General, Uncategorized

Adler Planetarium – Eclipse 2017 Summary


On August 21st, 2017 North America bore witness to a historic Solar Eclipse and I was privileged to be asked by Adler Planetarium to help them celebrate!

Initially I was told to expect about 10,000 to attend the party and witness my chalk art on the Chicago lakefront, but on last count we were well over the 40,000 mark! It was certainly a wonderful day and the eclipse did not disappoint despite on-and-off clouds all day. We got great participation in my freehand 3D chalk art all day. I made sure to finish it by 11am so we could have the most time for people to pose with this one!

To top it off I had the privilege of chalking with two time Chalk Art Champion, Cole Fasano on not one but TWO pieces.

Tequitta Lucas poses atop another Chicago Chalk Champ 3D piece. I’ll update this space with more photos and video later!

General, Uncategorized

August Outings

If you have trouble reaching me for the next two weeks, please be patient. I may have less connectivity than usual.

Tomorrow, August 3, I will be near Buckingham Fountain drawing as part of the Chicago Lollapalooza festival. I leave immediately for Montana and Wyoming for about a week. On the 10th I leave for Barbados and return home on the 14th.

I hope to continue my connectivity, but, realistically it may take a while to get back to everyone.

Meanwhile, please be sure to leave messages and details of your needs by emailing shaunhays(AT)

Also come out to see me flex my Chalk Champ muscles Monday, Aug 21 outside of Adler Planetarium in Chicago – eclipse day

Thank you!

Shaun Hays, Chicago Chalk Champ - Chalk Art Illusions - 3D Chalk Art - Master Chalk Artist
General, Uncategorized

New Videos

Some of my favorite moments over the years have been on video!

Would you like to see them? 🙂

*sigh* me too. 😦

I delayed investing in professional grade cameras in order to attend to my own immediate financial needs and tried to get video from pros on location by trading for money off of an event. ROOKIE MOVE for speakers and artists but very necessary at the time.

Many clients, agencies, schools and even an Expo or two have not delivered on promises and contractual agreements to release my videos over the years. In fact I changed my contracts and policies several times to ensure that I would not fall into that situation again. Unfortunately, new problems arose from those policies and I still could not take advantage of marketing coming from an incredible professional video.

Last fall I also decided it was time to stop fighting for old videos. ENOUGH. Everything has changed anyway.

Now I have some new equipment and some initial Editing software bugs to work out but  I’m ready to take this on.

I also need to remove some clutter from my Youtube as i have poorly thought out spontaneous vids from 8 years ago etc.

I’ll post NEW videos here on this site, but also on my YouTube channel and maybe on Vimeo when I’m ready. Subscribers will get special deals and freebie opportunities too!

SEE you soon!


Chicago Chalk Champ, Shaun Hays will be at Adler Planetarium August 21, 2017 creating some amazing pavement masterpieces
Big Announcements!, Chicago Events, Family Entertainment, General, PUBLIC EVENTS

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium Chalk Art Aug 21st 2017

I usually don’t make announcement before an event finalizes the details, but I think you should be notified about this one asap: I am working out details with Adler Planetarium on Chicago’s Lakefront for some amazing Chalk Art Masterpieces!

MONDAY, August 21st will be a very rare Solar Eclipse for us in the U.S. Midwest. We are celebrating with a huge party – so skip work and come on out to enjoy some great music and entertainment that includes the Chicago Chalk Champ, Shaun Hays! I’ll be working on live art throughout the day but Noon will be a great time to get pics of the art.

Chicago Chalk Champ, Shaun Hays will be at Adler Planetarium August 21, 2017 creating some amazing pavement masterpieces
Chicago Chalk Champ, Shaun Hays will be at Adler Planetarium August 21, 2017 creating some amazing pavement masterpieces
General, Uncategorized

On Criticism

 What to do when someone criticises your efforts? Focus on the voices you know have your best interest in mind… some will be positive encouragers (“You can do it! Keep it up! You are doing great!”) and some will be tough to hear (“We need to talk about your performance. You really messed up, but we can fix this.”)

Don’t listen to those with no honest, personal investment in you. Don’t listen to the selfish, bitter voices of those who regret their lifestyle but haven’t matured to the point of change. 

I read a post from a young artist today whose artwork was callously belittled as “talentless” by someone whom I will simply call “unworthy”. The following came to mind…

Excerpt from a small book that I have yet to finish:

“Dear reader, whether the victim of criticism or the criticiser…I urge you to remember:

It takes no talent (at all) to carelessly criticize what you had no part in.

Millions of people criticize the Super Bowl quarterback for every decision made during the game, but he doesn’t hear them, nor does he care for their opinions. That QB *alone* has journeyed into countless games and practices and suffered injury and fear, rejection and triumph, over-confidence and disappointments far too many to recall. That QB had to uproot a family only to adjust to new teams, new cities and new coaching styles.

When the QB steps out onto that field, the QB knows that cameras will capture every move from all angles while reporters pontificate why those moves are wrong. The QB does this TO learn…TO get better…TO find out the flaws needing improvement, but tries to enjoy the experience. The simple joy of children playing with neighborhood counterparts all dreaming of becoming great players is over. This is work. This is pressure. This is real life.

The team, the town, the family… all the pressure. All the expectation. All the opportunity to fail everyone.


After a lifetime of sacrifice… battling the opposition, battling the nay sayers, battling personal thoughts, and yes occasionally battling those on the same side… the QB *may* get the chance to win the biggest game of that sport… *may* get to start the game…*may* take them down the field time and time again… *may* cross the goal line and put another point on the board… *may* outscore the opposition.

Every year in American Football someone does just that.

When the trophy is finally held high in victory… the crowds and reporters of that town as well as the millions of viewers who may or may not have ever attended a game or wore a logo-emblazoned jersey from that team… all shout:


I have always been amazed at this idea. More surprisingly by far, to me, is the response from those who actually did the work.

The QB and the team know the journey and the sacrifice, the criticism and the reward, but when interviewed, state humbly: “This is for the fans. We couldn’t have done it without you. Yes, WE (including the criticising public) won. WE won.

Surprisingly, it is not much different for a successful artisan.” 

What do you do when criticised? How has it affected who you’ve become, what you try? Let me know!

Chicago Chalk Champ - Shaun Hays on the Lakefront @ Navy Pier - Shedd Aquarium Promo for Earth Day 2017
Big Announcements!, Chicago Events, Family Entertainment, General, PUBLIC EVENTS

June 8th – World Oceans Day – Navy Pier and Shedd team up with Chicago Chalk Champ, Shaun Hays

Navy Pier and Shedd Aquarium Join Forces with Chicago Chalk Champ, Shaun Hays, to celebrate World Oceans Day (June 8th) with a pop-up style Chalk Art Fest in Polk Brothers Park. Patrons tried their hand at sidewalk chalk for free and added their art to the chalk board kiosk when they committed to #sheddthestraw in 2017!

Did you know that single-use plastic straws are a bigger ocean pollutant than disposable water bottles?? I had no idea. I think it is good to take care of our home, so I am pledging to #sheddthestraw, and on April 8th I continued my support of Shedd Aquarium’s efforts by chalking in Polk Brothers Park in front of Navy Pier, Chicago to help Shedd Aquarium spread the word.  (Edit: June 8th at Navy Pier – Again!!)

Thank you to all who came out to help us chalk up the Polk Brothers Park with sea life and love! Kathleen Roling joined #chicagochalkchamp, to render some magnificent animals affected by the plastics in our oceans. I had done this twice already this year: once here at Polk Brothers PArk and a second time between the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum on Earth Day. 

Visitors to each location participated in the chalk artwork and brought their own creativity to help us #sheddthestraw on #earthday (and now, #WorldOceansDay ) with some #chicagopublicart featuring the #chicagochalkchamp. “

A few pictures from our Pop-Up Chalk Festivals on the Lakefront:

Chicago Chalk Champ, Shaun Hays will be chalking amazing sea life pictures for Shedd Aquarium's Earth Day Promotions: April 8, 2017 at Navy Pier and April 22nd between Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.
Chicago Chalk Champ, Shaun Hays will be chalking amazing sea life pictures for Shedd Aquarium’s Earth Day Promotions: April 8, 2017 at Navy Pier and April 22nd between Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.