Big Announcements!, Chalk Champ Information, Chalk Talk, Chicago Events, Family Entertainment, General, Keynotes and Seminars, PUBLIC EVENTS, Schools, Thoughts From The Champ, Uncategorized

Finished

NaperSettlement

Artist Faire

Naperville, IL

June 22,23 2019

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone of you that made it out to help me celebrate 10 years of amazing fun in the sun and chalk art illusions!

It has been an amazing run!

(Warning: lots of talk about me… sorry)

I’ve been featured at all the places I truly wanted to chalk and so many more than I even dreamed, from Chicago (Museums, John Hancock, Navy Pier, McCormick Place, Lollapalooza, State Street, Wrigley Field, the Drake, Michigan Ave, North Beach etc etc) to NYC (west village and Soho) to all the various states and festivals around America, to international, exotic locations like Egypt and Barbados.

I’ve been featured on multiple tv shows (even internationally), many local TV interviews, and on stage in front of nearly a million people at stadiums, theaters, conferences, schools and churches over 20 years.

I have made amazing friends along the way including a minister/art teacher/ chalk artist in the Philippines who I had the great privilege to encourage at a crucial moment in his life.

I have trained many many artists over the 20 years since I first became “accidentally serious” about chalking, including several youth speakers who have used chalk talks or “chalk rock” as an addition to their portfolio, several Chalk festival champions, prophetic worship artists, and a few chalk board artists and painter/muralists too.

Probably my favorite moments were when a young artist would see me working and I’d have a moment to connect with them the way only artists can connect to each other and watch as their eyes would light up with the realization that they aren’t entirely crazy or alone and that the pursuit of art is definitely worth while… even if you don’t get paid. (But best if you can also get paid)

All of that being said, many people will find this announcement troubling or disheartening. The fact is my knees can’t handle the work anymore, my heart is longing for something else, and my Father in Heaven has signaled that is time to move ahead.

Faith and I have discussed this change for a long time (years). We are excited about the change but sad in many ways as well. There may be some opportunities that arise sometime in the not so close future, where I’ll don the kneepads again, chalk in hand, walking in slow motion down a hot asphalt street with a look of determination in my eye… but until that day: June 22 and 23rd was YOUR FINAL OPPORTUNITY to come see me creating LIVE on pavement and get your own super fun, interactive photo with my art.

Btw- Yes I’ll keep posting art online. I just won’t be doing public 3D chalk like this as my job anymore.

I want to assure you once again, you haven’t seen the last of my talent and haven’t seen the best of me either. There is always more beneath the surface than you see of my public postings.. much like the freehand illusions I have created in the last decade.

What creative tool will I wield next? (Something not using my knees so much I hope!)

Shaun Hays, Chicago Chalk Champ - unfinished piece - Fish in Space Concept on a canvas...
Chalk Champ Information, Family Entertainment, General, Thoughts From The Champ

Drawing Fish, sea life, shells, etc. and my dream to make a connection.

I collect shells and rocks…always have. My favorite is the Nautilus Shell which I have painted and drawn many times in my public and commissioned works.

Shaun Hays, Chicago Chalk Champ  - "Peace in the Midst of Chaos" this was an early practice piece that was given to a good friend. The original concept came from seeing another artists Painting in my travels, but, I have no idea where I saw it, so i cannot give credit. I think I rendered it close to the original.
Shaun Hays, Chicago Chalk Champ – “Peace in the Midst of Chaos” this was an early practice piece that was given to a good friend. The original concept came from seeing another artists Painting in my travels, but, I have no idea where I saw it, so i cannot give credit. I think I rendered it close to the original.

I’ve always enjoyed being physically by the water, and, close to earth…it just feels right to me. My fantasy life would be to live as a stingray. To live, either gliding through the water like I’m flying, or to cover myself in the sand and silt for a nice meditative nap (and of course wait for my next meal haha). Beyond that, I have always enjoyed looking at underwater sea life and its beauty, so in 2009 when i set out to become the premier chalk artist on the shore of Chicago’s gorgeous Lakefront, there was one place I intended to ultimately work with… you guessed it: the John G. Shedd Aquarium. And believe you me: it’s been quite a journey.

At first, I did the obvious – email and call to introduce myself and hopefully catch a lucky break. I guess I had hoped the idea of chalk art at Shedd would be enough for someone to just say: “WOW, Shaun! No one has ever thought of that before!! You’re hired!” hahaha well, obviously everyone thinks of these ideas and (surprise!) I’m not as industrious, and unique, as I thought. Next: I attended Shedd events and at times just wandered in and handed a card to someone, but, then, I got a bit more determined and began to ask questions about who books events at Shedd and what kind of events are held there. In 2013, after some trial and error, I had a face to face with a wonderful lady who promised to keep my card and consider me for future events. The fact is, I wasn’t too confident leaving there that day, that she would. I kept hope, but i know even if intentions are good, it sometimes just gets lost in the busyness. After all, everyone wants their idea to be the one that makes the cut… and in a city this big, it’s tough to get your shot.

Meanwhile I’ve had several pieces featured at the Museum Of Science and Industry, Navy Pier, John Hancock Place, North Beach, Parades and Races, Lollapalooza (unofficially – long story) up and down Michigan Ave and State Street, Millennium and Grant Park, Major Hotels etc… and become somewhat of a regular at McCormick Place Events and Expos. That’s not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of events all over Chicagoland, the US and International events.

But, Alas, no invitation to my beloved Shedd Aquarium. I began to feel like the creepy guy with a secret crush and too many awkward attempts at conversation.

I don’t know if that meeting and my card was the catalyst or not, but something has finally broken the ice.

In early 2017, the day came that John G. Shedd was actually looking for a chalk artist! YAYA! I wasn’t going to let this one slip by. I told them in no uncertain terms “I want this job”. I repeated that in my emails (which there have been too many to count).

I hope to make an announcement very soon regarding this. Until then, enjoy this picture(s) of (a) Jellyfish I took while at Shedd a couple years back, which I will soon render in chalk for one randomly selected, super lucky fan who likes and comments on any page this is shared on. Who knows… I may choose more than one??? Lets make 2017 amazing!

I will post the finished chalk art as an update to this post

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once it is done.

General, Thoughts From The Champ, Uncategorized

Dogust 2016 – Keeping my priorities Straight (and myself healthy) when things get busy.

The last thing I want to be accused of, is being ungrateful for work, however sometimes life becomes so busy all you can do is look forward to your next day off! That’s me right now. Here’s a taste of my schedule in August: (im calling it Dogust because im working like a dog in the dog days of summer etc)

  • 8 commissioned chalk art canvasses (48″x 60″)
  • 10 cases (+) of Champ Sticks ™ to create and deliver
  • 3 Charity Fundraiser Appearances and Auctions
  • 2 private paid functions
  • 1 Master Class (teaching chalk art techniques)
  • 1 chalk art festival centerpiece
  • 1 International Corporate Paid 3D Chalk Marketing Centerpiece (major Client)
  • 1 Private Corporate Party 3D chalk art delivery (Im out of town)
  • 2 presentations for Chicago Public Schools – Fine Arts Festivals
  • 4 days of just …driving to another location

Of course this doesn’t include the countless hours of emailing clients (one client and I emailed back and forth over 40 times recently before the subject of the artwork was decided), phone calls, art/sketch submissions, Arranging the pickups/deliveries of artwork for clients, discussing calendar dates with booking agent(s)… Oh! and lets not forget that my wife (who is being very supportive/patient with it all) is asking me to find a spot in all that to go get my updated blood work and urine tests done before going back to the nephrologist in September.

Im so looking forward to Vaccatio… Oh shoot! I forgot one thing:

  • book a roundtrip ticket back to Chicago in the middle of my Florida Vacation at the end of the month

(takes a deep breath and looks at calendar)

canstockphoto4534650 vacation

*While Im typing this all out…

Im thinking of how I can give my son and wife the best of me while always giving my all to my clients… Often someone loses. Often it is my health that pays the price. I am committed to being the best I can be – always looking to improve – in business and in my relationships. I have learned that the best way to do that is to keep myself aware of my mental and physical health. I remind myself all the time that I am Blessed to have the opportunity to “play with Chalk” for a living and to support my wife and son while doing it. I have paid a dear price to get here… now its time to enjoy the view.

If you are an artist: do it well and have fun!

If you are a husband, wife or parent: do it well and have fun!

You only get one time around… or so they say.