SANTINO RICE / PROJECT RUNWAY

Reality Bytes - Lacko -vs- Santino Bravo Television is gaining a new fan base in the design community as it airs the second season of PROJECT RUNWAY. Each week, contestants are challenged to quickly produce a runway ready garment based upon a particular theme or utilizing uncommon materials. Challenges have ranged from creating a model-ready outfit by cutting up and reassembling the clothes off their own backs to fabricating a garden party dress from florist supplies found in New York's Wholesale Flower District. And just like Survivor, once a week the least successful entrant gets voted off reality television's Most Fashionable Island by a panel of celebrity judges. Artist, John Lacko was so inspired by Project Runway's Bad Boy Designer, Santino Rice, he posted an illustration of the curly-haired giant on his My Space page and linked it to his Altpick On-line Portfolio. Imagine his surprise just 24 hours later when his cell phone rang and the voice at the other end was none other than reality TV's newest star thanking him for the great drawing! In spite of the angry rebellious image he cultivated on Bravo's runaway runway hit, Santino could not have been more gracious and encouraging to his artistic fan. James Smith, the webmaster behind the very popular www.SantinoRice.com website, wasted no time in getting Lacko's permission to post the illustration on Santino's high traffic fan site and linking back to Lacko on Altpick. The rest, as they say, is Television History. Lacko was recruited to render his color artwork into a black and white screen to expedite the immediate production of limited edition t-shirts to help Santino promote his line. Sales of the shirt have been brisk and traffic to Lacko's Altpick portfolio has increased every day. While nothing can quite match the initial excitement of receiving that congratulatory phone call from Santino, the opportunity to get thousands of people on your website to review the rest of his work has made Lacko a celebrity in his own right. Well, at least in that unique corner of cyberspace where fans blog all night long about who is IN and who is OUT on the popular Bravo TV series.

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