Why this artist’s chalk creatures are changing perspectives on the streets

Why this artist’s chalk creatures are changing perspectives on the streets

David Zinn is a professional sidewalk chalk artist. He playfully says, “You never know what you’ll find under your feet.”

David Zinn
Beautiful News

We often forget to appreciate what’s right in front of us. So artist David Zinn is using his talent to draw people’s attention to what's under their feet. Creating ethereal chalk creatures on sidewalks, he’s encouraging a shift in perspective as people go about daily life. 

Self-taught, Zinn has practised his art for 25 years. However, a blank page always gave him pause as fear stood in his way. To escape the pressure, Zinn started doodling on pavements. It was here that he discovered his imagination thrived. Armed with chalk and using the streets as his canvas, his artworks come to life. 

From little cats to flying pigs, Zinn’s magical animals have appeared on pavements across Michigan. Incorporating his imagery with what’s already there, cracks, manholes, and weeds create the perfect textures for his art. Zinn’s creations appear 3D, bringing out beauty that people would otherwise never notice. And once the rain pours down, the creatures disappear forever. “I think it’s very therapeutic to embrace the non-permanent nature of the art, which is no different from everything else,” Zinn says. A reminder of life’s fragility, his work not only brings unexpected joy, but provides onlookers with a sense of meaning. 

Zinn’s art has been internationally praised, and he’s since released two books exhibiting his finest chalk pieces. “Imagination has the power to let us accept more than what’s actually there,” he says. “Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is pursue what makes you happy.”

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