On FiveSpotDerby.com this week (and available for the next 7 days only!) is a new TEKSTartist design based off an amazing John Green quote. The words “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” (taken from John’s #1 New York Times Bestselling novel ’The Fault in Our Stars’) have been warped stretched and twisted into the image above. 

This letterpress print measures 13" x 20". Each print has been created one at a time, by hand, using a vintage letterpress. 

Prints are only available for the next seven days. If you’re new to the ‘Five Spot Derby’ the pricing structure is a little unique- When the design goes live (at 10:30 AM PST) prints are just $5. Every 5 prints that sell, the price bumps up by $5. So the first 5 prints to sell are just $5 each, the next 5 are $10, and so on. 

The design was created using the words from the following quote:

“If you want to succeed you’ve got to be okay to just lose control.”

Something Special About This Design:

This is the first design we’ve ever tried incorporating foil elements into the finished product. After a bit of trial and error, we got it dialed in and the result is downright mesmerizing. For this design we incorporated two layers of incredibly vibrant multi-colored foil emerging from an ink image.

Ink & Foil Pressed by hand onto 
20" x 13" 
Cranes Lettra 300g (100% Cotton) Paper
Signed and Numbered 


this is AWESOME.


Friend of mine - http://blog.htc.com/2013/06/htc-one-tekstartist/


Designed this “Yes” out of the following quote by Stephen Colbert: 

“Don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.” 

It was featured on Five Spot Derby a couple weeks back. We sent Mr. Colbert one of the finished prints and just received this letter in return. If only it were appropriate to send thank you notes for receiving thank you notes….

Transcript of the letter:

Dear Jason,

Thank you for my “yes.” I am glad you (apparently) liked the sentiment of this speech. It is one I find a greater challenge everyday to live by, but I believe it still. I’m touched by your beautiful work. 




One last Hawai'i post.

I discovered this song and band back when I had a Sirius subscription. Very mellow jam, always rights my mood. Turns out these guys are from Kona. Wish I’d known that when I was there, I might have looked to see if they  happened to be playing anywhere, or if a local shop stocked their LPs I could bring back to a friend.

Next time.


Check out our friend, TEKSTartist, featured with Sam the Cooking Guy on The Sam Livecast, talking about fueling his passion for art, doing the things that he loves, and his collaboration and connection with Holstee. (TEKST’s interview begins around 13:00, though stay tuned to watch Sam share one mean mushroom burger recipe!)

Enter discount code “cookingguy” for 20% off The Manifesto by Tekst poster, now good through November!

VidCon Recap - The Adventures of the #TEKSTart Piano

Over the weekend I was immersed in an incredibly creative community. I was asked to rock a live demo (and donate a piece to charity) at VidCon, the official unofficial YouTube conference. Well over 7,000 attended as well as many of YouTube’s best and brightest including Ze Frank, Mystery Guitar Man, iJustine, The Epic Meal Time Crew, and Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen to name a few. 

The bulk of the community came from the curators of the conference- the VlogBrothers. The “Nerdfighters” as they are known in their hometown are among the most positive, energetic, and creative communities I’ve ever interacted with. More on that in a moment.

Leading up to the conference I struggled to decide the best object to serve as a canvas for the demo. My biggest goal was to create something interactive. Past events have taught me that collaboration is rocket fuel for creativity. 

With STILL no solution 3 DAYS before the conference began… it (FINALLY!) hit me. I became obsessed with the idea of creating a piece on a piano. An entire day of franticly searching craigslist, sending countless emails, making countless phone calls (receiving responses from ONLY 2!) I found this gem:

A white, student sized, piano that was over 100 years old yet somehow in good condition, and (most importantly) still up for grabs.


Now just to get it to the convention center. Another round of emails and phone calls turned up no solution within reason. Just as I was out of options I reached out to my good friend Brian Johnson. Brian offered his time and his truck ROUND TRIP! I’m completely humbled, thankful, and forever in his debt. 

The final piece of this three day puzzle was finding someone to tune it. (What good is a piano if it’s not playable). Found someone (again, on craigslist) willing to do it on such short notice. He showed up on time, was crazy nice, and in under an hour had it ready for the show!


I can’t express the energy from the crowd. As the doors opened, 7,000 people flooded the expo floor. As the day progressed the size of the crowd ebbed and flowed with the various speakers, events, and other happenings.

The text on the piano was created with the assistance of the official VidCon Twitter account (Thanks Chrisia!) People were asked to tweet a response using the hashtag “#TEKSTart” and their message was added to the piano.

As the piano started to fill in people started to stop and play. Some for a simple chord or two, some for a half an hour or more. Over the course of two days well over 100 people sat down to play. I was truly baffled by how many people could walk up in the middle of the expo hall and transform the space into a temporary concert hall. (Fortunately it was the only piano at the conference.)

Of all the players that sat down for a sizable amount of time, three stood out. Tom Milsom (pictured above) played well, played loud, and attracted a sizable crowd.

Update: Looks like you can see video of Tom playing here! (Thanks Blake!)

The second was a young girl (I feel terrible for not catching her name) who played a series of impressive Regina Spector covers. (If you’re out there, message me or leave a comment & I’ll get your name added in here!)

The third person who stood out was David Russell, a humble kid from West Virginia. He must have logged close to an hour playing, he improvised song after song and even took requests. Part of the last song I watched him play can be seen in the video below. The audio is not great, and the camera’s a bit shaky, but even with all that you can see this kid has true talent. 

As the show came to a close, the back portion of the piano (pictured below) was donated to the “charity auction to decrease world suck”. 

It was a complete whirlwind of a weekend that almost didn’t happen. I want to thank Brian again for the transportation, Lindsay and Chrisia for help durring the show, and of course Hank and John Green for inviting me. See you all next year. :)



Jason² Episode 9

http://jasonsadler.com | http://iwearyourshirt.com
http://thinkhereblog.com | http://about.me/TEKSTartist

This is the ninth episode of Jason² (Jason Squared) from Jason Sadler (iwearyourshirt.com) and Jason Markow (thinkhereblog & TEKSTartist). It’s a PTI style show where we talk about internet stuff, web trends, random things we like and how awesome it is to have the name Jason! This will be a weekly show posted on Wednesdays and we’d love your feedback.

Short Topic 1: Hand iPhone http://item.rakuten.co.jp/keitai/54-169995/?scid=af_ich_link_txt
Short Topic 2: Water on Mars http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/news/mro20110804.html
Short Topic 3: Morgan Spurlock and Hulu http://www.deadline.com/2011/08/hulu-teams-with-morgan-spurlock-for-first-original-long-form-show/

Markow’s YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eabtzkY_jNs
Sadler’s YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09CmSZVBIj0

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What was the last hotel you stayed at?

SUBMIT YOUR TOPICS: http://goo.gl/14sRl 


This design is available for the next 7 days only! Grab one at http://FiveSpotDerby.com

Piece Details:

This week’s two tone (ink and foil) letterpress design was created by twisting, warping and stretching the letters from the following quote:

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” -Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings (First Published 1645!)

This design is printed by hand using a
1957 Vandercook AB 219 Letterpress 
On a 13" x 20" 300 gsm 100% Cotton 
Cranes Lettra paper that leaves an ultra deep impression. 
Signed and Numbered. 

What makes this week’s design so special:

Deny it all he wants, Tim Butler of Quality Letterpress is an artist. Every week I try to throw designs his way that push the limits (of both is machinery and of his patience) and every week, without hesitation, he delivers.

Each machine has it’s own set of quirks, it’s own set of constraints, and absolutely zero owners manual. After spending at least 1 day a week at Quality Letterpress for the last 16 weeks I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the mental gymnastics Tim has to go through to line up multiple color images. 

In the world of letterpress turning a screw a quarter turn can mean the difference between perfection and crap. Meticulously fine tuning each piece of the machine is painstaking work. Some pieces, weighing hundreds of pounds, need to move no more than a fraction of the thickness of a sheet of paper. Think about that for a second. 

This week in particular features a foil element that sits perfectly within the ink portion of the design. There is no auto-pilot here. In the photo set above you can see Tim setting the foil plate, cutting a proof print up to line things up, and finally the precision he achieved. 


Week 19 features an all new design by TEKSTartist. The two toned (ink and foil) design was created using nothing more than the letters from the following quote:

“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives. And if things don’t work out…  just take another shot.” ~unknown 

Piece Details:

This design is printed by hand using a 1957 Vandercook AB 219 Letterpress. Ink & foil are pressed onto a 13" x 20" 300 gsm 100% Cotton  Cranes Lettra paper that leaves a deep impression. Signed and Numbered. 


On FiveSpotDerby this week- The design features a two toned ink and foil image created from the text that makes up the following quote by Chuck Palahniuk:

“If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costumes and come back as a new character… Would you slow down? Or speed up?”

Piece Details

Ink & Foil pressed by hand onto 
13" x 20" 
Cranes Lettra 300g (100% Cotton) Paper
Signed and Numbered