One of my favourite memories this summer involved creating an art piece for exclusively vinyl DJs Record Collective at their annual back alleyway party. I was given free reign to do whatever I wanted for the piece, the only parameters being that it needed to be interactive and also cover up some graffiti on a wall. I browsed the store for inspiration and landed on our bottles of chalkboard paint. I had seen a lot of DIY projects involving black chalkboard paint floating around the web, but no multicoloured murals so decided to take on the challenge.
Using one of my favourite Japanese Katazome-shi paper prints as inspiration, I drew out my own simplified version of the multicoloured mountain range, and picked up a few bottles each of our American Craft’s chalkboard paint bottles ($8,95, 250ml each) and a package of our dustless chalk ($2.95).
I began by drawing out a rough outline of my plan on the wall, being sure the design would cover the unsightly graffiti.
Next using painters tape I masked off some details within the mountain range to speed up the the process of painting the mural itself. Once dry this tape would act as a relief and expose the unpainted brick below.
After a long night of taping and painting, once I was sure the paint had completely dried, I went to town peeling away the tape, easily the most gratifying part of the whole process.
The finished result wowed and intrigued guests, who were happy to have a creative activity at the busy event. In the beginning many were hesitant to put their mark on the mural so I set up a table with chalk, a bucket of water, and a sponge so I could demonstrate to guests that the chalk would indeed wash off.
Once a few people started drawing it was hard to keep guests away and at the end of the night there were all sorts of chalk surprises to be found within the Katazome mural. My favourite was this sketch of a muscle man who I couldn’t but help think looks like our coworker Nick.
The next day I got to take a hose to the wall and wash away all the chalk, leaving behind only my original painting. A clean slate, ready to be drawn on once again. Time to have another party!