Tuesday, September 18 2018 14:01

Beyond the Doodle: Bringing Artwork to Life with Pentel POP Pens

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This feature is brought to you in collaboration with Pentel of America. Ready to make your artwork POP?

There's so many wonderful things about being a parent, but for me one of the highlights is being able to look upon our daughters as they explore their own creative endeavors. Imagination is a powerful thing, and as a grownup storyteller there's always a burning desire to return to a simpler time - a time during childhood where it seemed that anything could be possible, and the simple act of putting a pen to paper could bring forth colorful new creations, new worlds and new adventures. Of course that is still possible, the difference being that now I prefer using my words to do those things, putting the duties of artwork in more capable hands when the professional need arises. But creating art is a soothing thing with so many benefits, whether you're drawing or coloring the experience can be magical. 

Pentel Pop

Both of our daughters are quite creative, and perhaps its something that's infused in their DNA, if not their middle names (Monet and Renoir - my wife's choosing in honor of the French impressionist painters), but it's our oldest that's always creating. 

At school, at home and on-the-go, Addie is always drawing. This past weekend, she was on the floor in a hallway outside her dance studio crafting a colorful Yin Yang - an Eastern symbol that she's been obsessed with since first seeing it thanks to one of her aunts last year. The tools of her colorful trade of late are Pentel Pens that truly elevate those drawings to new levels - they "make it pop!" 

Pentel Pop Pentel Pop

The original Pentel Milky Pen made a comeback this year, once again proving that the retro movement is a powerful thing (or that the 90s was just a superior decade), giving a new generation of kids the ability to place massively vibrant pastel colors against the backdrop light or dark paper. But Pentel didn't stop with a throwback - they took things in a new direction with the addition of Solar Pens and new neon colors. The coolest thing, however, is my personal favorite - Sparkle Pens that use new sparkling iridescent magical ink that changes color between light and dark-colored paper.

Pentel Pop

Around here, toys are often both inspiration and subjects. These drawings above are artistic representations of one of Addie's favorite toys, Distroller USA's Neonate Babies (Nerlies).

While it's free-flowing drawing that's always the number one around here, the power of these Pentel Pop Pens is astounding. They can write on printed photographs... be used to create rock art (a big trend right now)... to color on canvas (great on shoes)... or even accent ceramic and clay pottery. I've even gotten into the action in a few places myself... or at least helped to serve as the inspiration for what this PLAYMOBIL box would become thanks to Sparkle...

Pentel Pop Sparkle

What will you make POP? Get inspired...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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