In 2016 The Tempe Festival of the art was having their first ever poster contest of the event. I entered that contest ( another blog article explaining the details) and end up winning the contest. Well, Durning the communication about me winning the contest I asked if there were any openings for the street art in December of 2016. They said that the street artist was already chosen and I could be on the standby list if someone drops out at the last minute. Being a little bummed, I still said yes.
About 2 weeks prior to the event I received an email asking if I was still interested in participating. I, of course, said yes. I was required to send a sketch of my idea. and the theme was based on the poster I designed for the festival. The theme was “all about Arizona.”
I do all my sketching on my iPad pro using the Procreate app. I have always wanted to do optical illusions so I drew up a star broken out of the concrete and you could see the grand canyon inside the star.
It was a huge undertaking for me because I have never done this before. When I got there I was not equipped for the task at hand. I have been painting with pastel chalk for many years and have sold most of them. So I thought chalk on the pavement was the same. Man was I wrong. For one thing, chalk does not blend with your finger on the pavement. So not knowing this I was panicking because I had no idea how the other artist were blending the chalk so it stayed on the ground and didn’t just disappear when rubbed.
Luckily the artist community is all about the art and it is a fun environment and another artist came up to me and herd that I won the poster contest for the event and we started talking and I ask ” how do you blend the chalk like that” and she handed me a microphone cover. and said this is the magic tool. and she said I could have it. AND, it was the magic tool.
Another thing I noticed is that other artists were rolling paint on the pavement. so I asked one of the artists what does that do and they said” it seals the pavement so the chalk has something to adhere to and the Tempra paint fills in some of the holes.
All the other artist were rolling on black. so I took that idea one step further and thought since my idea was very colorful I went out and bought colored tempura at Hobby Lobby and a bucket for water and a couple 1 inch and a 3-inch brush and cam back and started to block in all the base colors. This idea worked as a mid-tone base where I could either darken or lighten the base block with pastel. It took me a while to do that but in the long run, it really paid off. I was able to save myself hours of work and get a very bright piece.
The results worked in my favor. I finished the piece a couple hours before the deadline and I ended up winning peoples choice award.