Chalk It Up North
Chalk It Up North is a street chalk contest that started up only a couple years ago in Northern Utah and it has been quickly catching on and getting larger and larger every year. I’m always interested in joining these events but since I don’t do well with heat, I decided to skip it once again.
The day of the event showed up and I decided to go see what the other artists were putting together so I went over to the location. There was food, music, and a ton of artists, I mean, so many artists it’s overwhelming. As I was going from square to square looking at the vast array of genres and skill levels, I was beginning to wish I had joined, but at the same time, it was literally 100 degrees outside so I didn’t mind skipping the event too much.
As we were wandering around, we bumped into a friend who happened to be helping run the event. We started talking about the Chalk It Up North event and she said it runs all night. Since I could draw under the massive lights, I decided to secure my block and I returned when it cooled down with the intent to draw all night long.
Gridding, Starting, and Road Blocks
With the sun down, I began my grid and started laying down the color.
I was loaded up with caffeine. I had some snacks, the overhead lights, it was going to be a long but enjoyable night of drawing Vegeta. Well, at least that’s what the original plan was. I had been drawing for about an hour and a half or so when one of the event staff came and told us that they were going to have to take down the lights for the early morning Chalk It Up North 5k Run that was happening.
Well, this is some bad news since I wasn’t even at a point that I could consider stopping. I figured, this is terrible but I’ll go home, get four hours of sleep and return right as the sun crests the mountains giving us some light. That’s what I did and I continued drawing.
The Heat Begins
There was a problem with this though since we where in August, it still gets hot by 10-11 am. With every passing minute, I could feel the heat rising. One of my friends came by and was talking to me, he offered to watch my equipment while I ran home and grabbed my umbrella and returned to keep working. As the sun moved overhead, the heat really started coming down on me. My wife ran and bought a canopy to give me better shade and though we will use that a lot, this small, spur of the moment event was starting to cost a pretty penny.
No matter, I kept cranking away at this, a few other artists showed up, a lot of very nice people came by and chatted with me about this crazy piece of my art I was recreating in charcoal. It was becoming a lot of fun to join into the event.
As we neared the end of the event, some more of my family showed up, we had pizza, drinks, and my sister wanted to see if she could help. By now, I was willing to take all the help I could get. I had a bunch of yellow hair to fill in, I had to work a bit on his neck and chest, and my hand was already raw from the blending. I have decided if I do this again, I will be grinding up the pastels and making a paint paste and brushing in the chalk instead of drawing and blending.
My sister started massing in the yellow while I finished, then I joined in to add the finishing touches. The event ended and the judging began. I didn’t have any hopes of winning the event since my type of art doesn’t fit the demographics of where I live and sure enough, I didn’t place at all but it was a fun event, the payment fees went to a good cause, I saw some old friends and met some friendly people.
Chalk It Up North was a great event and I look forward to it next year.