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Monster Mash

Monsters! MONSTERS, EVERYWHERE!!  Wait! Before you run and hide under your bed,  you might want to stop and  get to know these classically feared beasts. What if,  just like our irrational fear of robot world domination, these frightening lookin’ fellas wanted nothing more than to make your day?   

Today’s Sharpie artist, Allie Kelley, is breaking the monster mold and proving there is more behind these fiendish looks than gnashing teeth. Prepare yourself for one frighteningly great interview, we are so glad you’re here…      

Featured Sharpie Artist: Allie Kelley

Tell me about yourself!  Is this the part where I try to sound brilliant and interesting?  Well, I’m not great at that. The truth is I am a 20-something, self-taught artist who loves to laugh and wants to create quirky things that make other people smile and think. I am currently a Massage Therapist, which I love, but I dream of one day having a career where I get paid to create.   

Ms. Allie Kelly, Monster momma

How did you get started as an artist? I think I’ve been creative since I could hold a crayon. When I was little my mother and I moved into a house where my bedroom had been painted yellow and my Mom hated it. She gave me some crayons and told me to draw all over the walls, when they were full- she was painting the room another color.    

How would you describe your personal style?  Uh… clothing wise? I like vintage, I like scarves, and I like threadless.com t-shirts. 

Artistically? I’m still trying to figure that out, to be honest.   I try to make interesting, whimsical pieces that I’m going to want to look at 5 years from now… it’s like if Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton somehow had a child and that child was obsessed with vivid colors.   

 

Where do you draw inspiration from? A handy method is to stay up crazy late, chug a Red bull or two and sketch till I can’t keep my eyes open. I will take inspiration anyway I can get it. Spring trees in bloom, Discovery channel, city museums, and my trusted friends saying: “DRAW THIS!” are all ways that I’ve found a subject or a theme for my work. (Specific to this interview: my friend Amanda said: “you should draw monsters” and so I did.)   

How do you use Sharpie markers in your work? I use Sharpie markers at many levels. If I’m working on a painting, I use Sharpie markers for the pre-draw or I use Sharpie to doodle and try to gain inspiration. Other times (and more often lately) I just like to sit down with some great paper and a 24 pack of the Ultra Fine Point Sharpie markers and create from there. I love how the color combinations really mesh on the page and how the small tip allows for a lot of tiny wonderful details.   

Favorite Sharpie?  Why? I love using the Ultra Fine Point in pastel and light colors.  People don’t expect those tiny details in pink lemonade.  I think the one I gravitate to the most is the Blue Ice in the Ultra Fine Point.  I love the way it pops off my paper.   

   

 

What is it about monsters that you love so much? I love that monsters surprise you. People usually place anything very unfamiliar in their “monster” category.  Unfortunately it’s a natural response to feel that if it’s different, it’s scary. Once you get past your discomfort you can often be surprised that your “monster” is interesting, or funny, or kind.   My monsters look the part, but they say nice things to you. They remind you that you are loved and that you make others happy.   They tell you things your friends and neighbors should say to you every day.   

If you came face to face with one of your monster doodles in real life what would you say to him/her? Well, I would hope the Doodle monster would be my size and not teeny-tiny. I would also hope they would be down for going to have tea and a chat!!! Oh, I would have so many questions!! What do you eat? Do you have pets?  How old are you?! Do doodle monsters have jobs to work at? I guess I should be exploring all this with my art- and I will probably touch on some of it- but I would LOVE to just ask them!   

What is the strangest monster you’ve ever created? Prettiest? Ugliest? Funniest? This is the hardest question for me. I don’t think of my monsters in those terms.  So, I listed a few and told you what I think they would be like if one was behind you in a coffee shop:  

"To me, this is the supportive mom of the Doodle monster family"

"This guy might be the class clown"

"And this guy, He’s my favorite. If I look at him with the paper one way I see a proud water Buffalo thing, and if I flip the paper the other way I see a tiny terrier puppy with tentacles."

"I think of this one as my compassionate little sister of the monster doodle family"

 

Monster names?  How do I come up with them?  I only have one doodle named: BLOAT MONSTER.  I think it’s a name so easy to relate to and sympathize. He is the exception. 

Bloat Monster!

I think the neatest thing about my monsters is that different people see them as different things.  I think if I named them, it would influence what people saw- so I try to stay away from giving them names.   

Current work?  I am always trying to create and explore.  I doodle, sketch and collage a lot- but mostly I consider myself a painter.  Recently I have been obsessed with painting Dinos and Doodle Monsters and 2-headed creatures.   I’ve also started carrying around the largest sketch pad I can, trying to fill it with Sharpie drawings, paint, and hodgepodge, occasionally all 3 on one page! 

Advice for other young artists?  The best “arty” advice I ever received was:

 “Create every day.” 

 My attempt to follow that advice has made all the difference in my work and my artistic style.

What am I going to do with my monster doodles?  I’m going to start with creating more.  To me, each is unique and has a different feeling to them. Later this year, I have a few shows in Virginia coming up to feature them in.  Eventually though, I would like to create a children’s book with and for them. To teach kids about judging at first glance and why that’s not the best way to go through the world.  Maybe what seems like a weird blobby monster is a friend you’ve been looking for.

Thank you so much to Allie for uncapping her Monster gang with us! For more on Allie and her posse check her out on her blog, Facebook page, or, if you want a Monster friend all your own, on Etsy!

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NEW! Stained by Sharpie Fabric Markers

Just like you, the creative minds behind Sharpie are movers and shakers, always seeking to express themselves in new & creative ways. Today, extending the possibilities even further, Sharpie encourages you to evoke self-expression & let your imaginations run wild with the NEW! Stained by Sharpie fabric markers!

Think For Yourself. Ink For Yourself.

The NEW Stained by Sharpie marker line brings new life to fabric markers! Boasting a versatile brush tip, a new fade-resistant ink developed for optimal performance on most fabric surfaces and 8 bright, bold colors perfect for staining your stuff, the Stained by Sharpie marker is perfect for inking creatively on most all of your fabric surfaces.

Like all of our Sharpie products, Stained by Sharpie packs a color punch that can turn white into bright with just the brush of a marker. Need some ideas? Our new fabric markers are great for dreaming big on denim, adding pep to the step of your sneakers & tired tees, fancifying  furniture, embellishing backpacks, purses and more!

Each pack of Stained by Sharpie markers comes equipped with a brief lesson on “Stained 101.” Here’s a rundown of some things you’ll learn for the guide:

  • Ignore design rules you’ve had before and ink freely - Stain the way YOU want. 
  • Mistake? What mistake?! Throw some layers over it and no one will know the difference.
  • Drawing people is hard! When in doubt – stick it out.  Stick people are people too!
  • Anything you can imagine can be drawn. Break it down shape-by-shape.
  • Experiment with lettering – graffiti, bubble, script and more!
  • With over 600 bazillion things in the world inspiration is everywhere!
  • Care for your markers like you’d care for anything you love. Store them horizontally and with the cap on to keep that relationship alive and well. 

Also available is the New Stained by Sharpie Drawstring Bag! 

Offering the perfect surface to ink for yourself, this drawstring bag instantly becomes your own with the brush of a marker. Get creative and transform this blank canvas into your own personal billboard! (Here’s an example of the drawstring bag that we stained.) The drawstring bag is sold blank, plain white ready for you to customize with your own attitude and design, along with a set of Stained by Sharpie fabric markers and the “101 guide.”

Drop by Sharpie.com to learn more about Stained by Sharpie markers and get your set today!

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Sharpie Show, Fort Wayne Edition

Joseph Siler, Garuda Variations, Sharpie

It’s hard to believe that Sharpie, once a simple labeling tool, now shows up as an art form in serious art galleries. One look at the work and it’s clear Sharpie markers have come a long way since their humble beginnings in 1964.  While Sharpie has proven itself ”artist friendly” (so many colors and tip sizes!), the really great thing is that they are accessible to almost everyone given their modest price – about a buck a Sharpie.  Who needs expensive paints, pens and pencils when you can create amazing art with Sharpie markers?

Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana is hosting what I believe is only the second Sharpie Show to take place, the first attributed to Crewest Gallery in L.A. which we first wrote about here in 2009 (the show was repeated in 2010). Already the Fort Wayne edition is getting its share of attention. 

Here’s one excerpt from an article that appeared in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel headlined, “Sharpie:  More Than Doodles”:
Who doesn’t love a Sharpie? Whether you’re labeling files, addressing a birthday card or doodling, the permanent markers available in a rainbow of colors are so much more fun than a basic ballpoint pen. With their various tips and myriad colors, Sharpies provide endless creative possibilities. The artists panel at Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery recognized this and put out a call for entries for an exhibit in which each piece has an element of Sharpie design. “There’s something fun about Sharpies,” said Artlink executive director Deb Washler. Although artists have been using markers for years – including brands other than Sharpie – “Sharpie kind of has its own culture,” she said.  “I like all the colors they come out with,” she added. Some people in the arts field now use Sharpies when taking notes, Washler said.  About 70 pieces will be in this show, which was an open call, meaning it’s not juried. “That’s how we meet new artists,” Washler said. 
The show runs through July 6. If you happen to be in the Fort Wayne area, be sure to check it out. Details and a sneak peak below:
Sharpie Show

What: Artwork created with Sharpie markers.  

Where: Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, 437 E. Berry St.  

When: Through July 6. Hours: noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; noon-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday.  

Admission: Suggested $2 donation.   

David Carpenter, Mummy, Sharpie

Jason Swicher, “SWPSH” Script, Sharpie

Patrick Gainer, User Friendly, Sharpie/silk-screen/wax

Suzanne Galazka, Pamela Robinson and Josef Zimmerman

Dennis Hettler, chaos flower, Sharpie markers/acrylic paint

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Inktern Interview with Jessica Hill

We are lucky to have Caitlin Ursini join our team as our summer “inktern.” Looking to gain first-hand knowledge on what it takes to build and run a brand, we’re putting Caitlin to work across several projects to give her the chance to experience several parts of our brands. Caitlin is currently a junior at Indiana University, studying to earn her degree in journalism with a minor in history and marketing. She loves Chicago sports, country music and I quote, “I enjoy telling my co-workers about my weird habits.” Caitlin’s favorite Sharpie is a custom Blackhawks Stanley Cup marker and in case you were wondering, the best thing she’s ever done was attending Wimbledon last summer.

One of Caitlin’s projects is to conduct interviews with various Sharpie artists to feature on the blog. One of the firsts: Jessica Hill.

Art: Anytime. Anywhere.

For years Jessica Hill kept work under her bed, in her closets, in the family’s shed, but not anymore. Now it’s on her blog, in charity auctions, for sale at galleries and even on TV. Each of her pieces has dozens of different figures and creatures within it. They are her creations, but it is everyone else’s interpretations that make these unique creatures in her drawings what they are.

Today’s featured artist may live a normal life as a graphic designer in Nashville, TN., but there is way more to it than a good cup of coffee and a great husband. Jessica spends her days outside of work creating art and designs on just about anything and everything she can find with her Sharpie Paint Markers.

Jessica has been at this for a long time. Since she was a kid, her parents and teachers encouraged her to creative outlets.  Clearly all the art, music and creative writing classes paid off. Her unconventional art work features characters and figures that take on a life of their own. Each one is individual and each has potential to have its own meaning to the audience. For Jessica though it isn’t always what she draws, but where. Old calendars, chairs, used canvases, you name it Jessica will find a way to use it for her work. Using different materials makes the sky the limit. It helps Jessica get out her urge to create. When you are willing to use anything as your canvas there is nothing to hold you back.

Here are some other things that Jessica had to say:

Personal Style: I think my personal style is just fun and amusing, really. I don’t think about it too much. My work is usually associated with “street art”, which is cool with me. However, the word “obsessed” might describe my personal style, too. I tend to paint things over and over again. I draw all the lines freehand. I have to paint layers and layers of the same color to get a flat, bright image.

Where did these creatures come from: It just sort of evolved over time. Contrary to what some might think, I actually can draw more traditionally, but I always loved street art and skateboard designs. I did silk screening for a while and I loved the bright, flat colors. Also, being a graphic designer, I tend to like minimal things. But I am always thinking about color and layout, too. And again, I just keep myself amused. I think that’s also a large part of it. As for the monsters having one big eye and one little eye… I don’t know why I do that. I just like how it looks.  

What are these guys’ personalities: I have never given any character a specific personality, but other people do. People are always naming them or telling me how they see them. I think that’s part of the fun for me… I just make characters that I personally find amusing. I like that they seem to appeal to a wide range of people from adults to kids.

What did you feel when you got these guys on TV: It was very flattering and slightly embarrassing. I am always proud of my work, but I can feel my cheeks getting red whenever I get a little bit of the spotlight. Honestly, it’s just amazing to me how kind people have been and how much they’ve embraced my work. It’s just amazing and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

Why Sharpie: Well, I found that Sharpie markers let me draw on pretty much any surface. Also, I don’t have to worry about anything dripping, like I would with paint. All my characters have a black outline on them and I found that with Sharpie markers I have a lot more control over those lines. I don’t have to worry about dipping the brush in more paint and I know I can use it on any surface and it won’t chip or flake away when it’s finished. They are just awesome to use and they have such a wide range of sizes, so it just makes the pieces really look polished in the end.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Favorite Sharpie: Right now I am loving the Sharpie Paint Markers. They give me really smooth lines and consistent black ink. It sounds a little silly, but lots of markers don’t always give you a smooth, dark line. They lose ink along the way and that can be frustrating. The Sharpie paint marker has served me well. I also use the extra fine markers for detail work, which is great. I would be lost without them.

Are you an environmentalist or is all this supplies another creative outlet: I would love to say that I am an environmentalist, but it was really kind of accidental. Canvas can be expensive and you don’t always have access to one when you get an idea that you want to work on right away. So I started using things I had around the house and I liked how the different materials gave you different results. They all hold paint or ink differently, and I like that. Plus, sometimes I don’t have a lot of time to work on a project but I want to do some doodles. I will just grab magazines or old calendars and doodle for a while. It’s a really fun outlet for me and I find it really relaxing. 

What’s your favorite recycled piece: It’s so hard for me to say… I really enjoyed filling in my old calendar with doodles. I also did a coffee can label for a local coffee shop here in Nashville and that was actually done on the back of a cereal box. I enjoyed that one!
My husband also brings home scraps pieces of wood for me that he will trim down into little squares and I can’t get enough of them!

Most spontaneous piece you’ve ever created: I think that being able to use what’s around does allow me to get my ideas out quickly. Sometimes I get the urge to draw all over photos that my friends will post on-line or email me. It’s like this urge that I just can’t resist and I have to deface it for some reason! It seems I have a problem with impulse control at times… so lots of the things I make are spontaneous. One day I started drawing my favorites movies on scraps of cardboard. Before I knew it, I had a whole pile of them!

Why do you think it’s important to give back: You know, I just think I am so lucky that people like my work. I don’t have a ton of money and I don’t have a lot of other skills. I am glad I can pitch in this way and help out some good causes. It’s just win-win. My favorite experience with volunteering is just meeting so many great people! I’ve met so many wonderful people through charity events. I also get to team up with other local artists and it’s nice to have a sense of community with all of them. It’s not competitive and I really enjoy that.

What’s on your to-do list right now: Well, I have a show coming up in June that I am working on and some commission work to do after that. There is a festival in August that I have work in and I am booked for another show in December. I try not to get too much on my plate so I don’t get overwhelmed, but I stay busy!

If there was one place your art could take you, think DREAM job, where would it be: I gotta say, I LOVE my current job. It’s challenging and creative and I work with great people. I don’t know what my dream job would be, honestly. I just thank my lucky stars that I can make a living doing what I love. I know that there are lots of people who are not as lucky. I don’t know what else I would do if I wasn’t doing creative work. My mind couldn’t do anything else

If you’re interested in Jessica’s work you can view her blog or tweet at her @jessicahillart

Tweet Caitlin at @Inktern and be sure to check out her Inktern blog.

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Sharpie Squad Member on E! News

Sharpie Squad member, Erica Domesek of P.S. -I Made This… was featured on E! News, Wednesday, May 18th! E!’s Cat Sadler reports how our squad member creates runway inspired fashions, accesories and more at an affordable cost using every day items.

In the news segment, Domesek demonstrates how to DIY a beaded statement necklace,  a fashionable clutch for your iPad using colors from Prada’s runway collection and a Vera Wang inspired belt that doubles as a headband.  

Watch Erica’s E! segment, ”Crafty Transformations” below:

Here are a few of Erica’s projects using Sharpie markers: Kate Spade event, Ready Made magazine

You can also find more Sharpie-made projects in Erica’s new book, P.S. -I Made This… 

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Glamour’s Secret Stash

Secret's out! Glamour uses Sharpie for scuffs too!

Glamour Magazine’s June issue features Sharpie markers as a must-have secret style weapon to always keep at your desk. Check out what else is in Glamour’s arsenal of must-have items and why you need them at Glamour.com. While you’re online, order up some Sharpie markers to stash at your desk!

Share what some of your must-have items are for work or school - Leave your comment below!

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New to the Enterprise

Posted on Instructables, one user makes a X-Wing Fighter using office supplies. Take a look at the step-by-step guide to recreate your own and enjoy endless amounts of entertainment (insert sarcasm here).

Bonus: the pen caps used are from Sharpie’s sister brand, Paper Mate Write Bros. pens.

Is it just me or do Stars Wars fans love Sharpie markers ?! Here are a couple of past Star Wars-related posts:

[thedailywh.at)

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Sharpie Meets the Queen

Take a look at something new by Phlat Club Member scraighamilton made with the Phlatprinter 3. A few of us at Sharpie watched this video twice over with our jaws dropped. Watch as the plotter makes this queen of spades come to life with only a few Sharpie markers.  (Hey, can we get 10 of these in the office, please?!)

Check more out : http://www.phlatforum.com

[via Reddit]

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Mom’s Day the Sharpie Way

Match the outside of your Mother’s Day gift to be as meaningful as what’s inside with custom wrapping paper made special just for mom. Follow these easy steps to create a package that’ll steal mom’s heart on Sunday.

Step 1

Using a Sharpie Pen, write out a list of words that describe your mom.

Step 2

Roll out enough brown paper to wrap your entire gift (you use brown paper bags or pick up an entire roll at your local craft store). Using a white Sharpie Water-Based Paint Marker, write the words from your list on the brown paper. Once covered in words, add small details  using a red Sharpie Paint Water-Based Marker to the paper for a pop of color.

Step 3

Finally, wrap up your gift. Add a ribbon and a bright colored card to pull everything together.

All Done! Happy Mother’s Day!