Behind every phone case is a real person - DatelineCarolina

Behind every phone case is a real person

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Mr. Penguin Designs' Vincent Felix makes each phone case cover. Mr. Penguin Designs' Vincent Felix makes each phone case cover.
Junior Travion Wilmore continues to add layers to create depth in the portrait which was inspired by a dream. Junior Travion Wilmore continues to add layers to create depth in the portrait which was inspired by a dream.
One example of Wilmore's work on the back of a phone case. One example of Wilmore's work on the back of a phone case.

By Courtney Thornley

Artists are turning their artwork and designs into a profit by putting them on phone cases. And it's all thanks to a young USC entrepreneur.

Travion Wilmore, a junior, is one of seven artists who works with Mr. Penguin Designs. He says this platform gives him a way to showcase and improve his work.

"People from all around the world will be able to see it. And I can get better opinions from people that's not from around here, so that will actually increase more fan base," Wilmore said.

Mr. Penguin Designs founder Vincent Felix has been in business for over two years and has sold over 3,000 phone cases.

Felix says he wanted to help talented artists gain exposure while making money.

"That term 'a starving artist' is genuinely a thing. I noticed a lot of my friends had trouble making ends meet back at home and had trouble eating lunch that day. I was like okay, there's something more here that I can help out with," Felix said.

Artists send in pictures of their work via email or take a picture on their phone. The design is transferred to a template matching the size of the phone case. The design is printed out and put on top the phone case cover.

"And bada bing, bada boom, you've got a phone case," Felix said.

But Felix said his business isn't centered on phone cases.

"Forget phone cases for a minute. These kids have these talents and not too many people appreciate it. I fell like we can change that," he said.

The artists receive ten percent for every case that gets sold with the design.

"Actually getting my work seen and actually appreciating it and actually asking for more. It's going to help me get some money in my pocket so I can continue to get that materials I need to do better artwork," Wilmore said.

Felix hopes to expand his business to Cricket Wireless and expand from phone cases to t-shirts, canvases and prints.  

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