Why do I love doing chalk art? There are a whole host of reasons: it invites people into the moment, challenges their perceptions of their own place, adds a splash of ephemeral colour and encourages others to give it a go themselves.
But the thing I love the MOST is the conversations I have with young girls while I am creating – or, to put it more plainly: inspiring the next generation of courageous chicks to follow their dreams. A wonderful little story unfolded at the Maker Faire in November which I was so moved by, I can’t help but share.
Young girls are always drawn to my chalkart. I think my pink hair helps – young kids love to follow me around streets and shopping centres declaring their love of my hair colour to their parents within earshot.
‘Mummy, mummy – there she is again! The lady with the BEST HAIR IN THE WORLD. I love her so much!’
When I do chalkart at events, festivals and faires it is quite common for a young girl to sit and chat with me for an hour or more. I LOVE these interactions, and take these conversations seriously; so many ‘why’ questions from these hungry young minds. I treat these as ‘life coaching’ moments. I share stories with them of being brave, trying something new, daring to be different, thinking creatively, working together and following your dreams. Their eyes go wide and fierce; they come back again and again during the day.
At this years Maker Faire, a lady called out to me. She wanted to personally thank me for the words I had shared with her daughter at the previous Maker Faire. I was so surprised. My eyes were stinging with emotion to hear her words of gratitude and to gain insight of how her daughter Emma viewed me as a mentor, how she had been inspired to change her life and extend herself creatively after our conversations the previous year.
Emma herself turned up right at the end of the day. I was so chuffed to see her, that I invited her to help me complete the artwork. She makes a cameo in the film near the end. Soon after the Maker Faire, Emma invited me to an exhibition opening which included her very first publicly exhibited artwork. High five girl!
And these conversations continue. Featured below is my recent Maker Faire artwork – in the first time lapse sequence, you will see a young girl chatting to me for an extended period. This, my friends, is my favourite thing about being a chalkartist.
Effecting positive change in peoples lives, the hidden depth behind that ephemeral splash of colour.