Oolong's Art & Design

1940s California


Another year, another street painting festival.

The theme this year was California in the 40s, so we went with the theme of fashion by using a cover of Vogue and swapping out the background with a picturesque Californian scenery. I worked with Tia Whiteaker and Sindy Smart, aka The A-Team. We didn’t get around to the concept until a month after the deadline. Woops. But hey, we somehow pulled it off. Also thanks to Trung, Justine, and Elvis for contributing to the piece so that we were able to finish on time and thanks to California Film Institute for sponsoring us.

This year was a selective group of 22 artists and I am incredibly honored and humbled to be able to participate in this year’s festival with them. Amazing talent as always.

Frequently asked questions during the festival:

Who judges the art?
It’s not a contest. It’s art for the sake of art.

What happens to the artwork afterwards?
It gets washed away on Sunday night to restore regular traffic for Monday morning.

That’s terrible! You should preserve it by [insert method here]! You should petition the city!
No, we all know from the beginning that this is only for a weekend. It’s not about permanence, it’s about the process.

How many hours do you spend on this?
Each year is a little different, but generally, about 9 to 12 hours of street painting per day. So it ranges from 30 hours to 50 hours total over the course of 3 or 4 days. This particular one, perhaps about 34 hours.

How many of you work on this?
This year, we were limited on how many people could contribute to a square. Officially, just 3 people, but unofficially, we had 3 additional people also help us.

How did you think of this concept?
We were way overdue for the deadline. We scrambled and found out no one was really doing anything regarding 40’s fashion, so we quickly found a Vogue magazine that we liked and slapped an idyllic painting of Santa Cruz for the background.

The drawing is crooked.
That was on purpose.

It looks like a magazine on a table!
Good because that’s what we were aiming for.

Who is that woman?
I have no idea.

Is this all just chalk? That’s crazy!
Yeah, you have to be at least a little crazy to do this knowing that a lot of suffering goes into it.

Where did you get all that chalk?
Years and years of collecting different pastels.

Will you be back next year?
As long as the festival will allow me.

Size: 12’x13′
Media: Chalk pastel, conte


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