Sharpie Taps Into Self-Expression

I love Sharpies. I always have one with me. They can be fine or fat markers or anything in between; I’ve used them to doodle in class since I can remember, and I can always rely on my red fine point to mark up anything (yes, the dreaded “Imelda is marking up the printouts again”). And I have the ink-stained fingers to proof it.


Sharpie’s latest campaign, Start with Sharpie, draws on “Self-Expression,” and it reminds me of all the things I love to do growing up: Writing, drawing, tic tac toe, crosswords, “permanent” tattoos (yea, you had one of those). It taps into the idea that Sharpie gets you to express yourself, be creative and make anything you want. With nearly two-million incredible Facebook fans, what’s better than using their avid fans?

They recruited three of their Sharpie Squad members: Cheeming Boey (you may say “Jimmy who?” but get ready to be blown away), Erica Domesek (DIY Expert) & Mark Rivard (skateboard artist).

Cheeming Boey

Cheeming Boey is the “coffee cup artist” who drew intricate, finely-detailed drawings on those 4-cent Styrofoam cups with a Sharpie. Styrofoam gets a bad rap because it’s cheap, disposable and it never degrades. A landfill nightmare. But Cheeming has turned it into something you gape at.

“About the only time it makes the news is when some city bans its use – as more than 20 California cities have done. Or when some art auction sells a foam cup with a dead ladybug in it for $29,900 – as happened in 2001. All of which makes the simple, 4-cent cup the epitome of pop art. It’s at once kitschy and unhip and dismissed by all. Yet it can be a demanding medium to master. It’s curved. It smudges. You can’t redo mistakes. And every drawing must re-connect to its start.”


Cheeming’s work has been displayed in galleries nationwide. In his ad, Cheeming demonstrates how a Sharpie Pen and a simple Styrofoam cup can be combined to create something truly inspiring.

Note that not even bananas are safe from his wandering Sharpies. In this picture, “mistake” cups are used for drinking.

Erica Domesek

A DIY expert, author and creator of P.S.- I Made This, Erica’s creations are inspired by some of the biggest names in fashion. She has been featured in top entertainment and fashion media, and both her website and her book feature several Sharpie DIY projects. In her Sharpie ad, Erica breathes new life into a standard-issue pencil case using new Stained by Sharpie® fabric markers to create a chic purse.

The good news is you can make too—just follow the steps listed in the D.I.Y. with Domesek blog post!

Mark Rivard

Mark is a super-talented skateboard artist who has figured out how to manipulate Sharpie markers like a paintbrush to create some amazing skateboard art, complete with the kind of nuanced brush strokes and shading that makes a Sharpie blog editor proud. Using skateboards as his canvas, Mark’s designs have appeared in sports commercials and viewed in galleries worldwide. Mark demonstrates how he uses Sharpie Mini markers to create coveted custom boards.

In addition, the print campaigns will include QR codes where you can unlock exclusive content and videos of each Sharpie project.

The campaign supposedly aimed at teenagers, with new website to boot (not too crazy about it). However, I don’t feel that it alienates older age groups (heck, I’m in that way older age group), so one fat check mark for you, Sharpie!

To read all about it, go to


Images courtesy of Sharpie