Tag Archives: stencil

More Sharpie to Come!

Don’t think I forgot about you!!  No, no, no..not even a little bit!


I’ve been working like crazy and I am now in the process of interviewing a few Sharpie artists for the Sharpie Spot.  I’ve sent out a couple interviews and now am awaiting their return!  What do I have coming, you ask?  A little bit of this, a little bit of that. I hate when people say that I’m sorry… I’ll give it to you straight:

1) Casey Burns is an illustration and design artist who’s work I have been following for a while now.  I have a quick blurb about him on my Sharpie Art! page, in case you thought you were having DejaVu.  I sent his interview out just a little bit ago after he emailed me saying thank you for the shout-out on my blog!  What a nice guy, right?!  Well, once you’re nice to me I like you, so Casey, WELCOME TO THE SHARPIE FAM! I’m really excited to see what he has to say, and I am doubly excited for you all to read about him!  Check Casey and his art out at the following links…a) Casey’s Website b) Blog c) MySpace d) Archive of Posters on Gigposterscom


2) Next up we have Karen Edwards, owner, creator and designer of SHARPWOOD.  This creative and talent artist salvages pieces and re-designs them with Sharpie markers!  Her work is quite incredible, with sort of a bali, safari look – I am probably not even explaining her style correctly, hence why I interviewed her!  🙂   Hand painting each piece, Sharpwood pieces are one of a kind and truly masterpieces.  The detail that goes into her work is magnificent and beautiful.  The collection includes wide range of products such as, guitars, chairs, light switch covers & light fixtures, a guitar pick-guard, drums, bowls, plates, and more!

To look at (and buy) Sharpwood pieces, click here.  I know you are going to like Sharpwood – and if you are eco-friendly, Sharpwood is just your taste! Like they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!


3) Aside from interviews, I am also working on developing plans for Sharpie at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York next month!  You better believe that I am SO EXCITED for this!  Recently, Sharpie was contacted by the cutest, most creative designer, Erica Domesek, founder the DIY brand, P.S.-I Made This… Erica came up with an idea for “Sharpie Bar” at Fashion Week where designers, celebs, artists, attendees… to customize, design and put their mark on fashion accessories with an assortment of Sharpie markers and pens!  What a great idea right?  So, Erica, my boss Susan (Follow Susan on Twitter) and I have been running wild putting this awesome event together.  Fashion Week is the 3rd week of September and the Sharpe Bar will be open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am to 3pm!  So, if you are in town stop by to personalize a pair of sunglasses, a headband, sneakers, t-shirts, bracelets, AND MORE!  This is going to be off the hook, can you tell I am psyched?  I’ll give you more details as they flow in!

Click to check out Erica’s website P.S. – I Made This… and Follow P.S. on Twitter and Facebook


I am working on a few more interviews and projects but I need to leave a little bit of mystery, right?! Keeping checking up on the site and you can follow me on Twitter for updates too!

xoxo Whitney


Kickin’ it in my Sharpie Sneakers

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 (ha 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!


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 Sharpies do you use on OPC Kicks? Favorite Sharpie? I use the original fine point Sharpies.  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? Sharpies 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 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 Sharpies 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


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!   [awww what a nice guy! Sharpies 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!


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!


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.


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

* * * * *

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!!

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.


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:


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.


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!