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Stars and Sharpie Forever

Happy Fourth of July, Sharpie patriots! In honor of this most American holiday and the fact that this year’s independence celebrations fall on a Thursday (ahem, #tbt), we have gone into the Sharpie vault for some of our favorite projects and added some NEW ones to the mix!

Shine from sea to shining sea with Sharpie!

Uncap your shades! One of our most popular and worthy of #tbt!

Stay shady and check out the tutorial here!

Check out the tutorial on how to make these short shorts with Stained by Sharpie!

Flashback!

Perfectly patriotic pockets!

via Sharpie.com

What's red and white and Sharpie all over?

Via StyleGawker 

DIY with Sharpie?? We think its the American way!

Inspiration via asos

Anchors away with Sharpie Paint Markers!

[via Monogrammed Bows and Salty Toes]

Red, white and bows. We couldn't say it any better!

Via Sorority Sugar

Stay cool, America!

Via Reality blog

Sharpie paint just got patriotic!

As teenVOGUE.com said- Don’t let fireworks steal all the attention this summer!

Via teenVOGUE.com

Captain America kicks? Yes, please!

Via Instructables.com

And for the grand finale…

Fireworks are better in NEON!

Via Sharpie 

Be bold, be bright and happy 4th!  Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more ideas, tips and incredible feats of Sharpie!

 

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Your Wish Is My Command

You can stop rubbing your magic lamp because Project Canvas is granting you the ultimate trifecta of Sharpie splendor; sweet new kicks, celebrity swag and uncapped Sharpie creativity. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there—you even get a FOURTH bonus wish: it is all for an AWESOME cause!

Project Canvas is a socially conscious company that promotes creativity amongst youth by supporting underfunded creative arts programs in public schools and to kick off their program, they are auctioning off celebrity designed sneaks! These A-list sneakers are being auctioned off through Wednesday in support of the Urban Arts Partnership, so, if you have a pretty penny to spare, hop on over and treat your feet!

Here’s a little taste of who’s uncapping what’s inside for charity!

Ellen's very own dancing shoes

Creative mastermind, Cee-Lo Green

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Well I’ll be a Sharpie’s Uncle!

Artists have all different quirks, types of personalities and styles, hence such creativity and self-expression!  For instance, maybe you’re  the shy-pensive photographer, or perhaps you know a  moody- heart broken sculptor, how about those out-of-the-box, off the wall painters (Warhol anyone?).  The list can go on and on… but by chance, have you heard of The Gross Uncle?  In short, The Gross Uncle encompasses all sorts of personality and talent beyond compare (see question 3 for an accurate formula).  Unfortunately for you, Fortunately for him, there is and can be only ONE “Gross Uncle.”  Let me introduce you to him.. 

Grant Gilliland, artist, uncle and super model

Grant Gilliland: Artist, Uncle, Super Model

 

 Grant Gilliland aka “The Gross Uncle” is a cartoonist and illustrator with a style COMPLETELY his own.  One cool aspect about this artist is that at your request he will put his Sharpie marker to work, sketching anything you wish and ship it out to you for a measly 20 bucks!! (One-of-a-kind art? Yes please!  Placing my order as we stare at monitors) Turning a cool hobby into a career, Gilliland strives to enjoy life, have fun and create work that he loves, while being confident in all that he does.  Combining big talent with an even bigger personality, this young artist has a long and successful road ahead of him.  Let’s dive right into it and find out more about this Sharpie artist…   

sharpie fine pt   

 Tell me about yourself!    Hello! My name is Grant Gilliland; I have a blog called “The Gross Uncle” and I love to draw and make things.  I spend the majority of my time drawing cartoons and illustrations for all sorts of reasons…sometimes for clients, sometimes just for fun.  I am based in San Francisco, originally from Ohio, a place where I spent a great deal of time playing and being creative.  As I recall, I also went to high school there, but really all I remember is skateboarding and making funny home movies with my friends.  I also enjoy coffee, bike riding, daydreaming about absurd images, scouring the web for inspiration, and meeting new people.  How did you get started as an artist?  What kind of experience do you have?   I started my artistic career in my high chair, cranking out crayon-styled depictions of geometric cars, amorphous birds, and freakishly proportioned people. I would probably stop a minute to spit up or scream some gibberish towards the sky, then after wiping my face and getting something to drink, it was back to work… Come to think of it, not much has changed since then…besides the fact that I use a regular chair now. 

 When I was a little older, I took art classes after school and then once I got too cool (air quotes) for those, I started making comics with some of my friends.  I went to The Columbus College of Art & Design in 2001 and got super-inspired there - It’s when I started to take art a bit more seriously. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Illustration, I balanced a part-time job as a barista with freelance work.  I started getting my feet wet and figuring out my style and eventually met up with my agent, Scott Hull in 2007.  I am still pretty new to the world of freelance illustration and am looking forward to what things I am inspired to make in the future.    

 

Gilliland's work displayed at an art show

Gilliland's work displayed at an art show

 How would you describe your personal style?  This personal style recipe yields one to two editorial illustrations, one overworked 4×4 painting and about half a dozen blog posts with too much writing, it serves an infinite number of portions if rationed correctly. 

  • 1/2 cup of season 1 Ren & Stimpy mix
  • 4 tsp of Surrealism
  • 1 page of The Maxx comic book, shredded
  • 2 small vinyl figures from Kid Robot (under $40), massaged in oil
  • 1 Sonic the Hedgehog cartridge (Sega Genesis), quartered and cut into large pieces
  • Pictoplasma to taste
  • 1 pot strong black coffee
  • sarcasm to taste

Directions:  Mix in a blender. Pour over a 4 year art-school education, slowly adding strong black coffee to the batter, while playing a post-punk mixtape in the background. Sprinkle sarcasm over the condensed result. Let bake in the California sun for four years, and enjoy.  

SharpiemanWhere do you draw inspiration from?  I spend a lot of time absorbing podcasts, YouTube videos, music, comedy albums, you name it… I just like hearing creative material from people.  If there is a sense that they know what they’re doing and have their own voice, usually I’m game to listen.  I get in these modes where I get into a certain podcast and just listen to it nonstop…even if I don’t really like it all that much or wouldn’t want someone to walk in on me listening to it.  I will go into the archives and listen to the whole thing – sometimes I will listen to the same episode several times.  I guess I’m sort of sponge-like when it comes to most things…sometimes vaguely loofa-like, but rarely.  How do you use Sharpie markers in your work?  What is your favorite Sharpie?!   I like the way Sharpie markers make a nice strong line.  I have used other pens in the past, but I always ended up coming back to Sharpie for their consistent quality.  I love the way they draw on laser jet photo paper…so smooth!  I like the regular fine-point Sharpie marker…I have about two dozen lying around at any given time. 

 Where did you come up with the idea to sell $20 Sharpie drawings?  How does this work?  wanted to sell something on my blog that was affordable and fun for me to make.  The cool thing about doing these drawings is that I get to post them on the blog and say who they are for and where they are being mailed.  People seem to like the idea, and each drawing is made just for them. Also, it’s really helped me loosen up…the more people that order the drawings, the better they will get because of all the great drawing practice I’m getting. All you need to do to get your own is email me at seegrantdraw@yahoo.com and ask! I am open to creative suggestions and I will gladly draw your dog. 

What children’s books have you illustrated for?   Just one.  The book is called “Theo” and there is a blog where you can check the whole thing out (http://theobook.blogspot.com).  The book was conceived and written by the talented author Kentucky Lim.  We are planning a whole series of books together.    

Theo

So tell me, do you have a gross uncle or are you the Gross Uncle?  Maybe I should just ask this: Where did you come up with the name for your blog? 

 I him!  He me!  We be me!

…Actually, the whole alias came about one summer when I was thinking about how great and sneaky it would be to have this “alter ego” that I could get extra illustration work as.  So there’s Grant with his cute little round style and then there’s The Gross Uncle with his bizarre, awkward, hairy drawings…and all the time it’s just one guy.  I basically scrapped the idea when I decided to use the name for my blog, so I just ended up mixing elements from the two styles over time.  Nowadays, The Gross Uncle moniker gets used the most when I participate in gallery shows…seems to fit…and it’s easier to say than my last name.   

GrossUnclebanner 

If you could design for any one person who would it be? Why?  I would design for the auto-tune machine because that’s the most popular singer these days.  Other than that, I have made a character design for my friend Donny Papermaker…he’s pretty famous on the YouTube nation. 

 I’m curious…What do you think is the “funniest looking appendage” and why?  Great question! I like the nose. That’s an appendage, right?  There are just so many great ways to make a nose…you can abstract it and add all sorts of funny joints and angles and planes that shouldn’t be there and it can really add a lot in terms of visual punch.  If your drawing is looking real good, then you could put a blue nose on a guy and it could work. 

Laser Portrait

Hippie Style

Tattoos

Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about?  I’m finally getting back around to working on a cartoon show called “Touch Base with Gregg Sween.”  The show is basically a cartoon version of a daytime talk show…it started out as a puppet show that my friend Patrick Kouse and I did last summer.  We performed the whole show live at Fivepoints Arthouse in San Francisco – we only did it twice. We haven’t touched it for a year and now I think it’s time for us to get back in touch with our inner thespians (cue laughter here).   

Anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?  Yes. Can you direct me to the Instant Sharpie Replacement Hotline?  That would be nice.  I’d put it on speed dial and then a Sharpie representative can send new pens to my house in 2-3 business days. You accept drawings as payment, right?  (Grant, you can reach me (the Sharpie Rep) at 1-800 illlosemyjob) -cue sarcasm here : )   

 

 Do you have any advice for other young artists? It’s always important to be into what you’re doing for the fun of it.  No matter what circumstances you are under in life, fun plays a major role.  Just being in a good mood can really negate and remove (even permanently) any real or perceived obstacles in life.  Also just keep the world up to date on what you’re doing…post blog entries about it, take progress pictures, share…being active is more important than being really good.What do you hope for in 2010?  There are some major projects that I hope to finish either this year or next…patience can be tough.  Honestly, just to be happy and satisfied with life sounds nice…to be happy with whatever I am working on without doubting it and to spend the rest of my time playing.  

He desgins shoes too!

 

  

Find out more about how Grant Uncaps What’s Inside on his website: www.seegrantdraw.com

Check out Grant’s blog: www.thegrossuncle.com!

Want more? Follow him on Twitter and take a look at more of his art on Flickr

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Kickin’ it…Sharpie Style

We constantly hear about how celebs and large companies use social media tools to attract attention-  whether it’s Oprah broadcasting live via Skype, Taylor Swift selling ## albums off her MySpace page, or Starbucks promoting a contest on Flickr, big names are taking over the social media circuit.  Well, move over Harpo, put down the mic Tay, and cool it caffeinated Mermaid, there’s a new kid in town…

opc 1

Let me introduce you to Peter Mullin, the mastermind behind the creativity, the art, and of course, the cool factor of OPC Kicks.  Since sixth grade, Mullins has been using sneakers as his canvas- transforming them, with paint and Sharpie markers, into virtually new shoes!  Soon after rockin’ his custom kicks around school, his friends wanted in on the action!

“Ever since I did my first pair, I started getting used shoes from my friends and customizing their shoes.”   

Realizing his potential and that of his product, Mullins began selling OPC Kicks on Ebay.  Wanting to spread the brand further, he created an OPC Kicks page on Facebook where he could promote and show off his shoes.  After receiving so much positive feedback, this sneaker savant is now designing and selling both new and used custom designed shoes to people all over the internet! 

What DREW (pun-intended) you to painting shoes?  I always have had a love for shoes; my favorite thing to do was to find the craziest shoes on the market.  Then I wanted cooler and more colorful shoes that were exclusive - that no one else could have.

opckicks1Be honest…how many pairs of shoes do you own? And Does the shoe have to match the outfit?  Haha!  This is probably one of my favorite questions to be asked…My mom and Dad think I’m crazy, but I have 31 pairs of shoes.  I have my favorites, including my customs, some very rare Nike Dunks and, of course Jordans.  There is nothing better then waking up and looking at which pair to pick, and especially putting a new pair on!   But NO… my shoes don’t always match the outfit.  Sometimes though, because the girls like itand I like to match too.  But sometimes I just like wearing whatever shorts I have clean so that people can see the full image of the shoes I am wearing. I also like when they POP out more than my clothes.

Why did you choose Facebook.com to be a main outlet to spread the word about your business?  When more and more people started asking to see my work and not having a way to show them, I made a profile for OPC KICKS.  It was easy to create and easy for friends to get to.  Once I created the page I was getting crazy friend requests and getting awesome messages from people supporting the shoes and my business. That got me more and more pumped up to work harder and keep on putting up more pictures.  It just seemed like people were using Facebook a lot more then other sites.

Well, now that our friendship is OFFICIAL seeing as we are FaceBook friends and all… I read on your profile that you only paint Air Force Ones.  Why is that?  Where do you get them? I have [worked on] other types of shoes before and they never ended up looking as good as the Air Force Ones. I like the Nike Air Force Ones because they are so simple and everyone (especially me) loves Nike. It seems like they were made to be customized because they have good sized proportions to be painted. To me, Nike Air Force Ones seem to be the most clean and original shoes to ever hit the shoe market.  I have an awesome shoe connect too, who I met on Ebay.  I bought my first case of 16 shoes from him, one of the biggest purchases at that time, and was nervous of a scam but then two days later; sure enough a huge box was waiting on my front porch when I got home from school.  Ever since that first case, I would just call and tell him when I needed more and he would ship them out.   Now he ships me 3-4 cases of shoes at a time, at an amazing price!

opckicks2

Do you know every word to Air Force Ones by Nelly? Haha No. I do not.  I like the song a lot but I’m more of a Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne fan.

What kind of Sharpie markers do you use on OPC Kicks? Favorite Sharpie? I use the original fine point Sharpie.  My favorite Sharpie color is RED, but I defiantly use BLACK the most.   Each pair I do has Sharpie on it somewhere, whether it is outlining, detailed designs, or putting someone’s name or a number on the shoe.

Why Sharpies? Why do you like them? Sharpie markers are the bomb, they never come of the shoes, and I can add more detail that can’t really be done with a paint brush!

sharpie fine pt

What goes into designing a shoe? How long does it take? Usually I like to free hand my shoes, especially the ones sold on Ebay. But I also get a lot of orders from people wanting specific designs or colors.  On an order like that, I draw it up to show what the shoe will look like and make sure it is exactly what the person wants.  After that I have to rub down the shoes with a special chemical to take of the factory gloss finish from the leather.   After mixing paint with the right chemicals, [making his own paint cuts costs by 10-15 dollars] I GO TO WORK! 

Time really depends on how complex the paint job is.  I can finish some, complete and ready to wear, in 3 hours.  Others, I could spend up to 10 hours on.   I try to work on 3 to 4 shoes at a time which saves time while paint is drying.opckicks5

How do you cover up/correct a mistake? If you ever do you ever mess up, that is! Not perfect yet…but if I mess up I can rub it right off before the paint dries. I try to keep the steadiest hand I possible.  Messing up with Sharpie isn’t too noticeable but if it is either I try to make it into a whole new free hand design or start all over on a new pair!  And that big of a mess has only ever happened twice!

Do you have any funny stories using Sharpie markers that you could share? The really funny ones are just drawing on somebody with Sharpie when they fall asleep!  One time, my friend fell asleep really early at a family graduation party and the parents were not too happy about that.  He had his shirt off already so, four friends and I got as many Sharpies together as we could find and went crazy on him!   Drawing full-body Sharpie art all over him – including drawing a TUXEDO and whatever else we could think of, all over him.

tuxedoshirt*Note*  Sharpie does not support or promote the drawing/writing on your own or others’ skin with Sharpie permanent ink.

Who are your main buyers? A lot are from school, as well as people who have heard about me and have personal orders.  I’ve been getting a lot of calls from moms wanting custom shoes to give to their sons or daughters as birthday or graduation presents.  The bulk of my shoes, I would say, are definately sold through Ebay.

opckicks7If you could design a shoe for any one person (athlete, celebrity, musician, politician, singer, etc.) who would it be? That’s a pretty hard question…but if I were to choose one it would probably be Kanye West.  He is always wearing some of the craziest shoes, plus I really like his older music.

Does every shoe have a different design or do you make several of each? A lot of my shoes are one-of-a-kind, especially personal orders.  If they’re just a certain color scheme that sold high, I’ll make more.  BUT if the listing says “One-of-a-Kind,” there will never be another pair made like it.

Aside from painting some really cool sneakers, what else do you enjoying doing on your down time? I really enjoy hanging out with my friends. I spend a good amount of time with my friends, but when I’m not with them, I love playing lacrosse, the original Halo 2 every once in a while, playing roller hockey, and just chilling and enjoying the free time.

Look into your crystal-Air Force One OPC Kicks- ball, now, what do you see for the future OPC Kicks?  I love the creative questions!   I would really like to start designing more and more shoes.  After a couple vacations this summer, I am going do be working on shoes like none other.  Once I start planning more time to work, I think OPC Kicks is going to start blowing up a lot more!   If things go really well during the school year, I would love to open up my own boutique, or maybe start a website throughout college then open the store…  I’d love to just do shoes all day but I like keeping my good grades and am getting very excited to go to college

opckicks10

Where can we find OPC Kicks? You can find me on Ebay!  I have 3 accounts right now and in about a week, I’m going to have a ton of new customs shoes up! 

Most Used:  opckicks

Second Used: opc_kicks

Third Used: opc_kicks09

Anything else you’d like to add?  Staying in contact with you [Sharpie] has made me want to work harder and harder!  So I would just like to thank you for keeping in touch!   [what a nice guy! Sharpie loves OPC Kicks!]

***Be sure to satisfy your OPC Kicks craving by checking out Peter’s custom designed sneakers on Ebay and ‘Friend’ OPC Kicks on Facebook!  

UNCAP WHAT’S INSIDE!

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Graffiti Garcia

This is no ordinary 17-year-old. This man's got skills...

This is no ordinary 17-year-old. This man's got skills...

We are all looking to save money these days. Why not be unique at the same time? This upcoming senior knows what being unique is all about. Doodling and drawing since the age of 13, this young man has a canvas all his own – SHOES. Converse or Vans…you choose.
 
Q: How long have you been drawing?

Garcia: I’ve been drawing since I was 13. I was influenced by a graffiti drawing my sister brought home from school one of her friends did for her. Since then I’ve taught myself new techniques and forms of art there was to be learned. I would really like to explore the different types of art and things there are to be offered, but then again…money isn’t always around to help out. 

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z

Q: What are the main types of shoes you draw on?

Garcia: Plain white canvas Vans and High top Converse are the shoes I focus on the most for their material. High top converse and Vans are very useful for all the space they provide me with to draw. It’s so easy to draw on and works great with the sharpies. No smears or smudges except for water. That’s a big problem I have right now. Protecting the art. It would be nice if I could experiment with the different types of paints and art supplies to better my designs though. Other colored shoes aren’t great with multi colored sharpie art which is why I stick with white.

Q: Why are Sharpie products a good fit for this?

Garcia: Well I have tried pens and other plain school markers, map colors and pencils. No other writing utensils match up to the great sharpie. If only there were a greater variety of colors to choose from. I’m sure there is or maybe I just haven’t heard of them. But I love the easy glide sharpie gives when drawing on the shoe. It makes it so much easier than having to constantly go over the same spots again and again. Thin sharpies don’t bleed as much as thick sharpies do on the canvas that’s why I prefer them most. And sharpie also keeps its thick bold color on any surface.

Q: What specific Sharpie tools do you use? Markers, pens, etc.

Garcia: Since I discovered my talent for drawing on shoes from the beginning I’ve only been using thin sharpies. Once in a while I’ll use thick

Got my vans on but they look like sneakers...

Got my vans on but they look like sneakers...

 sharpies to save time for bigger spaces to be filled on the shoes. Everything I do is done free hand. I don’t use any stencils. As for measurements and shape placements, I just wing it and hope it comes out as I plan.

Q: How long does it take for you to complete a design on a pair of shoes?

Garcia: My last design took me three hours. And I believe that was the longest time than I took on any pair before. FYI my last pair was the pair with the Looney Toons and Cars on separate shoes that I just posted on the sharpie website. I have so many ideas and people’s opinions to help me out all I need is a great supply of materials to get the job done. Not only do I get to spend days and possibly my lifetime doing something I love but I also get paid for it.

Q: What’s your favorite design you have made? Why?

Garcia's favorite... I think it's mine too!

Garcia's favorite... I think it's mine too!

Garcia:The Looney tunes design is my favorite. Since I came up with that idea I knew it was gonna be a seller. I loved the challenge and the different characters it involved. So unique. That shoe itself took me about an hour and a half. The first day I advertised them I got so many compliments, requests and phone numbers. It was amazing to me and flattering at how many people admired my shoes. It was definitely worth the time and always will be.

Q: Do you wear the shoes? Sell them?

Garcia: I wear the shoes every day. I only have a pair for myself but I wish I had the money to have a different pair everyday. I do sell them as well. Right now for very cheap as a matter of fact. 40 dollars isn’t much in my pocket. Especially when I have to keep providing myself with more supplies. I’ve been told by so many people though that I’m under-charging and that I could be charging near the hundreds and possibly more.

converse

Q: Have friends or family asked you to draw designs for them?

Garcia: Everyday. I do do my family’s shoes for free

Q: Anything else you’d like to share that I didn’t ask?

Garcia: Yes. Well, I’ve recently been offered a job in Corpus Christi for an underground clothing line. I don’t really trust the owners and my family knows how long I’ve been waiting for my time to be noticed. I’ve looked around so much and as far as this interview, this seems the closest I’ve gotten to being in that limelight. And even if this doesn’t go as I planned I’d like to thank you for requesting this interview and helping me out any way you can. Thank you.

See more of Aj’s Worhttp://www.myspace.com/ajgarcia19

Hit him up for shoes!  snbntaurelio@hotmail.com

Visit www.sharpieuncapped.com for more ideas on how to get creative with Sharpie.

 

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The patron saint of shoe longevity

Rachel Sutherland

When it comes to fashion, Sharpie is a girl’s best friend.  But hey, why take my word for it when you can turn to a trusted and respected source like Rachel Sutherland.  Rachel is the style editor for the Charlotte Observer and she writes the blog If The Shoe Fits.  Rachel recently wrote a post titled Sharpie Love where she calls Sharpie “the patron saint of shoe longevity.”

Her story starts with the sad demise of her Dansko clogs (Danish shoes with a horse history.  Check out their funny-geeky story here).    Rachel admits even a stiletto girl needs an occasional break from the high altitudes, but when her beloved Dansko’s started to reach the end of their shoe life, Rachel devised a quick rehab scheme, buying up a slew of Sharpies in a variety of brown-ish shades.  Well, dear readers, the story ends with a lot of Sharpie love in the shoe closet.  See the “wild” outcome below.

Rachel's rescued Dansko's

I’ll close with a few of Rachel’s fashion tips:

You don’t need to spend a million dollars to look like you do.

No one has to know what size you wear unless you tell them.

Self-confidence is sexier than any stiletto or tight dress. And it matches everything you own.