Winter white is out and pastel palettes are in like Flynn. The world’s decor and pasty legs DEMAND it.
Yah, we are looking at you, Winter...
Winter is gone. Dead. Finito. OVER. At least that’s what the calendar says right? The official start of Spring has come and gone and although the weatherman may not agree, we don’t care! It is time for pastels and bold spring colors, bunnies, ducks, egg-shaped chocolates and wardrobe makeovers! Sun, we neeeeed you!
Unfortunately UNTIL Mother Nature agrees and decides to warm up our snowy little piece of the universe, at which point we will whip out the flip-flops, we will make-do by sprucing up our living spaces!
Check out some of the ideas below and for more, hop on over to our Hop into Spring Pinterest board.
So, grab a Sharpie; fine, paint, Brush, Stained, we don’t care! Just get to work!
Winter, we hate to say it, but We. Are. Over. It’s official: Spring and Sharpie are officially going steady.
And because I just couldn’t resist the THOUGHT of some flippy-floppys…
Each month, the company will feature one artist who uses Sharpie oil paint markers to decorate the humidifier, and Samantha is the first! AND once the humidifiers are finished, one lucky fan will win the one-of-a-kind creation!
The ink doesn’t stop here though, Crane is continuing the Sharpie love over the next year working with some AMAZING artists, including Sharpie blog alumni like Matthew Langille,so be sure to check out their Facebook and blog for more!
Last November the Sharpie Canada team and the Design Exchange (DX) museum in Toronto teamed up for an exciting project. We challenged DX’s large design community to come up with a Sharpie marker holder that would make their office a happier place.
We KNOW the happiness-inducing effects of a Sharpie marker, but in far too many offices our colorful little magical wands are hidden in a drawer with paper clips and tissue paper. We knew we needed to change this. As luck turned out, the DX was in the final stages of their The Happy Show exhibit featuring the work of international renowned graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister. The show is the output of his ten-year exploration and takes a visual, empirical, interactive and quirky look into what makes us human-folk happy. Can we say match made in heaven?!
So, after a quick open call and less than a month later we received thirty amazing entries including renderings, inspirations and detailed design specs. From this amazing group we had the difficult task of choosing ten finalists and had them show us their stuff! They were each tasked with creating their Sharpie designs in time for the opening night on January 9th.
Then it was up to us to show them off! We set up an all white cubicle complete with a white desk, carpet, trash, tape dispenser etc.Truly a blank canvas for some Sharpie inspiration! Guests strolled through the exhibit floor and registered their vote with (what else) Sharpie markers on a giant grid scorekeeper. To date, we’ve been through over a dozen of these and the DX expects to welcome 35,000 visitors by the time the show wraps up!
The cubicles and Sharpie Holders were a permanent part of The Happy Show until it left town on March 3rd. We will have a winner chosen at the end of the show but DON’T WORRY, we want you to have a say, too! Be sure to cast your vote on Facebook and help us select our winner TODAY!
Are you in the Toronto area and want to check out the Design Exchange? Head right downtown to the Design Exchange and for more information, please visit the DX site www.dx.org.
We love Facebook, beyond the unlimited stalking opportunities it allows, it ALSO introduces us to amazing, out-of-this-world artists like Daniel Roberts!
We had the amazing opportunity to chat with Daniel about his work and his unique Sharpie style. .
1. Tell me about yourself!Where are you from? Interests? Likes? Dislikes?Give us the good stuff!
First and foremost, hello, my name is Daniel Roberts from Las Cruces, but currently I’m now living in Albuquerque, NM. I am turning 22 in April, I obtained my associates degree in Business Management. I have completed/sold well over 50+ canvases as well as I’ve created custom art for a select few. I have participated in approximately 5 local art shows including two in downtown El Paso, TX. I have developed my portfolio over the past 8 years. More than money, I want people to simply see my art and view it as they may. Enjoy it. Every single one of my canvases I have created is made 100% Sharpie products. People always ask me why I create my Sharpie Art, I tell them “because when I actually start creating with a blank canvas and my Sharpie markers, I forget about the rest of the world, forget about my problems and insecurities, about failures and an uncertain future, about everything, I lose myself in each canvas…” Each one of them tells my story; you just have to use your own imagination to bring them to life. My work is unique, original, and overall expressive. My ideas, imagination, and creations become alive through Sharpie markers. ENJOY!!
2. What inspires you to uncap what’s inside? How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?
My inspirations and signature art twists, come from different parts of me which are influenced by the different beautiful images of life that surround me. A select few icons that are my muses include Alexander McQueen, Marco Mazzoni, Alex Pardee, High Fructose & GQ Magazines, Brandt Peters as well as other inspirational artists. Music has also been a huge part of my inspirations.
Each and every one of my canvases are made with 100% Sharpie markers. As a final touch and when I decide I’m finished with a final piece, I like to spray paint the boarders with black spray paint to create a perfect fitted frame. This also helps contrast perfectly against the vibrant Sharpie colors on the canvases. I’m always keeping imagination, creativity and the arts alive!! These are only a few things what inspires me to uncap what’s inside!!
3. You create some amazing blended looks with the marker ink, any tips on how to achieve this?
I ALWAYS get asked how I am able to manipulate the Sharpie Ink into such a smooth coating. I would love the share my secrets with the world, but that is something I’m also very proud of. I enjoy knowing that it is such a mystery, kind of like chefs “top secret recipes.” I like having a unique medium that I truly enjoy creating with. This gives my art an interesting edge, as well as brilliant colors. My personal tip, black Sharpie markers are the key to bringing all of my major and minor details a life.
I would describe it as Nontraditional–Urban. New Age. Unique Art. I create and design beautiful images, but there is a darker, sicker twist to each piece. I create things that don’t exist, but I really wish they did. I like to incorporate elegance and beauty with a touch of obscenity and vulgarity. When I start to create a canvas, I like to find ways where imagination and creativity can be explored with images never seen. [D.R.]
6. Your work is pretty whimsical and other-worldly, how did you get started?
All of my life I have found that different art comes from different minds. I remember creating my first few art pieces throughout school with acrylic, pastel, oils, and other art supplies, but I never found my true medium that inspired me to explore further. I was 13 when I started creating with my Sharpie markers. I was leaving my mark with Sharpie everywhere; it was around 14 when I discovered my ability to manipulate the Sharpie ink. That’s when my entire world and visions of art changed. I truthfully started to appreciate the colors and details in each piece. I already loved creating with my little monsters, box-headed figures and strange images, but my “Top Secret Art Recipe” was what brought each character to life and pushed me further to explore my limits as an artist.
7. What projects are you working on currently or can you tell us what you ARE working on next?
Currently, I am working as a barista for Satellite Café in Albuquerque, NM. I’ve been selected to participate in creating the marketing flyer for “Live in the Living Room”, which is different events that are featuring local artists, actors, and musicians that come to perform for in our café. I also have been searching for different art galleries in New Mexico and around the country to try and participate in a show or even just get help in pointing me in the right direction for my kind of art. And always, I’m continuously working on different canvases around my house, which accumulate all of my wall space!! My Sharpie Art is my passion, my inspiration is everywhere!
8. Do you have a soft spot for one of your pieces in particular?
Well, of course I have my favorites, but each canvas contains an emotion of me. My heart, mind, body and soul go into each piece, my life and experiences (good and bad) are what influence my art. There are both happy and very detrimental pieces in my art collection. The titles of each canvas can also usually say a lot, but overall, your imagination is what really shows me as an artist I am telling you a story. I want people to view my art and focus on something nontraditional and let their minds explore.
Want to more? Check out all of Daniel’s work by becoming a fan of his on Facebook and checking out his website!
Recently, Mark launched an art education program, The Mark Rivard Skateboard Art Education, a unique program designed to provoke and inspire students to strive for success through hard work and recognition of one’s potential.
Skateboards. Art. School. Stop it. Where the heck was this when I was trying not to bang my head against my desk praying 4th period would just end!?
Everyday we are blown away with what can start with Sharpie. Today, we have been blown to pieces, so we will let Mark tell you about it while we try and wrap our head around this amazing-ness!
Tell me! What have you been up to lately!?
What a rollercoaster ride it’s been since the 2011 campaign! I have been busy! The last year has seen so much opportunity for me it’s been unbelievable, but the most important opportunity came in the form of an idea I’ve had for quite awhile. I started a skateboard art education program, which has been a passion of mine. I’ve been creating art, painting, skateboards, sculptural pieces, just really letting the creative process grow which has been really interesting. Life is good, and art is STILL FUN!
I know WE KNOW how, but tell us how you got started with Sharpie!
My relationship with Sharpie started about five years ago when my aunt, who is an office supplies manager, mentioned to her Sharpie Rep that her nephew used Sharpie markers to illustrate skateboards. That rep must have said something to the marketing team and the next thing I knew I was doing an interview for this very blog! Then in 2009 I was invited to become a member of inaugural Sharpie Squad, from that opportunity we have just continued to spitball ideas and I am yet to find a better skateboard illustration tool… There’s a lesson here too, foster your relationships. Young artist are always asking me, “How did I get where I am?” It’s those around you that are so instrumental in your success. When I got my foot in the door with Sharpie I ate up every opportunity I could, I’ve been pestering the bigwigs over there for years with ideas and projects I want to work on (Pestering?! PLEASE- we love it!!) . If someone would have told me five years ago that I would have the relationship I have today with Sharpie I would have thought they were crazy, but here we are, and you guys still answer my calls!!! Thanks Sharpie, it’s been an incredible five years! Cheers to us!
Since being THE skateboarding force behind 2011’s ad campaign- you have started up your own education program? Fill us in!
This has been the one thing in my life I can honestly say I am the most proud of. I used the momentum and recognition that 2011’s Sharpie campaign afforded me and developed a program called Rivard Art Education. I wanted to find away to give back, not only to skateboarding, but also to kids that are a lot like I was growing up. School didn’t come naturally for me and I always had a hard time finding things that I was genuinely interested in. The older I’ve gotten the more I realized my passion for helping people figure out their role in life. I was fortunate in the things I’ve been through that I was able to find an outlet that I was so passionate about. I was able to better my life because of it. I want to help people learn to recognize that kind of drive in themselves. School doesn’t have to be a drag ( seriously where were you during my 4th period class?!) and if I’m in a position to help make it better, even if it’s just for a few, than it’s something I am committed to doing. I feel like with the campaign I was given the chance to use some of the inspirational themes to piggyback off of and create a, pay-it-forward, type momentum through the Rivard Art Education.
Professor Rivard and those lucky kids!
As for skateboarding and skateboard art itself, that is merely a tool. I wrote this piece called “The Skateboarding Springboard”, which I think best describes the basis for the program:
“A couple of days ago I was talking with a friend about his idea to develop a skateboard school through one of the local shops. As we were talking I realized that the fundamental reason for success with these types of programs has nothing to do with skateboarding itself and everything to do with the interactions and openness brought out by the idea of skateboarding and the aesthetic of skateboarders. How do we sell this idea to group of people that have zero understanding of skateboarding? The kids don’t care; they are intrigued by anything & everything when presented in manner that is giving them the freedom to discover their own outcomes. How do you sell to a PTA? Or a group of people who’s ideas of skateboarding is negative? You prove to them that skateboarding is simply a means to a larger conversation. The lesson and value of the experience is in the conversations had collectively while working on a skateboard. It’s in the way you watch a young person come to their own realizations while pushing a Sharpie across the bottom of board. Skateboarding is simply the springboard to so many other positive emotions and a tool used to inspire the emotions that in turn define what a young person is passionate about. Once a kid discovers a passion they have instantly added a positive value to their own life, they’re now off and running with they’re own ideas. And a kid with an idea is powerful thing…”
What has inspired you to start Rivard Art education?
I’ve been fortunate enough in the past to be invited to speak at a couple of schools around the world and those were some of the most fulfilling experience I’ve been apart of as an artist. The first school I had ever been to was a high school in Dienze, Belgium, I was invited to speak about the differences between American and European Youth and Pop Cultures. I was in Belgium doing an art show and a friend, who was a teacher there, thought I would be a good compliment to her current study of American Cultures. It was a true honor and the response from the students was incredible. I was also graciously invited into an all boys’ Muslim school in town called Al Kohr just outside of Doha, Qatar, in the Middle East. I started to realize that through my art and my story I had a positive message to spread. That message was in a way it’s own internationally and culturally recognizable language, the values were relatable through cultural barriers.
After the 2011 campaign I received an email from a local elementary teacher stating that I was an artist her school was going to being featuring and studying over the course of their school year. I responded and told her that I was honored and would love to stop by and say hello to the students. We got to talking and essentially created the Rivard Art Education, which had its first official run as a five-day residency at Liberty Ridge Elementary in Woodbury, Minnesota. From there it has snowballed into national and even international interest with offers to visit schools, conferences’, and seminars as far as India! I have a lot of appreciation for the support and insights that a few key teachers and educators have provided me in getting Rivard Art Education off the ground. Tess Soucheray, Jill Brown, Jessica Frisco, Lorelli Byrne, Shannon Opichka, and Joanne Toft were all key’s to inception and success of the program and they deserve so much appreciation for their efforts in helping me get this going. Thank you!
I know I would be psyched if you had come to my school, how could kids/schools get involved?
You can contact me through my website: www.RivardArtEducation.com! There are so many ways and ideas for incorporating the program!
A new level of class.
Are you still working as an artist and creating those amazing Sharpie decks we have come to love?
Absolutely! My time spent actually creating has been challenged with the birth of all these new projects, but at the end of the day I still find myself sitting down and sketching out skateboards… I’m an artist all the time, you can’t shake that…
What’s on the horizon for the rest of 2012?
The rest of this year and going into 2013 are looking busy. I have a number of schools I’m going to be visiting and the program is turning into a full time job. One project I am super excited about is an opportunity to work with Brunswick High School in Virginia. We are doing a project where I will hand deliver 100 skateboards to the school to and be making art with the students for a few days there. It was a project that hit near and dear to me when I learned of the high school. They had approached me about making a visit and after a lot of brainstorming we came to the conclusion that there was simply not enough funding for the trip. The teacher had talked to me about her schools budget for the art department and I thought I had to help in some way. Instead of giving up I proposed a challenge to the school, and to myself, to raise the money and make, what I’ve since branded as “The Virginia Project” a reality. The ultimate goal of what I do is to prove that you can do anything in life you put your mind to, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to prove that. So in January of 2013 I will be going to Virginia to spend a week with the students of Brunswick High School! I’ll also be visiting schools in Ohio, Colorado, and all over my home base of Minnesota with more opportunities coming up daily!
Every once in a while we get a little star struck; especially when it comes with discovering a certain creative genius is a fan of us, little ole’ Sharpie! James Victore is just that creative genius. The renowned American art director, designer, and author turned us into screaming fan-girls around here when his team reached out to let us know of James’ Sharpie love. I mean the guy has published a book, held his own awe-inspiring conference, oh, and has had his work exhibited in The Museum of Modern Art. NBD.
We (and by “we,” I obviously mean “me”) stand by our fan-girl status. We also proudly own the possibly embarrassing display that occurred when he asked if he could contribute a guest blog post. I will just leave it at “excessive”. What? He’s awesome.
But enough gushing from me, let the mustached man inspire you to Start with Sharpie for himself and find out what’s next on the horizon for this celebrated genius.
The 'stache. Gets me every time.
There is power in even the simplest of tools…
Graphic Design is an intellectual field, we spread ideas, the images are just the teaspoon of sugar– or vitriol– that we use to cloak the message. I find it satisfying to illuminate ideas using simple tools. In every thing I make, I want to entertain, educate, and enlighten with the simple twist of the cliché—images that are deceptively simple.
My weapons of choice have always been a Sharpie and a pair of scissors. There is something so honest about ink on paper. Black and white is truth. For me, there is no quicker way to get thoughts on paper—the pen is my freedom. Even today, a Sharpie and an opinion is worth more and stronger than the shrewdest marketing strategy.
I’ve used Sharpie pens in work for all my clients; Esquire Magazine, Aveda, Moet Chandon, Bobbie Brown, the City of New York, The New York Times and Time Magazine. Most of my work hanging in the MoMA was made with Sharpies. (SEE! Let’s see you try to not drop your jaw)
I begin every job by sketching. Just putting thoughts on paper– trying not to judge or evaluate too soon– just rough first drafts. Later I refine these, but too well. I rarely use the computer to clean up or alter hand-made marks. I try to leave all the fingerprints. Today’s reliance on technology makes the human mark even more impactful and memorable.
“Take This Job & Love It”. Was a day-long symposium here in New York on September 29th. I spent the day discussing creativity—and how you to reclaim it in your own life. A big part of that is showing you how to lose your hang-ups, the things that stifle your creativity and to start thinking about the things you create as a “gift”. By believing your work is a “gift” it radically changes what you create. I think this is a revolutionary idea. it’s no longer about client approval or a paycheck, but aspiring to make work that has meaning and purpose in your life and for your audience.
The next big design project here in my studio is a poster series called “New York I Love You, But…” We will be designing a series of faux motivational posters to hang throughout NYC—simple reminders of core values and philosophy like personal responsibility, etiquette, and discipline—not preachy, just honest.
One of these posters uses the 1960′s classic icon “Hang In There Kitty” as a starting point. Our poster will say “Let Go Kitty” meaning let go of fixed thinking, of the status quo forget all the preconceived notions of what life is supposed to be like. Look for it on Kickstarter this fall.
Brittany Lane is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who calls Nashville home and is a self-proclaimed Sharpie fanatic! This 22-year-old blonde bombshell has been working on leaving her mark on the country music capital and uses Sharpie to help her do just that, including writing a song inspired by her favorite marker!
Get to know Brittany Lane and be sure to check out the song that started it all!
Tell me about yourself!
I was born in a small town in upstate NY, but spent most of my life in Canada.
‘Lane’ is my middle name.
Oreo cookies are my weakness.
I’m addicted to Starbucks.
Rain and I don’t get along.
Fall is my favorite season.
I love to laugh.
I love to travel.
I thought as a kid that if music didn’t work out I would become a spy.
111 is my lucky number.
I wish I could dance.
My biggest fear is of the smallest things: SPIDERS and anything creepy-crawly.
Biggest pet peeve: When you are in the middle of a conversation with someone and they have there phone out texting!
I learned to play guitar from a $6 Wal-Mart poster.
Want to know more…
Brittany Lane is the name, and music is not just what I do, it’s who I am. I’m 22 years old and currently chasing the dream in Nashville, TN. I’ve been singing and writing music since I could talk. I remember always being so sure that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I don’t know if anyone ever thought it would stick, but here we are.
Never thought in a million years I would end up in Nashville, the Country music capital, while I was chasing a career in pop music. There was something about it that just felt like home. Now, here we are two years later; I’m still here and loving every minute.
I moved here not really sure what to expect, but the more I wrote, the more shows I played, and the more people I met, things started to move. In fall 2010, two people close to me decided to back my vision and invested in the recording of my first EP ever to be released. The project was titled “Leave Your Mark” after a Sharpie inspired song I co-wrote with my producers Nathan Walter and Blake Easter.
For the first time I found MY sound in music. Everything about that record screams Brittany Lane. It’s fun, energetic, honest and relatable.
What inspires you to uncap what’s inside?
People. People are what it’s all about! The thought that I can use my biggest passion in life to “leave my mark” on someone’s life is what inspires me to uncap what’s inside. I want to impact people and music has been a great outlet for that. When I write a song, it’s taken straight out of my life – it’s my way of getting vulnerable and letting people in to my experiences.
How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?
Where don’t I?!
I would be so lost with out my Sharpie, haha.
I use Sharpie markers for everything! Whether it’s color-coding my dayplanner, writing my lyrics and set lists out for shows, signing autographs, doodling during a writer’s session etc. I never leave home without at least one!
How did Sharpie inspire your song “Leave Your Mark”?
Sharpie is known world-wide not only for their product, but for the practical ways they serve people and what they can inspire people to start. One of the things that stood out to me most was how they impact people’s lives tangibly. I think Sharpie understands that it’s in the simplest ways that you leave the biggest mark. I want my life to be like that.
Favorite Sharpie? Why?
I would have to say the retractable fine point Sharpie because it’s the one I use to do my most favorite thing: sign autographs for my fans. It not only writes the best on CD’s and posters, it doesn’t smudge, and because it’s a push pen, it allows me to focus on my time with them instead of trying to keep track of the lid!
How would you describe your style?
Fun, energetic, positive, relatable! I always describe it as “road trip music,” the kind of music that you put in at the start of a roadtrip, windows down, singing at the top of your lungs. I love writing anything that will put a smile on your face.
How did you get started?
My mom says I was singing before I could talk and made up songs all the time. I do remember that we had this blue rocking chair I used to sit in all the time with my Sharpie and a sheet of blank paper and write out songs about anything and everything.
You have recently moved from Canada to Nashville, has the change in scenery (or all that southern charm) affected your music or writing?
I think the move made me realize how lucky I am that I get to live my dream out. I would say it hasn’t affected my music or writing as much as the people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve built here have. Nashville helped me find who I wanted to be as an artist and living in a city full of incredible talent constantly inspires me to be the best I can be.
How do you decide what to tackle next/what are you working on?
Currently I am co-writing with other artists to sharpen my writing skills, performing three or four times a week, working on connecting and building relationships with my fans, and utilizing all of my social media to give easy access to my music for my fans.
Music is something that is always changing and evolving so I try and pay attention to what my fans want. They kind of dictate what I’m going to tackle next.
Do you have a soft spot for one of your songs?
All my songs are taken directly from my life and the people closest to me, but I would have to say “Kiss You in the Rain (Kyle’s Song)” off the “Leave Your Mark” record is the one I have a soft spot for. It’s super personal and tells the story exactly how it happened.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
To fly, hands down. I couldn’t tell you why other than it would just be awesome! I think it’s because I grew up watching Superman and SO badly wanted to be Lois Lane. I think the fairytale side of me hoped that her love for Superman would give her the superpower to fly someday.
If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
If I could have dinner with anyone in the world, I would say my biological father. I think every girl grows up with a desire deep down to be the apple of her daddy’s eye, his little princess. Although I was so blessed with a loving mom and step dad, there has always been that question deep down, why did he leave? More than that though I think what I really want is the chance to tell him: I forgive you.
Check out more of Brittany’s songs and catch up with her on her social sites!
You know those wildly difficult-to-fold pieces of paper called maps? Those oversized contraptions soon to go the way of GPS? Well they’ve found new purpose. Thanks to Enrico Miguel Thomas, subway maps now have soul.
Enrico is a subway map artist. He uses Sharpie markers to create magnificent works of art on subway maps.
Based in Brooklyn, Enrico got his start as a map artist after he discovered that Sharpie markers were the perfect medium to express his urban style. Using subway maps as his primary canvas, Enrico created a style — a genre, even – all his own. Subway maps became the “drawing paper” that allowed him to express his unique perspective, including the incredible and inspiring views of New York City that capture his imagination.
Take a minute to get to know Enrico in our interview below — he won’t disappoint — and who knows, maybe you’ll find your way to a one-of-a-kind canvas that inspires you.
The Apple Store
Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What are your interests, likes, dislikes? Pet Peeves welcome too.
My name is Enrico Miguel Thomas and I was born in Los Angeles, California. I love to draw and always have. The legendary comic book artist, Stan Lee was one of my first artist role models. I used to constantly study how he drew his super heroes .
A good day for me is one hundred push-ups first thing in the morning, followed by a bottle of water and then off to my favorite cafe in Brooklyn, Le Petit, for some apple pie with an iced chai tea latte for breakfast. I am also a film fanatic and a huge X-Men fan and some day I would love to have a part in a cool action film! I am usually always a positive person and can’t stand when people don’t at least try to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. I admire people who have persevered through the greatest odds and keep going anyway!
What is inspires you to Uncap What’s Inside?
I first started using Sharpie markers in my second year at Pratt Institute. As a drawing major, I found Sharpie markers to be so easy to work with as a drawing tool. They were so compatible with virtually every drawing surface I tried whether it was paper, wood, or even foam core. After I graduated, I stuck with them and have always insisted on using them. While at Pratt and afterwards, I began to draw lots of architecture and nothing compared to the black Sharpie Marker! They always had such a smooth feel on the paper’s surface.
Eventually, I would try using a subway map as drawing paper and Sharpie markers were perfect for this new drawing surface! The beautiful architecture in New York City and the cool subway trains and stations inspired me to go out and draw. I love the challenge of creating the illusion of a three dimensional space on a two dimensional drawing surface.
Also, my childhood was very difficult so art has always been a refuge for me and always gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. It gives me a new identity as an artist instead of someone who had a difficult early life.
How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?
In my work, Sharpie markers are used in a way that I think is a metaphor for a part of my personality, which is that of a fighter and someone who perseveres. I can take a package of Sharpie markers and create a colorful drawing that looks as though it was created with the most expensive art materials. e.g. oil paints, acrylic paints, etc. For example the Sharpie Silver Metallic marker works perfectly for the color of the subway cars that I draw on the subway maps. The bottom line for me is that it doesn’t matter how much you have without. Instead, it is what is within that matters. If the will power is there you can create with anything. This is what “Uncap what’s inside” means to me.
How would you describe your style?
My style is all about speed. The speed of New York City. I love to draw quickly so my style is definitely illustrative and architectural but can also be classified as fine art.
How did you get started?
I started drawing at the age of eight. I remember being in an art class when I was about thirteen and the teacher would say, “Enrico it is time to go”, but I would want to stay and finish my drawing because I loved art so much. I continued to take art in high school and college and always received encouragement to keep doing it from family and teachers alike.
You have really put a new spin on “following the map” – tell us the story behind using subway maps as your “canvas.”
I started using subway maps because I wanted to try a new challenge. Life without challenges is pretty stale so I gave it a go even though I wasn’t sure if I would like the result. To my surprise, using subway maps as drawing paper, added the additional challenge of working with the colors already present on the map. It wasn’t always easy collaborating with the map but I was determined to make it work. This is the message that I would like my art to send out to the world. In life you have to keep trying until you are happy with yourself. You have to refuse to give up!
The city really seems to inspire you and your art; do you have a favorite subject or a place in the Big Apple where you find inspiration?
My favorite place in the city, by far, is New York City’s upper west side at 72nd Street. There is a huge exterior subway station there with a smaller one behind it and in the background, beautiful tall buildings that provide the perfect backdrop for the negative space of the drawing. I have always found this space to be architecturally fascinating.
Your art has a really cool “sketch” effect that I can imagine is hard to create with a permanent marker! Do you free-hand your work or plan them out first?
I definitely free-hand all of my drawings. It is just a gift that I am very thankful to have and it has been a wonderful refuge for me all my life.
The New York Philharmonic
Franklin Street Station
How do you decide what you want to tackle next, slash can you tell us what you ARE working on next?
I basically just walk around until something that I find beautiful “catches my eye.” And then watch out because Enrico Miguel Thomas goes to work on the spot and basically doesn’t leave till the drawing is complete – just like I did in Junior High School! There was this one time about two months ago, when I was working on two interior watercolors of the New York City 72nd Street Station and my work session didn’t end until about 5am! Right now I am working on a subway map drawing of the New York City Freedom Towers that are actually still under construction.
Do you have a soft spot for one of your designs in particular?
I definitely have drawings that are favorites. I love my 72nd Street drawings and my Flatiron building drawings.
72nd St on Subway Map
Best part of your “day job”?
I decided after Pratt Institute, to give my life to my art so it is all I currently do. I believe that when you make up your mind to do something nothing is impossible. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” – James Allen
If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
To fly so I could travel for free. First stop…Paris!
If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who and why?
Finally, what are you just JAZZED about for 2012 (trends, upcoming projects, personal life)?
In 2012, I am really looking to branch out even more as far as additional exhibitions of my work. I am also going to study more acting. Studied some already about five years ago at H.B. Studios here in New York City. Also looking into doing art work in Amsterdam and Paris.
Check back to see what Enrico Starts next and be sure to follow him on Twitter @NYCSubwayArtist for daily updates.
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