Monthly Archives: July 2009

Sharpie Artist: Rob Schwager

Walk with some S(ch)wager!

Meet Rob Schwager! Currently, a freelance illustrator & graphic designer in Florida, Schwager has built a well-respected name for himself within the industry producing amazing artwork.  Born and raised in Chicago, Schwager is now living his dream, working as an artist.  Through hard work, “determination and a desire to do the best job possible, under any circumstances,” he is a growing success and continues to create art that people can’t get enough of! One of the coolest artists I’ve talked with so far, Rob not only is super creative, he has a great personality and an awesome sense of humor!  Rob Schwager is one artist that you will be sure to love and will definitely want a piece (or 5) of his work!

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So how did you get started in art? Like most kids, I spent too much time watching cartoons and doodling.  After being introduced to Punk Rock in the early 80’s, I started designing album covers, t-shirts and flyers for various punk bands I was friends with in Chicago.  This led to abundant work as a silkscreen concert poster artist, supplying hand crafted promotional posters to bands and venues across the country.  I eventually fulfilled a childhood dream and became an artist working on mainstream comic books.  I’ve spent the last 20 years working on such classic icons as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, and the X-Men. My work has helped shape comic book pop-culture as we know it today. I’ve often been credited as being a well-respected rising force in the art of color for the comic book industry. Most recently, I’ve been featured in the best selling book, The Art of Modern Rock, as well as, Kustom Graphics: Hot Rods, Burlesque and Rock ‘n’ Roll, from Korero Books.

*FYI: Silk Screening (or screen printing), is a printing method where ink is forced through areas of a silk screen that aren’t blocked out with an impermeable (water resistant) substance.  A roller, squeegee or sponge is moved across the screen stencil, forcing ink into the open areas of the fabric (there’s a little bit more of my Warhol knowledge for ya ).

What sets you apart from other artists? What makes you stand out in a room of artists?! My determination and desire to do the best job possible, under any circumstances.

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I see that you liked to read comics as a kid?  Favorite comic book? Would you ever start your own? Yep, I loved comics when I was a kid!  I learned to read by reading Spider-man comics – That’s always been my favorite.  I do have some ideas for a comic series of my own.  Maybe someday, but for now, I’m quite content having built a nice career spanning 20 years working in the comic book industry as a digital colorist.gogogs2

So you like old school punk rock, huh?!  Favorite band?  Have you made posters for any of your favorite groups? I grew up on the music of old school punk rock.  A lot of Chicago stuff Naked Raygun, Effigies, etc…  Also other bands like Social Distortion, Cro-mags, UK Subs, the Damned and Bad Brains…  And yes, I’ve been fortunate enough to make posters for some of my favorite bands and meet them!   I kinda geeked a bit when I met the Go-Go’s.  Jane (Wiedlin) was such a sweetie when I asked her to sign my poster. I shot pool for a while with Mike Ness from Social D.  I’ve hung with the DGeneration guys too!  My favorite was that I had a series of long rambling messages on my answering machine from Joey Ramone when I did a poster for him. I wish I would’ve saved that.

Just out of curiosity…seriously, is SCHWAGER really your last name (I’m slightly jealous & want a cool last name too) ? Yep, it’s my real name.  First generation American and damn proud of it too!

How do you incorporate Sharpie markers into your work? I started using Sharpie mostly for accent work on my paintings.  A little line here or there….  But Sharpie water-based paint markers are my favorite!  I started using them to paint custom toys for gallery shows. (cherry bomber pics)  (sweet leilani jpg)  Sharpies are easy to use; there is a nice wide array of colors to choose from and variations in line weight.  I just wish you guys made a flesh tone color.  It would work wonders for me with my pin-up nose-art work.

dontfeedtheanimalsWhat does the creation process involve?

1)Planning out my graphic

2)Transferring the design to the substrate

3)Busting out the Sharpies and going to town!

You’ve done a lot of different types of work, poster art, designing apparel, cyanotypes..you name it, you’ve done it!  What are your personal favorites? I really enjoy doing my faux nose-art inspired bomber panels.  From the fabrication, to the painting to the distressing, an all around good time.  I just wish there were more hours in the day, because I’d love to make them non-stop if I could!cherrybomber01

What has been your most well-received art? It’s a tie between my bomber panels and my cyanotypes. The cyanotypes are more affordable to most folks, but the bomber panels really leave most folks awestruck when they walk into a room and see them hanging on the wall.

What are you currently working on? Well, I’m in the process of setting up a print shop so I can start running my own art prints.  It’s been over a decade since I pulled a screen printing squeegee, but I’m really looking forward to it!

What do you see for the future of your work? To be hanging on the walls in galleries and in people’s homes world-wide.

Where can I find Rob Schwager art?! In the store, at robschwager.com

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sweet_leilani2Need more SCHWAGER?  No problem!  A guy with this much talent needs to be seen and heard~click on the links  below to learn more about the artist, see more of his work, and then buy some art for yourself!

Rob’s Homepage is http://www.robschwager.com

Check out his blog too!! http://www.robschwager.blogspot.com

Take a look at Shwager’s photos here http://www.flickr.com/photos/robschwager

Follow him on Twtter!  http://twitter.com/robschwager

And of course, hop on over to MySpace:  http://www.myspace.com/robschwager

Rob Schwager knows how to Uncap What’s Inside!!

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It’s My Party & I’ll Sharpie If I Want To!

Ain’t No Party Like a Sharpie PARTY ‘cuz a Sharpie Party Don’t Stop!

My best friend is a Kansas native with a New York state of mind!  She has always had a style that is all her own.  Let me paint you a little picture…if you were to take a peak inside her closet you would most definitely find pretty party dresses, a pair of skull and cross-bone embroidered shorts, several oxfords and polos, a couple pairs of Sperry topsiders, neon sunglasses, a cowboy hat, a fedora, oh and I can’t forget to mention the legendary gold, leather bomber jacket!

My bi-polar dressing, Wichita bestie, Jolie, is making her dreams come true today.  Leaving the comforts of home, she moved to New York about 2 months after graduation and is now living in a super chic apartment, (muahaha she will enjoy that comment) working for fashion designer, Yumi Kim and is in the process of enrolling in design courses at F.I.T.

(I like to give a hearty background description; it gives a better visual)

That's my girl in her graphic T!

That's my girl in her graphic T!

The reason I bring her up is that since living in NYC it seems that she is always going to fun theme parties, that I would never even think of (and boy do I LOVE a good theme party)!  One party in particular was a graphic T-shirt party.  Really easy concept: (so easy a caveman could do it) Everyone wears their fav graphic T! Of course, the soiree was fun for Jolie and her party-going friends and better yet, you didn’t know who was going to walk in the door next wearing what T Shirt!

So this got me thinking, WHAT AN EASY PARTY TO THROW.  And with Sharpie in mind, why not make your own T-shirt and save a couple bucks!?  This is an inexpensive way to be original, wear EXACTLY what you want and put your creative mind to use thinking up a clever phrase and design.

What you will need:

1)    a T-shirt or tank top (obviously)

2)    an assortment of Sharpie markers

3)    a newspaper OR piece of cardboard to put inside your shirt to prevent the ink from bleeding through to the other side.

NOTE: Once I made my friend a shirt with a Sharpie Magnum about 5 mins. before the party started and I think he almost suffocated because the fumes were so strong (sorry Scott)!  Moral of the story, you may want to design your T a day or two before the party, or try using Sharpie Paint Markers, (love) just to be on the safe side.

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Alright you FUN-HAVERS, go make your T shirts, throw the party, take pictures and let me know how it goes!  Uncap What’s Inside!!

If you need some help, the Sharpie Uncapped site features a how-to video on making your own t shirt.  Click HERE to watch!

Check out Jolie’s blog at http://fashionfamine.onsugar.com/


Sharpie Your Skin!

You may be thinking something along the lines of: “Sharpie my WHAT?” “That doesn’t come off for days, you idiot!” Or “An intern can’t promote writing on yourself with a Sharpie!” Before you throw me off the deep end…I’m not talking about your epidermis!  No, no, no.  I’m referring to the protective covers that we use for our cell phones, laptops, iPods, MP3 players, etc..

(*Note: Have Sharpie on your skin?  With a little bit of nail polish remover & a cotton ball and you’ll be able to get most, if not all the ink off your skin pretty easily.   I’m speaking from experience here, my friend Ryan enjoys drawing, what we have dubbed, “Frat Tats” on his friends’ bi-ceps) 🙂

iphone_in_water_glassEveryone who knows me, agree in saying that I have a bad history with phones.  At least, when I was in college… geez I think I went through like 4 phones during the 2008 NCAA Finals (F.Y.I. Kansas won)!   You see, I drop my phone a lot…I don’t know what it is but it just falls, or I’ll accidently knock it off a table, I was even running the other day (iPod dead) when my phone just went flying off the treadmill!! Thinking I would be this new “non-flailing” person after graduation,  I used the last of my college $$ to buy an iPhone.  Well, guess what, being handed a degree didn’t magically change me!- Nope, I’m still me…  BUT the day I got my phone, I also bought a cover for it – BEST INVESTMENT EVER! After owning that one for 6 months, however, I think that it’s time to get a new skin.

Problem: I want something original, not just your average black cover; and while they are out there, they are also expensive.  With a salary of $0.00, I can’t necessarily afford a $40.00+ skin.

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Solution: I found a cover on sale for $7.00, took a couple Sharpie Paint Markers, and made my own design.  I absolutely love it, it was easy to make AND it’s completely mine! I’ve given it a few touch-ups here and there (but that is partially due to the fact that Sharpies  don’t stop me from my “lanky-ness”). You could do this to almost anything and with different kinds of Sharpies- I just happened to do it to my phone cover. (*The pictures below aren’t my drawings but seemed to be good examples of easy, stylish skins that anyone could draw)

Here are a few ideas to start off with:

laptop_skin_zebra_A

1. Can’t think of your own design?  Find one on the internet and copy it

2. Find a stencil you like and trace the pattern/image on.

3. Get a ruler and go wild with stripes. Draw a checkered or a plaid pattern.

str-mul-ipho64684. Use standard shapes, squares, triangles…Go crazy with dots and circles (always easy)!

5. Nervous to mess up? Plan it out on a piece of paper.  Don’t draw on the skin until you get it how you want it.

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I am no artist but if you can draw a Hand-Turkey, you can do this!HandTurkey

Try it out, send pictures of what you come up with, let me know how it goes!   Have fun, be creative and UNCAP WHAT’S INSIDE!

Sharpie Sport Bike

Shiyonin Makes It’s Mark with Sharpie 

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Now this is what I call HOT WHEELS! As a kid you were probablly told to never draw on anything with a Sharpie.  Heck, you probablly tell yourself that even as an adult!  Well leave it to two young guys in Jacksonville, North Carolina to break the rules and go to town on a $10,000 Honda sportbike! 

Spending over 50 hours tagging this bike, Jesse Lockhart, 25, and  Nick Schuman, 27, went by their own rules, took out their Sharpies and simultaneously began drawing on opposite sides of Schuman’s brother-in-law’s sportbike.  The duo decided to name it Shiyonin, meaning “Servant of God,” reflecting their oriental backgrounds.  And with no professional background, Schuman and Lockhart, with a total of only 4 Sharpies,  uncapped their creativity and drew whatever came to mind!

You may want to take a second, third, even a fourth look at Shiyonin because every time you look, you are sure to find something new!  And no Sharpie fans, you are not seeing things- I asked and yes, that is the Michelin Man and Woody the Woodpecker!  Check out these pictures and learn about how Jesse Lockhart and Nick Schuman used their talent to create one AMAZING piece of work.

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Tell me a little about you and everyone who contributed!  My name is Jesse Lockhart, I’m a 25 yr old male and  Nick Schuman is a 27 yr old male.  Our wives definitely had a big role in contributing to this bike because alongside our 9-5 work week, we had to work on the bike after hours, LATE into the night.   One of our biggest contributors, we would both have to say is Jesus, for giving us the talent to do it.

How long have you been riding?  I started when I was 8 on dirtbikes, so for 17 years I have been riding.  Nick has been riding for 15 years, starting when he was 12, on an minibike.

Do you have an art background?  Professional artists?  We both have had artistic talent since we were young.  Our minds have always seen things differently that the most people don’t usually see – Curves, Colors, Shapes, Texture!  We are not professional yet, but we sport bike 6are well on our way to becoming full-time custom painters. 

What made you decide to Sharpie up this HOT bike? We are in the process of opening our own custom paint shop and we wanted to do something that would definitely stand out amongst the crowd and shine some light on our business.  This bike was actually done for Nick’s brother in-law, who was more than willing to lend a bike to get tagged when he heard the idea of a “Sharpie bike.”

Why Sharpie? Why did you go with Black & White?  Nick and I have always been big fanS of white vehicles ( Both of us and our wives all have white vehicles).  White is very clean and the bike itself is mostly black, so it was kind of a no-brainer that we would both want to do black over white.  All our lives we were told to never to write on anything with a Sharpie because it was PERMANENT, so when we had the chance to use a Sharpie on something big and important like a $10,000 machine, we were all over it!

About how many Sharpies went into this? What kinds did you use? Believe it or not, I had 2 markers and Nick had 2 markers and neither of them ran out!  We both had 1 fine tipped for outlining and 1 fat chisel tipped for filling in.

sportbike 2

Did you have a plan of what was going to be drawn? Tell me about the process!  NO PLAN!!! We both stepped back with a blank stare, he took one side and I took the other and we met in the middle.  Whatever popped into our heads went on the bike. Total improv.

I would be terrified to mess up…Who made the first mark?  How nervous were you?    We both started at the same exact time with both of us laughing at what we had got ourselves into!  We knew it was going to be a long process.   Then about 10 minutes later we started cracking up at the “squeeekie,squeeekie” sound that came from the tips of the markers- that never stopped.  It was hilarious…we weren’t nervous!

sportbike 5How many bikes do you own? Kinds?  I have a 2008 Suzuki GSXR 600. Nick traded his beloved Honda “Nicky Hayden Edition” RC51 in for his son’s new dirtbike.

Does anyone actually ride it or is it just for show?  Yes!  It is driven daily, we haven’t even been able to finish it.  He (Nick’s brother-in-law) was told to bring the bike back the next day for touchups and here it is a month later and it still hasn’t made it back (he just likes the attention)!

Any other designs in the works?  Yes, but it’s a secret for now.

 What’s next for the bike?  Lowering it, extending it, finish custom exhaust, and Sharpie the wheels.

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Be sure to visit Lockhart’s myspace page to see more photos of Shiyonin and the hard work that was put into creating the design. 

Also, look forward to the arrival of their new website http://www.shiyonin.com/

Designer for a Day with Zulu Creative & TOMS shoes!

Always Wanted To Design Shoes? Get Your Ticket Right Here!

zulu creI’m sure you all have seen the commercial for TOMS Shoes, featuring an attractive young man (Blake, the Chief Shoe Giver) operating a successful business while giving back to deserving kids.  Well, I know that ever since I saw that commercial, I wanted me some TOMS!  Not only are these shoes pretty sweet, but for every pair sold, another pair is given to a child in need! Now, I don’t know about you, but with a program like that, I should just exclusively buy/wear these kicks!  OOH Wait, wait, wait..business casual is required at work…okay I’ll buy a couple other brands but outside of the office TOMS it is!

Anyhoo, enough of me… I wanted to tell you about a super cool event that’s coming up at the end of the month!  Zulu Creative, a Houston-based niche marketing and brand development agency, is celebrating their 3rd anniversary by teaming up with TOMS to host Style Your Sole, a TOMS shoe designing party!  The event will provide children in need with a new pair of shoes and give attendees the experience of being a shoe designer for a day!  Pretty Cool!!zulu creative 2

How do you get an invite to this event?  WELL my Sharpie loving friends, not only do you have the option of adding “Shoe Designer” to your resume, it’s FREE, for all ages!  All you need to do is send a quick reply to RSVP@zulucreative.com. So GO!! Join the rest of the party goers at Zulu Creative’s 3rd Birthday Celebration & TOMS “Style Your Sole,” design some FLY KICKS and be a part of a great cause!  The partaay will be held at Spacetaker’s Artist Resource Center (ARC) at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street in Houston, July 26, 2009, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

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If that isn’t enough excitement for you, guess who else is going to be there!?!  No, not Brad & Angie, even better, SHARPIES!! TONS AND TONS OF SHARPIES! I’ve been working with Tina Zulu, founder of Zulu creative, and have placed an order for literally hundreds of Sharpies – Paint Pens, Twin-Tips, Fine Point, Medium Point… and in aalll sorts of colors!  I’m pretty psyched to see what everyone is going to design with the STELLAR assortment of Sharpies and some hot pairs of TOMS shoes!

For more info. on Zulu Creative’s 3rd Birthday Celebration & TOMS “Style Your Sole,” TOMS shoes and Zulu Creative check out these sites:

www.TOMSshoes.com

www.zulucreative.com

Click here to read the full press release.  Or Check out the story in the July issue of Yellow MAG!

Get out there, Be Creative – Express your Individuality! ❤

Artists Are Coming to the Sharpie Spot!

I’ve made a new page for the Sharpie Spot BLOG! Take a look at the Sharpie Art! page and get a know a few of my favorite artists! 

 Here are a couple cool posters that I liked!  There are more on my new Page, so check it out and then follow the links to take you to the artists’ websites!

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Show off YOUR creativity at Sharpie Uncapped

A few weeks ago, a new website,  Sharpie Uncapped, was launched, which praises Sharpie users for their creative minds.

Ya ya, I’m sure you’re thinking, “This girl works for Sharpie why wouldn’t she claim to love this site?!”  Well before you throw me under the bus, you should know that even before I worked at Sanford, I loved this site, it’s actually really cool, especially in comparison to what other sites of the same genre have to offer.

3564645672_ae5ee11648What I like about Sharpie Uncapped is that it appeals to all different people.  Sharpie has always aimed a large part of their campaign towards moms, bc. yes, that is a main demographic, but THIS site appeals to…well, just about everyone! You name it: you, me, Snoop, “Speidi,” Tony Hawk, the ice cream man, Conan O’Brien (oh how I love Conan),…- Heck, even those guys from MilliVanilli!  Seriously, everyone can find something they like at SharpieUncapped.

If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself.  On site, you can browse through a gallery of artwork by professional and amateur artists.  Watch videos offering step-by-step instructions on creating one of a kind pieces including, T-shirts and shoes!  Or chat with other users about all the reasons you love Sharpies or even what you don’t like; get ideas for a summer art project; share tips on how to best remove an ink mark from your kitchen tile – the topics are endless, you decide!

Another cool feature of the site is called Web Ink.  I’ve heard a lot of people say they wanted something like this from Sharpie and YES, finally you have it!  Web Ink enables you to pick from an assortment of Sharpie products and draw a picture, write your name, whatever- as many times as you want.  And if you like your drawing so much that you want to download and print it, set it as your computer’s background, or email it to a friend, then you go right ahead and do that!

2971610831_c31b7944edWith Sharpie in common, visitors of the site are extremely supportive, receptive and complimentary of one another.  The site has reminded me that people actually enjoy praising each other for our strengths and accomplishments – it’s not a competition here!  SharpieUncapped is great because it’s all about sharing, being creative and showing your distinct style and personality.  I love that!!

I strongly urge you to check it out.  Have fun and see what people are doing with their Sharpies!