February 22, 2013

Thank you Sharpie

Crane’s drop humidifiers are beautiful shapes and we wondered what it would be like to make them even more distinctive objects for the home or office. “Breathe Easy” is our one-of-a-kind design campaign that takes our drop humidifiers and pairs them with the talent of visual artists from around the country. We thought that Sharpie markers were the perfect medium for artists to create something stunning to place on the drop humidifier canvas.

Over the next few months, the Crane Blog will feature the work of artists who will use a Crane drop humidifier as their canvas as part of our “Breathe Easy” campaign. Using Sharpie markers as their medium, artists and illustrators will be asked to make a one-of-a-kind work of art on a Crane drop humidifier to be raffled off through the Crane-USA Facebook page.

Our first “Breathe Easy” artist is Samantha DeCarlo who works as an artist for the marker innovator Sharpie marker company. DeCarlo regularly uses Sharpie markers to make her colorful creations. I sat down with Samantha and asked her some questions about her artistic process and how she felt about making a work of art on a humidifier.

The artist, Samantha DeCarlo working on her one-of-kind drop humidifier design

Elizabeth: What did you think when Crane approached you to draw an image on one of their drop humidifiers?

Samantha: I was very excited to hear Crane was interested in using an artist to generate unique art on their product. It’s something I’m very comfortable doing, and I find a lot of enjoyment from creating one-of-a-kind pieces of functional art. Any surface is a blank canvas; the only obstacle is picking what subject to draw.

Elizabeth: Why did you choose to draw a fish? After doing this project, did it make you think of other images you’d like to draw on Crane products and why?

Samantha: One of my favorite subjects is underwater creatures, specifically decorative fish. I based this fish off of the Black Moor, which a type of goldfish with really large eyes and a fat belly. They are friendly and, surprisingly, they enjoy being held. I used to have two in a pond my dad built in my backyard. Fish can be whimsical and full of colors you may not normally see unless you look closely. I felt it was an appropriate icon for the humidifier.

Elizabeth: Do you have any thoughts about one-of-a-kind objects like the one you’ve made for Crane? What makes this project stand out to you?

Samantha: As an illustrator, I relish idea that art is mass-produced and widely distributed. I want everyone to have access to my drawings. HOWEVER, pieces like the humidifier add value to art since it can never be reproduced. Its uniqueness generates worth. To be able to see the pen strokes, to feel the texture, and to discover the nuances that a scan or reproduction may miss makes one-of-a-kind art special.

Elizabeth: I understand you do art projects for Sharpie markers, have you always been attracted to using markers as opposed to paint or other art media? What is it about Sharpie markers that you like so much?

Samantha: I’ve always preferred permanent media. I hate (yes, strong word) pencil and chalk because it smears, so I had a natural draw to ink (no pun intended). I have an innate affinity for tiny detailing, which I cannot achieve with paint and a brush. I just don’t have the patience for drying paint. Sharpie markers are affordable and highly saturated pigments in nearly every color I could want. Now that I’m more familiar with Sharpie’s paint markers, I am introduced to a whole new world of mark-making. I also love what Sharpie stands for. The slogan “Start something with Sharpie” means more than just buying a marker and drawing with it. It’s a challenge to add color to the world and illustrate your ideas. Put something down on paper, or on a humidifier for that matter. Make it unique — which is a quality I think I can safely say most of us greatly value.

Elizabeth: What are some Sharpie projects you’ve done that you thought were fun and creative?

Samantha: Of the 20+ objects I’ve done for Sharpie this past year, I have tomy favorite illustration was created using Stained by Sharpie, a fabric marker that I used on a pair of white, arm-length gloves. I’ve also drawn on a kite with water-based paint markers-“When Pigs Fly,” I called it. It was a rotund porker with a jet pack strapped on it’s back flying in space. I get enjoyment from creating ironic and unexpected imagery on the objects. Each one begins a as a test to see how clever I can be with what I’m given. Once I nail down the concept, all that’s left is the drawing!

Check out the “Day of the Dead” credenza she decorated with Sharpie pens.

Samantha would love for people to be directed to her fan page on Facebook. Her website is