFUL!

Let’s review the prizes, shall we…

Grand Prize: One grand prize winning business will recEIve a $1,000 Visa gift card to be used for an internal office party and $200 in Sharpie products. In addition the person who submitted the winning photo on behalf of their business will receive a $100 Via gift card.

First Prize: Five (5) first prize winning businesses will each receive $200 in Sharpie products.

And the winners are….

A panel of expert Sharpie elves got together to review sleigh-fuls of entries. After eating one too many cookies and drinking hot coco till we sweat, a decision was made!

Congratulations to our GRAND PRIZE WINNER, Jacquie Wiggins of Advanced Bionics in Santa Clarita, CA! Donning her office with holiday flair and Sharpie accents, Jackie went the extra mile spreading the spirit of the season in creative ways such as Sharpie wreaths, Sharpie snowmen, decorated trees and one loooooooong letter to Santa.  Here are a few close up pics:

               

First Prize Winners (in random order)

  • Nancy Kevorkian of HOLDstor
  • Shannon Evans of Freedman’s
  • Shannon Angle of Tristate Office Products Co
  • Kris Long of Drs. Bost & Manganello
  • Judy Cole of Cherokee Lanes

Thank you to all who participated and once again, CONGRATULATIONS to all of our winners!

 

Now onto the next holiday – Anyone making Sharpie Valentine’s??

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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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Sharpie Seen & Heard

Usually when I get back into the office on Monday, my email is flooded with various mentions of Sharpie that were posted on the web over the weekend.  While filtering through this morning, I couldn’t help but notice how many great tips, quotes and Sharpie art had been posted, specificially over this past weekend.  And so I give you a..

Recap of my Top 10 favorite weekend posts:

1.  Here’s a helpful tip via NewsOK.com - Flip your mattress:  If you have a two-sided mattress (some newer ones are one sided and should never be flipped), turning it over and around every two or three months will lengthen its useful life. (Do it with a friend.) Using a Sharpie, write the numbers 1 through 4, for each of the different ways the mattress can lie, so you vary the placement.”  (Click to read more)

2. Susan Beck’s Sharpie art posted ArticlesInaBox.com

3.  Read how ”Mister Cartoonist” who first designs his tattoos with Sharpie markers, breaks it down in The Big Apple. Article via The New York Times.

4.  Custom built Sharpie motorcycle: “The Sharpie Bopper

5.  This one is really cute! DIY Sharpie Autumn Owl by JustSomeNailsByMJ

6.  Tali Buchler, a fabulous Sharpie Squad Member, announce a Sharpie Paint Marker contest on her blog – Growing Up Creative

7.   CASSEROLE DISH WITH A MESSAGE This 8-inch-square covered ceramic baker has a silicone gasket to prevent spills when you’re taking it on the road. The dish can be baked, frozen and microwaved. But the feature we dig most is the lid. Using a permanent marker (we used a metallic Sharpie), you can label it, date it, give baking instructions (handy in a potluck) and/or decorate it. And booyah: The words wash right off in the dishwasher.  Read on Sharpie lover!

8.  Sharpie Liquid Pencil listed on Collaborative Creativity under:

Favorite Things: 10 Must-Buy 2010 Holiday Gifts for Geeky Guys, Roadwarriors & Modern Men

9.  OFFICE MAX is offering freebies on essential office supplies after using MAXPERKS REWARDS (Hellooo! Sharpie makes a great stocking stuffer!) Here’s the link –> http://bit.ly/cGZrPs

10.  Last but definitely not least – LOVING this quote from McRay Studios:

“A Sharpie is to an artist, as a light-saber is to a Jedi Knight. I never leave home without my Sharpie!!”

…and below, I have assembled my arsenal of “Sharpie Knights”

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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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HELLOs From The Crypt

Halloween is creeping around the corner & like us, the folks at The Hello Project are itching to have some fun!

In case you missed out last month, we are back to do another fun contest with The Hello Project, giving you the opportunity to UNCAP your inner goblin & doodle something scary! 

And so, without further adieu, I give you this month’s contest…

HOW IT WORKS:

Submit a scary moment with a hello twist by October 31, 2010 and win Sharpie Twin Tip Permanent Markers, Sharpie Magnum Permanent Markers, and other cool Sharpie prizes!

The Daily Monster himself

THE PRIZES:

Three (3) winners will receive packages full of Sharpie Twin Tip Permanent Markers and Sharpie Magnum Permanent Markers, with the grand prize winner receiving a mystery pack of Sharpie goodies! As usual, bragging rights are also included.

THE JUDGE:

They say it takes a monster to know a monster. That’s why this month’s guest judge is none other than the very talented and monster connoisseur, Stefan G. Bucher, from The Daily Monster® .

RULES:

  • Must be handmade on a sticky note.
  • Sticky note can be any color.
  • Entries must be scanned at a resolution of no less than 600×600 pixels and send to contest@thehelloproject.com.
  • All entries must be received by 11:59PM CST on October 31, 2010.
  • There is no limit of entries per person.
  • Contest open to US residents only.

Now go ahead and get your spook on!!!

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One Pearl Button Inks it Pink

Sharpie Squad member, Alli Whitmore aka One Pearl Button wrote a wonderful PINK post on her blog today.

Not only does Alli show off her pretty pink signature for Sharpie’s INK IT PINK program, she also includes some of her favorite pink moments for inspiration:

Join Alli, the rest of theSharpie Squad and so many others and submit your Pink autograph to SharpieUncapped.com!  For every pink autograph submitted, Sharpie will donate $1 to City of Hope, breast cancer, research and education center.

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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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Without a HELLO Winners!

The winners of The Hello Project’s “Without a Hello” contest have been chosen!!

3rd place…

by Manuel Regalado

2nd place…

by Jane Bredemus

1st place…

by Jennifer Ramirez Johnson

A HUGE Thank You  to everyone who participated and CONGRATULATIONS to the winners!  Soon you will be able to view all of the Without a Hello entries at The Hello Project. * Check back later on this month for a new contest with The Hello Project!*