10 Questions With The Artist Behind Those Spongebob Letters You’ve Been Staring At All Weekend

Each THON, orgs decorate to a certain theme. This year, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and Xi Delta sorority found its theme in a pineapple under the sea.

Allie Monaco, a senior psychology major and member of Xi Delta who designed and painted the letters, sat down with us to discuss what went into making them.

OS: What was the reason you chose to paint the letters in a Spongebob theme? 

AM: We picked Spongebob as our theme because our THON child asked us to do it. She loves it and we wanted to do something she could really get in to and enjoy.

OS: Were there any other themes you considered before you chose to go with Spongebob?

AM: We didn’t consider anything else. We always planned to ask her what she wanted to do. The second she said Spongebob we hopped right on the idea.

OS: How long did the entire letter-making process take?

AM: The entire process took about three weeks to a month. We had to make all new letters because we are a new pairing. We had to go buy the foam, trace the letters, and cut them out. The Lambda boys helped me a lot with that process. Painting them took about two and a half weeks, pretty much painting them whenever I could after work or class.

OS: Did you undertake the whole process all by yourself? 

AM: My position really encompassed how our section would look, so I told everyone I would take it on and paint them myself. I did have help along the way, my other chairs helped me, especially with the banner. One of my roommates helped me lay the base colors, so it wasn’t just me alone.

OS: Have you always been interested in art? 

AM: I’ve always been interested in art. I was interested as a kid and in high school. When I got to college I got busy, so THON has always been my one time a year where I can really get back in to art and start painting again.

OS: If you had one extra letter to paint, what character would you paint? 

AM: That’s a hard one. I wanted to do Sandy but I had trouble figuring out how I could put her on a letter. If I had extra time and an extra letter I would probably see what I could do with that.

OS: Which is your personal favorite letter? 

AM: I think my favorite one was SpongeBob just because of the way it looks, it’s so recognizable. My favorite one to paint was Mr. Krabs because figuring out how to get the money to pop out was a lot of fun.

Allie (front) and other members of Xi Delta next to the letters

OS: Will you be painting more letters in any years to come? 

AM: I’m actually a senior, so I will not be painting any more letters. I really wish I was able to, though.

OS: What do you plan on doing with the letters after THON ends? 

AM: Traditionally, we just keep them in a room until next year’s THON, but they took a little bit of wear-and-tear this year so I don’t know if we’re going to be able to reuse them.

OS: As per Onward State tradition, if you could be one dinosaur, which would you be and why? 

AM: Wow, another tough one. Probably a velociraptor so I can get everywhere as quick as possible!

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About the Author

Jim Ciminelli

Jim is a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism. Add him to the list of everyone else that lives "right outside of Philly". The fourth of his name, and the best to ever do it, Jim is a writer for Onward State. In his free time you can find him in his room, avoiding the gym at all costs, or going to as many tailgates as possible. If you care enough to follow him on Instagram you can find him @James4Ciminelli or on Twitter @ciminelli_jimmy.

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