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Sharp, Sharper, Sharpiest: Timothy Goodman

Written by in Create, Features, Inspire

The Sharpiest Tack in the Box

Timothy Goodman is the author of Sharpie Art Workshop, a creative exploration of drawing anywhere, any time, on any surface using a Sharpie™ marker.

Co-designed by Dan Blackman, Goodman shares EZ exercises and steps that can bring out the creative artist in anyone.

The book includes the work of 22 talented artists and designers, especially women, a deliberate choice that Goodman explains: “I highlighted more women because I am inspired by creative risk taking among women around the world.” Goodman believes that for too long, talented women are overlooked and undervalued at creative conferences, award shows, and blogs. His book is a response to this.

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Goodman says communication artists should  “approach creativity as a practice, not a profession,” a philosophy he brings to his classes at  the School of Visual Arts in New York. “Personally, I never wanted to be a professional. I wanted to make stuff I love. Some stuff you get paid to make and some stuff you make for yourself, but all of it is a useful exercise in creativity.”

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Goodman’s book provides useful prompts to help anyone pick up a Sharpie and start drawing. He features examples of doodling, pattern-making, writing, and illustrated quotes. He serves up plenty of inspirational images from artists and designers including Julia Rothman, Shantell Martin, Jessica Walsh, Debbie Millman, Gemma O’Brien, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Mireia Ruiz, Jen Mussari, Carolyn Sewell, Erik Marinovich, and Mikey Burton. It will make your eyes water.

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Goodman working on a mural for Ace Hotel.

He also enjoys the challenge of large-scale mural making. “I enjoy the sheer scale and audacity of murals. It’s challenging because you have to think about design in many different dimensions.” He says that best murals transform space, rather than decorate flat walls. “Many simply put cool art on a wall, but I seek to explore how we redefine the space with the narrative.”

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In addition to his book and work with high-profile clients, Goodman has partnered with Jessica Walsh on 40 Days of Dating, now a book and screenplay. The project constituted thousands hours conceptualizing, experimenting, designing and creating a website, illustrations, videos, photography, and content. “Collaboration is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding parts of the creative process,” he says. “When two people with different ways of thinking and doing come together with one goal in mind, it makes it 100-times better. It can be amazing and ludicrous. I now understand why the Beatles or NWA couldn’t stay together.”

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Lucky for us, Goodman and Walsh haven’t broken up the band. “We are wrapping up another experiment that uses our personal histories as a catalyst. Similar way to 40 Days, we use writing, illustration, photography, and video, and we’ll release it in segments.”

In the meantime, pick up a copy of Sharpie Art Workshop, grab a Sharpie, and get inspired to try your hands at something new. Just don’t draw on the dining room table, kids.