Stickers and tattoos and a bit of world views

Guest column by Sara Dumanske
(I met Sara when she worked at Karen Imperial’s gallery on Bryant St in Palo Alto; I had her stickers on the bumper of my Chevy Cruz until I sold that about six months ago).

If you’ve ever been five years old you’ve probably found some stickers and promptly decided the
next logical step was to cover yourself in them. You were, of course, a genius!
As an illustrator, I find designing my next sticker and designing my next tattoo to be the exact
same process. The steps are as follows:
1. Pick a subject.
It could be a pop-culture reference, a stylized quote, or just some funny idea you had like an
“ice cream sand-dollar wich”.
2. Design it.
You have to think about the overall shape – -how is it going to look on a sticker sheet, in relation
to other stickers you have? Et & c. The same goes for a tattoo – -how is it going to look on your
body, in relation to the other tattoos you have? Et & c.
3. Make it happen!
My favorite sticker making websites are and because there
are plenty of product options and they are easy-to-use. I upload my artwork (either originally digital
or scanned and photoshopped to perfection), play about, and place an order.
Once I have a tattoo idea I shop the #SFTattoo or #OaklandTattoo pages on Instagram and
find the perfect artist to execute my idea. In the case of my “ice cream sand-dollar wich” I
found Jess Koala (@jess_koala_tattoo) at Castro Tattoo and reached out. Together we created
what is my favorite tattoo to date and a relationship that has led and will lead to more tattoos
in years to come. 
Really, tattoos are just permanent stickers on your body and stickers are just tattoos for
everyday objects. My reusable water-bottle has thoughtfully laid out stickers the same way a
tattoo artist would lay out a tattoo sleeve. So whether you are planning on poking stickers onto
laptops or stick-and-poking tattoos on yourself, it all starts out with a great idea. 
Sara Dumanske is an artist/illustrator/writer who has designed book covers, stationery, and
many a sticker. You can find her @PaintedWit on Instagram and Etsy, and at

If you meet Sara you might ask to see her sleeve



But not to be confused with Marilee Talkington and her “sticky time”.


Nor the reggae jazz drummer Sticky who played with Michael Franti

what about a bird who is also a hippie, a cross between Woodpecker, Woody Woodpecker and like Jerry Garcia, a “ Woodstocker” in the song below — right after he says “Sticky on percussion, mashing up the place” — there’s a bird I think in the Woodstock poster plus didn’t Charles Schultz peanuts have a Woodstock bird — is that same bird? Bird 🦢 🐦 🦅 

just a hipper or hippier version of the Schultz character or the poster bird 


smorecupine by Sara 



About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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