Artist's captivating chalk street art will make you do a double take

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Sidewalks come alive with artist's temporary street art
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Sidewalks come alive with artist's temporary street art
(Photo: David Zinn
Mammoth problems #streetart #sidewalkchalk #wooly #mammoth #asphalt #misshap #dammitijustdidmynails
From the archive: first attempt at 3D chalk art drawn back in 2004. So pink and yet so monstrous.

rockband sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

It's so hard to get good service in these hole-in-the-wall bars #graffiti #chalkart #holeinthewall
#streetart #sidewalkchalk #anamorphic #3Dart #perspective #skyhole #pigasus #whenpigsfly
Benefits of home improvement: when your painter finds both a lost drawing of Sluggo and your misplaced glasses, and has a sense of humor about setting them aside.

Paleosluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

subway mousemusik

(Photo: David Zinn

Turf and Surf

(Photo: David Zinn

Dragon Timeout

(Photo: David Zinn

a match made in prickly heaven

(Photo: David Zinn

improbability watch

(Photo: David Zinn

sluggo fresco in November

(Photo: David Zinn

Leafeater

(Photo: David Zinn

urban catfish

(Photo: David Zinn

Bear and Fish Bedtime Story

(Photo: David Zinn

Not everyone's sorry that the winter heat wave is over. #streetart #sidewalkchalk #anamorphic #ice #bear #fishing

Beerbeast

(Photo: David Zinn

big hat, small problems

(Photo: David Zinn

sluggo's street waffle

(Photo: David Zinn

Squirrel Life Coach (Carrollton, GA)

(Photo: David Zinn

(Photo: David Zinn

5-second rule

(Photo: David Zinn

iguanescher (Dundee, MI)

(Photo: David Zinn

bird on a wire

(Photo: David Zinn

Trust Issues (Big Rapids, MI)

(Photo: David Zinn

Ferris State bulldog (Big Rapids, MI)

(Photo: David Zinn

Pagliachipmunk

(Photo: David Zinn

underfoot skymouse

(Photo: David Zinn

Game of Cat & Mouse

(Photo: David Zinn

feeding time

(Photo: David Zinn

hospiturtle

(Photo: David Zinn

cosplay sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

bundled mouse

(Photo: David Zinn

sluggo rolling

(Photo: David Zinn

squidscotch

(Photo: David Zinn

underground cat

(Photo: David Zinn

free ranging sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

the long cast

(Photo: David Zinn

joy of a straight line

(Photo: David Zinn

#barart #porcupine #imaginaryfriend

fishing hole

(Photo: David Zinn

Bee Different

(Photo: David Zinn

Dragon Atlas (Carrollton, GA)

(Photo: David Zinn

sluggo leprechaun

(Photo: David Zinn

tangled sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

paintfoot sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

returned to sender

(Photo: David Zinn

no diving sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

stringing lights sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

library sledding mishap

(Photo: David Zinn

Waterweight champion and his trainer #streetart #sidewalkchalk #ogre #mouse #bicepdance
#streetart #sidewalkchalk #porcupine #headphones #waterysounds

slugg-o-lantern

(Photo: David Zinn

One-eyed owl #streetart #sidewalkchalk #posthole #wildlife #graffiti
66F in Feb #streetart #sidewalkchalk #sluggo #pigasus #shockedface #nowthatsimpossible
Cthulyuhoo - chalk & charcoal on swiftly dampening wall #graffiti #streetart #chalkart #doodlinginpublic

carpooling with sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

Stinkeye #streetart #graffiti #minimural #monster
Inadequately prepared for the imminent catch #barart #sluggo #fishing #perch #graffiti

sluggo annarbor chronicer kid

(Photo: David Zinn

#streetart #sidewalkchalk #nosmoking #dragon
The overstayed guest #streetart #sidewalkchalk #ostrich @detroitzoo
Hospitable doormonster #streetart #3Dart #roadrunnerdoor
#streetart #chalkart

spring training 2014

(Photo: David Zinn

#chalkart #lamppost #mouse #electrician
In case anyone's getting queasy from the walkaround video #streetart #anamorphosis #alfrescodining
The backstory on Red Hat the Dinosaur #lbts
Sluggo doing his best to blend in with the locals, but once again forgetting how sunglasses work. #lbts
"Trust in Authority" far view. Child included for scale.
Grevé finally found some ducks to feed! #nolimitboras

desert island fish

(Photo: David Zinn

"Portrait of the Artist as a Pencil-Topper" - chalk, charcoal, and conveniently-placed park lighting.

slugeratu wakes

(Photo: David Zinn

Great group chalk art project at #kidsreadcomics today. More happening Sunday 1-4 pm.
Guilty taildragger #aasf2015

still cold enough

(Photo: David Zinn

the cat prisoner

(Photo: David Zinn

sluggo snow angel

(Photo: David Zinn

Impending fry fight #streetart #sidewalkchalk #lizard #alfresco #scavengers
Bath night on the bartop #chalkboard #dragon #doodlinginpublic
Flyleaf #streetart #sidewalkchalk #foundart #graffiti #bug
Grandpa beerstone #streetart #sidewalkchalk #stonewall #ogre
#streetart #sidewalkchalk #3dart #perspective #squirrel #hole #birdmask
The night shift #streetart #fangliao #strangefriendships

big playground skyhole sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

Hugo didn't mind holding the napkins, but he could surely do without that ticklish feeling in his armpits. #counterart #chalkart #blankslate #atlas_of_tidiness
Strange bedfellows, camping out under the streetlights #streetart #sidewalkchalk #piginablanket
After all this time, I'm still hoping to someday gain the trust of my own creations. #streetart #sidewalkchalk #dubious #lizard
Sluggo celebrating the first warm day of spring in his traditional style: with impossible company and a complete misunderstanding of how sunglasses work. #streetart #chalkart #leisure
#chalkboardart #hedgehog

chocolate gifting sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

drinking with sluggo

(Photo: David Zinn

feeding the flying turtles

(Photo: David Zinn

(Photo: David Zinn
#streetart #watchdog

fifth avenue billards

(Photo: David Zinn

artistic license

(Photo: David Zinn

cave piscem farview

(Photo: David Zinn

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A shameless indulgence.

That's how artist David Zinn says his street art began. It shows that there is still childlike wonder and creativity inside many of us that is just waiting to be expressed -- whether it be through putting pen to paper -- or in this case, chalk to sidewalk.

Zinn says he was given regular sidewalk chalk as a joke and he now uses that, along with a few other simple materials to create magical temporary street art that'll have you guessing where the sidewalk ends and your imagination begins. Sidewalk cracks, metal grates, and the elements brought about by the change in seasons all become part of the whimsical experience by being changed into waffle makers, tables and tiny little homes for Zinn's larger-than-life characters.

"The sidewalk is a good place for this because of the near-infinite number of dots waiting to be connected; I believe that anyone who takes the time to stare at a slab of concrete will eventually see something that wants to be drawn there," Zinn said.

He uses the same psychological phenomenon that allows people to see shapes in clouds to create the multi-dimensional art. Characters like Sluggo, a bright green monster, and Philomena, a flying pig, are often drawn in mischievous situations that delight both kids and adults who are kids at heart. Sluggo was originally supposed to be a drawing of a young child but Zinn said he couldn't quite get the eyes right. So he drew them on antennas and that's how one of his most beloved characters came to be.

Philomena is a visual adaptation of the saying, "when pigs fly" and Zinn says the Swedish prefer "when it rains peas" and the Dutch use "when the calves are dancing on ice." No matter the preference they are all figures of speech that challenge the impossible, much like Zinn's characters and their adventures.

(David Zinn/Facebook)

Zinn says the most unusual artwork he has created was a life-size hadrosaur for The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. But he has also seen his work and characters take on a life of their own with replicas being drawn as far away as an alleyway in Shanghai and a boat support in Vietnam.

"I don't know who drew them or how they knew my art existed, but it's strangely gratifying to see my imaginary friends travel the world so much more easily than I do," Zinn added.

It's hard to imagine putting so much time and effort into something that could be washed away with the next rainstorm, but Zinn explained his fleeting masterpieces in a way that can translate to many aspects of day-to-day life.

"Honestly, it's easier to enjoy making art that has no future. I think most people understand this already; it's why doodling on a napkin or drawing figures in the sand is so much more appealing for most of us than painting on a blank canvas."

Zinn created a book of his chalk art called "Temporary Preserves," which is basically a captivating picture book. And he is working on a follow-up to that, but until then he says he is looking forward to spending the summer on the sidewalk.

Chalk on sidewalk seems like such a simple concept, but for many people it inspires feelings of home, comfort and happiness -- and at the end of the day that's what Zinn hopes people take away from his work. Because as he put it, "... there are more than enough sidewalks to go around."

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