Ink Monstr custom graphics and printing has been based in Colorado for many years. The company not only produces high-quality printing, graphic installations, and original graphic design, but also provides an outlet for clients to cross-promote and help build their brand, using our tools and one-of-a-kind collaborative events.
One of the events Ink Monstr has developed is an annual sticker art show known as “Sticky Situation.” This original event showcases works from invited artists nationwide. This unique presentation of artwork is what really sets our show apart. Traditionally, Sticky Situation has been held in an alley (the “urban art gallery” as I like to call it) or some type of warehouse with brick walls. The Ink Monstr team photographs the original artwork, digitally prints it to a 4' x 8' scale, and uses a textured surface vinyl to mount it to the brick surface. This gives the appearance that the art was painted directly onto the wall, allowing us to showcase the art and the wrap material in an original way.
The idea for this event began about four years ago when Ink Monstr was in its infancy with event production. At the time, the company was producing concerts, charity events and summer pool parties. I wanted to be able to present the local community with something that had never been done before and also showcase and promote products that Ink Monstr prints and installs.
The idea for “Sticky Situation” was born. For the first show we partnered with several clients to sponsor the event and invited a few artists to participate. With the support from amazing sponsors, the event was free to the public. The Ink Monstr team was blown away by the success of the show —a packed house, refreshments, amazing art, and live music, all for free.
Showcasing Textured Wall Wraps
People have been amazed that there is a media that can stick and mold to these types of textured surfaces. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a huge increase in the “Textured Wall Wrap” business at this point; however, I was determined to create a buzz on the street about this amazing product. Not to be deterred, Ink Monstr has continued to produce this show every year and each one has consistently grown bigger and bigger.
Last summer the opportunity to bring the “Sticky Situation” to New York City presented itself quite unexpectedly. One morning I received a call from a gentleman who has a retail store in New York City. He heard about our show and wanted to figure out a way to bring the event to his market. He mentioned he had the perfect alley next to his store that would work well for this particular show. Next thing I knew I was on a flight to N.Y. to site-survey the location and meet with the owner of Richmond Hood Company, Tariq Zaid. Upon arrival at his location, I got the feeling right away that this was going to make history.
I immediately rushed back to Colorado to start preparations. I knew I had to really make an impression on the Big Apple with this show. My staff and I worked diligently to produce this event in addition to our daily workflow. Finally, the time had come; I flew out a week early to prepare my “urban art gallery” and install the artwork.
Since our Denver venue this year had no convenient brick wall surfaces, we mounted the artwork onto 20 4’x8’ sheets of faux brick board that we bought at a local hardware store.
The night of the show I was extremely nervous. This was Ink Monstr’s first out-of-state event in the most opinionated state in the world. I was definitely feeling the pressure. We were expecting 400-500 people. To my surprise 1,500 people came to see what the buzz was about. There were people from all walks of life; celebrity rap artists Redman and Method Man, local art dealers, newspapers, The Source magazine, and families who just wanted to have some fun quality time together. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
The very next week I got a call from MTV. A representative was at “Sticky Situation” and was really impressed with Ink Monstr as a company, how diversified we are, and how that translated to building client relationships. He placed an order for several brick wraps to install at the MTV Music Awards 2013. Adding another great piece to the Ink Monstr portfolio.
You can see the New York City event video footage on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/71907865. You can also view it by scanning the QR code on this page.
Gearing up for Denver
After the excitement of the New York show wore off, I knew it was time to start preparing for our annual Denver show. Since this was a hometown crowd for Ink Monstr, the pressure was on once again to deliver the goods. After several months of soliciting, the show attracted 20 of the nations top artists. Each artist agreed to volunteer to participate in this one-of-a-kind exhibition.
A friend of mine suggested holding the event at his art gallery, Cluster Studios. However, this amazing downtown space posed one major issue: there were no brick walls an no adjacent alley to apply the pieces. My team and I had to get creative.
I went to the hardware store and purchased 20 4' x 8' sheets of faux brick board and decided to hang the sheets with wire from the ceiling. This created an amazing look and feel that made the Denver show stand out from all the rest. Additionally, this gave attendees an opportunity to buy the works if they wished. I also decided to offer canvas, foam board, and poster board reproductions for sale to people who couldn’t dig deep enough to purchase the original pieces.
As usual, I had that unsettling feeling that I get before all of the events we put on. Doors opened at 8 p.m., and by 8:30 the place was packed with a very diverse crowd. I felt like we are trying to reach all demographics and industries; I was pleased to see all types of people there. Once again the venue was at capacity. People waited patiently to get a glance at these original pieces of art with this amazing material that molds to the brick surface.
Several pieces of original art sold that night (50% goes to the artist), as well as more canvas and foam board reproductions than we have sold at any of the previous shows. As midnight rolled around the place was still packed. I am truly grateful that people really can appreciate what Ink Monstr is trying to do. Using materials that were designed for one purpose in a new and creative way while finding other significant uses for them.
I believe that the ingenuity that Ink Monstr promotes has become key in setting us apart in an industry that has become saturated with a lot of the same. Manufacturers of rolled media intend for their products to be used in a very specific way. However, technology in materials has come such a long way, that it can be used in really original creative ways.
Since I have been producing these events that showcase products that Ink Monstr uses on a daily basis, sales on textured surface wraps, artist reproductions, vehicle wraps, and wall murals have increased dramatically. If you take one thing away from this article it should be this: Be creative!