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By Linda Jo Jenkins
This month, Costas Schuler, received his biggest donation yet, from TerraCycle in Trenton, New Jersey. They sent 30,000 used pens on a pallet around five feet tall with just these words written on the side, Pen Guy. Costas has earned that title since he started his project over seven years ago. Before the donation, he had gathered over 10,000 pens and glued the pens with silicone glue to his 1981-300SD Mercedes inside and out. With the donation from Terracycle, Costas will be sending back to them the art he creates from the pens they donated. Two 4×4 “Pentings” will go back to them and one other will go to Sharpie.
With the hope to collect one million pens, he will continue his search globally for used and discarded pens. I think the biggest question from people who see the car and hear about his project is why. Why does he do this? What is the drive behind all these pens? Could it be to recycle these discarded pens and wait until we find a better way to recycle them? Or is it a message to the world that we should not look to the status symbols of society and is saying, “Leave a mark in society that is not about prestige and power.” On the other hand, could it be a message from his Christian faith of “Let us leave a mark wherever we go showing God to the world around us.”
As I talked to Costas about his project, I asked, “What is your ministry, why pens, what drove you to glue pens to your car?” His answer was not any of the statements above. He never intended to be leaving a statement. It was so much simpler than that. He is an artist and loves to create and he loves pens, all kind of pens. The reading of a book called “Art Cars” by Herrod Blank two years before seared into him the desire to create his own Art Car. Then suddenly waking one morning he took the two loves, pens, and art and decided to create his own art car out of pens. It really is just that simple. He used the only car he had and that was a Mercedes.
This is what he has to say about his Art Car that he feels God gave him the inspiration.
“I consider my car a picture of what it looks like when God smiles.
The car is like an icebreaker in the spirit and it breaks stuff as I drive.
It causes people to laugh, rejoice, delight, enjoy, and participate in Gods joy whether they know it or not.”
When someone looks at an artist’s creation, the artist asks, “What do you see? How does this make you feel?” Waiting, he can see the joy that comes upon the observer. It speaks differently to different people and that is the joy of art.
A dream he has for pens is creating a store called Pentopia, an enchanted store of pens, both new and old. Where people can drop off their old pens, stay and create pen crafts and help with the pen murals.
There is more to Costas life then pens. He is married with three adoring girls and has a day job as a graphic and web designer. Owner of Envisionary Design, he is busy creating web sites and graphic design. Being a person with a huge heart, he has helped many Christian entrepreneurs in the endeavors that God has led them to do.
The next time you are throwing out a pen of any kind that is not working, think again, and send all the old, used pens to Pen Guy P.O.Box 994 – Forestville, CA 95436. or drop them off at thrift store location near you. For directions to a drop of location please visit his web site at www.thepenguy.org to donate and help him in the Ministry God has given him in recycling pens and helping Christian entrepreneurs, you can click on the support button on his web site. If you need a web or graphic designer go to his web site www.costasschuler.com