Saturday, June 16, 2018

2018 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Saturday Day 1

It's the 26th Annual Pasadena Chalk Festival! You know where I'm going to be this weekend, right?
This is our fourth year participating, having spent previous years making murals of Ducktales, The Iron Giant, and The Jungle Cruise poster.
Ruston and I trade off each year being team captain. This year it's Ruston's choice, and inspired by the 50th anniversary of The Love Bug (December 1968) and Allison Lefcort's amazing painting, we set off to recreate Herbie in chalk on the pavement.
Normally we'd rush to get as much completed as early in the day as we could, due to the oppressive heat (90s-100s). Today though it's only expected to reach the high 70s so it should be a much better environment for working!
Despite that, I still left the house at 6:15am, arrived by 6:40am, and was looking over our spot shortly afterwards. We've sprouted an umbrella.

And I thought I was an early-bird, but there's people already here with a good amount of chalk down already.

Ruston arrived shortly afterwards and we proceeded to tape off our section. It's ~80" x 80", mostly.

There's these two sections where it looks like Herbie is coming out of the frame. To account for those, I made a couple cardboard stencils. We taped underneath them and traced out the stencil.

Then cut on the line (next time bring an xacto knife so we don't have to use the edge of a scissor).

The texture of the pavement here is all over the place. Waxy in some places, pitted and chewed up in others. We see a bunch of the best artist put down a tempera base, and after learning our lesson the hard way the our first year, we've been doing it ever since. Our first coat of white is down. Now to let it dry.

And it just so happens to be 8am, which means it's time to check in. Artists are lined up to get their welcome packet, which includes 2 boxes of pastels and artist t-shirts.
We chatted with people we recognized in line from past years, and received a lot of compliments on our outfits.

There was also breakfast provided, including a fruit tray, bagels, and coffee.

Once we checked in and got our team lanyards, which will give us access to the "Comfort Stations" set up around the festival, which has cold bottled waters.
Tom Coston (president of the Lightbringer Project) was also there greeting each team with either a handshake, fist bump, or hug. Ruston and I went in for a double hug. Tom loved our costumes too and said next year all the teams need to come in costume.

Being sponsored by Otter Pops I was hoping they'd do something like this. A freezer full of Otter Pops! Over the course of the day I might have had... 6.

The first of many.

The first coat is mostly dry. Time for a second coat to even everything out.

Getting some help painting the middle section.

Paint rollers. Now that's another idea for next year.

We had a little more time to kill while the tempera dries and I'd forgotten to print out a reference of our mural, so we walked to the Pasadena library. Walking along the streets, our outfits are certain drawing attention. One such person, Charlie Salinas saw us and yelled "Herbie?" Yep! He's got a video blog going on and called us out in it. He didn't find us in the video, but did find us later.

We went to the computer room and printed a few grayscale copies of the photo. Before leaving Ruston wanted to show me some of the other areas of the library. It's a really cool old library and the kids section has an awesome giant fireplace with the story of Peter Pan around the mantel.
As we were walking out, a couple of the librarians called us over. They recognized the outfits and wanted to know why we were dressed up. We told them and showed them the printouts we'd made. "Don't you want those in color?" he asked. Um, yes! Didn't know that was an option since the computer room only had black and white. He let me use a computer next to the main desk and print out some color copies. Perfect! Thanks!

Back at festival, the silent auction is going on for the canvas artwork all the festival entrants supplied.

There's some amazing ones here.

Very nice line work.

We walked around other areas now that more people are here.

Oooh. I love Wall-E. Probably my favorite Pixar movie.

In the end we resorted to using cardboard to dry out the tempera and then paper towels to dab up the excess.

To transfer the image, I print a 1:1 scale copy and we cover the back in black chalk. Once we traced over all the lines that pattern stayed on the white base. Now to fill in the lines.

Our neighbors. Just behind us is Amy Rodriguez doing a portrait of Grace Kelly.

And then a Wizard of Oz tribute on the other side. Also nearby is an artist drawing Freddie Mercury. She's got a constant loop of his songs going for inspiration.

First up, we fill in the gray.

People are really loving Herbie. And we're getting a lot of great comments on the outfits too. All those hours working on them is paying off.
We're getting people telling their kids how much they loved Herbie when they were little, people who are car enthusiasts and telling us details of the VW Bug line (what changed year to year), some asking if we own a Herbie car, and even found someone who worked on one of the movies.

At 1:15pm we'd finished the gray and it was already past lunchtime. Despite that, I pushed to get the color done before taking a break, because having color is really going to make things POP!

At 2pm we took a break for lunch. Big thanks to the Pasadena California Pizza Kitchen for walking around giving out boxed lunches to the artists. Ruston and I enjoyed the turkey club, chips and brownie.

After lunch we went exploring. Looking down on the festival from the 2nd level.


Lilo and Stitch are looking great.

Time to work on the black. Around 3pm it started.

Two and a half hours and 4 fingertips rubbed raw later, the main body was done.

We finished it with a black border.

And we're done!

Someone from Mrs. Fields cookies was walking around earlier giving out treats. Ruston and I celebrated being done by first washing our hands and then digging into those tasty cookies.

Checking up on a few artists. Groot looks colorful.

And Wall-E looks fantastic.

Having learned our lesson the first year, Herbie is getting covered with plastic and surrounded by cones. Here's hoping nothing "interesting" happens overnight.

And I thought that was going to be it for the first day, but one of Ruston's friends told him we were on the news. Sure enough, that's Herbie in work!

Might only be for a couple seconds (and yes, my hat is covering my face), but hey, it's the news!

Tomorrow there's not much left to do! Just go enjoy the cool weather and see what everyone else has created.

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