Peter Max and myself in Peter's New York studio (1996).
Peter Max and yours truly in Peter’s New York studio (1996).

As creative director for Sharpie markers I traveled to New York quite often but no trip was quite as memorable as when I had the opportunity to visit Peter Max in his studio. Peter, an avid fan of Sharpie markers, did not relegate them only to autographs. It was a tool that he routinely used in his daily warm up. Sitting with a stack of 4″ x 6″ card stock piled in front of him, he would make quick marks on each. Scribbles as most observers might conclude, but each an exercise in perfecting the loose expressive line that he is so known for. Peter called it a “warm up” not unlike the work out an athlete performs while training.

But ultimately it was the paintings that grabbed me. The looseness, the intense color and the scale captured my imagination and has been permanently embedded in my psyche ever since.

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