This summer I had the opportunity to participate in two street art events in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. One was held outside the Belltown Community Center as part of a promotional effort for the Belltown Artwalk, and the other is called Belltown Beats. Both times I chose to focus on showcasing my process, both on paper and on wood.
Belltown ArtWalk It turns out that when you're casually working on something in the middle of the street people just come up and talk to you. And although you can't really control who these people will be (there's a side story here about a drunk/high guy who came up and started painting the blue dragon without asking while occasionally taking swigs from a beer can that he kept tucked in the front band of his shorts) overall it's a great opportunity to pull in strangers for an impromptu collaboration. Throughout the night about ten different folks agreed to add their mark to the brown paper. Some even incorporated their imagery into my existing creatureland.
Belltown Beats For this event I set up my wood burning supplies on a single table, next to finished originals (which were done using the same process) and prints for sale. Hooked up to an available outdoor electricity source I was able to jump right into the pyrography, and create an image of a circus elephant following the pencil lines I made earlier, as a guide. Nearby, another table was set up with all kinds of art supplies for anyone who wanted to make a quick masterpiece. The kids particularly enjoyed it, especially a little girl who was visiting the states with her parents from Germany. They had to figure out how to carry around a still-wet, slightly expressionist piece their little blonde budding artist whipped up in 10 minutes.
Overall, I really enjoy creating around other people. Having others watch my every move establishes a momentum that helps me keep moving forward and not get caught up in the small details - is the tail too long? Oh no, I should erase this part and re-draw it. There's just no time for that.