An element of being an artist that I really enjoy is when I get to create street murals. Over the last 5 years or so I have been able to work on murals for various events ranging from mall openings, children’s festivals and for museums. It is always a blast to interact with the audience and show them what can be accomplished with chalk on the sidewalk or street. What really peaked my interest though was when I was fortunate enough to work alongside a number of the top sidewalk chalk artists in the country a couple of years ago at the St. Paul International Children’s Festival. From Rod Tyron, Tracy Lee Stum, and Joel Yau, It really opened my eyes to the type and quality of work that can be done on the street. I also had the privilege to meet Wendy Stum and Anthony Cappetto who own Art for After Hours which is a company that brings these talented artists around the world for events and festivals. Their insight was great in looking at what was possible with street painting. Now they have upped the push for the genre of street painting by creating Streetpainting.tv and the blog Blog Now on streetpainting.tv. These are two great resources for anyone interested in street painting. It will be a lot of fun to see the new videos and posts that are to come from some of their great artists. So Best of luck with the sites Wendy and Anthony, you guys definitely have done a great job with creating an inspiration and resource for street painters.
In other fun news, I was surprised late last week when I got an call from Christina Rodriguez who is the Illustration Coordinator for the Minnesota Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. With her call, I was asked to be the 2008-2009 Illustration Mentor for MNSCBWI. I was honored that they thought highly enough of my work to ask me to take on this important task of guiding another illustrator through the process of what it takes to get published, marketing and all of the nuances of being a children’s book illustrator. Over the course of the next year, there will be lots to do and am anxious to see who I will be paired up. I know it will be a lot of hard work, but that is the course that as an artist one must get used to. For you will not go anywhere unless you are willing to put in your dues and keep at it. So I will be sure to keep you posted when the winner is announced and will be introducing them in due time.