We at Versachalk have always been curious about people who use our liquid chalk markers. We also look forward to having artists who have yet to discover our products join our community. So we set up an exploratory project to find unusual canvases for liquid chalk art and invited artists to participate.
That’s how we met chalk artist Katie Bush, co-founder of the Georgia Chalk Artists Guild and Creative Director of Aqua Aura Chalk Designs. Katie has been an active professional chalk artist since 2013, specializing in murals. She branched out into sign lettering and design in 2014.
Postcard On Glass
We challenged Katie to use our liquid chalk markers on a canvas that was neither chalkboard nor pavement. So she grabbed an empty picture frame and a box of Versachalk liquid chalk markers, then flew to Central America. Check out her framed glass postcard photo taken at a Costa Rican beach.
The Cat Who Never Strayed From Art
Many artists traverse a rocky path toward practicing their craft. They take ages to get there, mainly because circumstances dictate their occupation. Not Katie. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, she followed a clear path: armed with two degrees in Art Education, she taught in schools, museums and art festivals. Following a life-work balance envied by many, she sets aside time for yoga, reading, vegan cooking and traveling. She lives with her husband and two cats.
How She Became a Chalk Artist
Katie started her journey to career enlightenment by winning a high school chalk competition in 2005. Years later, inspired by chalk artists at a Metro Atlanta festival she organized, she started chalking. She established her chalk art business soon after, giving her the flexibility to travel, choose projects and set her own schedule. Katie finds it hard to commit to one medium, but has stuck with chalk the longest, as “you don't often do the same thing twice with it.” Working with chalk ensures she’ll never get bored and reinforces her stylistic genre: ephemeral—it doesn't last very long.
Career Philosophy: Grab the Reins, or Leave It All to Fate?
Like most artists, Katie is driven by instinct. She looks for “signs” from the universe. She has learned over the years to stop trying to “control everything. Things will happen the way they are supposed to, regardless of whether I interfere or not.” This is what drives her career. “If something feels right, I go for it. When I see it, I'll know it.”
Change The World, Or Change Yourself?
We asked Katie if she has the stereotypical artist’s compulsion to change the order of the universe. She quoted the poet Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself.” She no longer believes her art is going to change the world, but hopes it will evoke a sense of nostalgia or pride. She’s quick to add, however, that “I would be happy with any emotion it brings to the viewer, because that means they've connected with it in some way. If there’s one thing I could do through my art, it would be to help people hit the pause button, even if it's just for a second.”
Do Chalk Artists Have a Duty to Sustain Their Craft for Future Generations?
Katie doesn't feel responsible for this personally, but cites organizations like the Georgia Chalk Artists Guild as important for educating the public and fostering longevity of the medium. Being social creatures, chalk artists keep their craft alive anytime they network. Katie herself is part of a “secret Facebook group” where local artists convene for support and advice.
Chalk Artists of Tomorrow
Katie believes chalk art is gaining more traction, alongside street painting, which has been around for centuries. Thanks to the Internet, both will definitely have a place well into the next century.
Past ephemeral endeavors involved zines and yarn bombs, but Katie’s current challenge is mastering raw vegan desserts. Regardless of her other pursuits, she is happy doing chalk and traveling: “I am open to anything that comes my way.”
Chalk artists seem to be a happy and content bunch. Do you have a different tale to tell? Enlighten us on your dimension via the comment box below.