Street Artist Turns Entire City Into His Personal Canvas With Whimsical Chalk Drawings

Chalk Art by David Zinn

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While some artists like painting on canvases, others like David Zinn seek unexpected places to add art. The Ann Arbor artist creates whimsical chalk art on local sidewalks, brick walls, and more, oftentimes incorporating real-life elements (like cracks in the cement) into the illustration.

Zinn draws a range of quirky animal characters in his distinct, cartoon-like style. Each one is cleverly rendered to look as though it is interacting with the surrounding environment. His drawing of a green frog, for instance, utilizes a sprinkler head in the background as the shape of the amphibian's right eye. Similarly, a small pink rabbit in a tutu walks across the division in the sidewalk as though it were a tightrope. Not only do these choices bring Zinn's art to life, but they also infuse the real world with some of his enchanting imagination.

Another trait that makes Zinn's art stand out is the use of perspective. Many of his illustrations appear to have three-dimensional depth, which makes them look like cartoon portals. For instance, in one installation, Zinn redraws a square of the sidewalk to make it seem as though it opens into a blue sky and a pig is flying out. In another, he draws over a brick so that it looks like a small mouse lives inside and is peering outwards. These small touches make his art infinitely more enjoyable to look at.

If you’d like to learn how to draw like Zinn, he has a new book out called Chalk Art Handbook that contains all of his “tricks and secrets.” It’s now available through Bookshop. To purchase more from Zinn, be sure to check out his online store.

Artist David Zinn creates sidewalk chalk art that cleverly interacts with the surrounding environment.

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David Zinn: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by David Zinn.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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