Mission Hills resident Derek Benson has been chosen as one of 20 members of the 2010 Sharpie Squad.
The squad’s artists and bloggers are a group of passionate Sharpie marker users who serve as vocal brand ambassadors, sharing their enthusiasm, creativity and unbridled passion for Sharpie products.
A Namco Games employee by day, Benson creates art for video games. But away from gaming he is known for his lunch bag art, consisting of intricate drawings of cartoons and super heroes, which he showcases on his blog, lunchbagart.tumblr.com.
Benson has been using Sharpie markers all his life, he said. The father of three children ages 9, 5 and 3, Benson began drawing art on their lunch bags every day as they went to school, eventually adding 370 entries to lunchbagart.com.
“I do this mostly as a hobby for my kids,” Benson said. “They really have the final say in what goes up on the blog, I definitely take constructive criticism from them.
“I like to draw things that are weird and what I feel is cool. Right now, if you check out my blog, you’ll see I’m drawing things from this cool comic line called Dreamland Chronicles.”
Benson is formally trained as an artist but insists that daily practice is a better teacher.
“Only draw what you are passionate about,” he said he advises prospective young artists. His art is displayed on the walls of his son’s preschool and has been published on the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune and on the cover of “Parents” magazine.
“It’s an honor to have been chosen to be on the Sharpie Squad, but actually I was very proactive about it and I actually contacted them myself to see if I could become part of the squad,” he said.
As a Sharpie Squad member, Benson will be tweeting, blogging and sharing his out-of-the-box creations and ideas on what is possible with a Sharpie marker throughout 2010.
In return, Sharpie will provide Benson new product news and shipments, virtual meetings with the Sharpie brand team, and publicity through blog posts, Twitter and Facebook.
To meet the rest of the Sharpie Squad and to check out their latest endeavors, go to sharpieuncapped.com.
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