I am constantly being confused with artist Julian Beever. If you’ve received one of those very popular forwarded e-mails full of amazing 3D chalk drawings, he is the one mostly responsible for the images. Kurt Wenner is the second most famous 3D artist and some of his work often gets mixed in there and credited to Mr. Beever, but rest assured these are two different and exceptionally skilled artists. Being confused with these incredible masters is certainly flattering, but over time it can border on the precipice of becoming slightly annoying when people constantly think you are someone else.
Most of my chalk mural work is flat, representational illustrations and almost exclusively comic book related. If you’ve seen any comic book chalk art, then there is a much better chance that I’m your man. It’s definitely a niche subject matter for sure, but my opinion is that the art being done by comic book illustrators today is horrifically overlooked and the fact that it should be more widely appreciated is a passion of mine. Getting comic book art more recognition was partly why I started making these larger than life, line-by-line recreations in the first place as it draws people to pay a lot more attention to the details.
But every now and then I try my hand at one of those 3D chalk drawings just to see what I can do. Unfortunately I seem to always try one when time limitations are at their most extreme. On average, one of these 3D anamorphic chalk murals can take 30 hours to create, and on average each one I have attempted has been between 3-5 hours of time. That’s quite a handicap when it comes to making much detail, so I have been limited to simpler concepts and cartoon illustrations. One day I’ll undertake a 30 hour project and pack it full of the tight detail my convention work allows, but until then I’ll still post images of these scaled-back attempts at 3D murals.
I was recently asked to make a mural at the Binghamton New York July Festival. Binghamton was also home to cartoonist Johhny Hart who created the comic strips B.C. and The Wizard of Id. As a recent tribute to the Mr. Hart, statues of the character BC riding the dinosaur character Gronk were decorated by local artists and placed around the city. Unfortunately, there were many incidents of vandalism, so the statues were moved to a more protected location inside a local mall. I decided my 3D chalk mural should be an attempt to bring Gronk the dinosaur back to downtown even if it was only in a temporary form.
Since the other big event in Binghamton had been a recent heat wave, I figured I would put Gronk in a swimming pool to cool off, and thus my most recent 3D anamorphic chalk mural was born. At around 5 and a half hours to make, and about 13 feet wide by around 8-10 feet tall, I think the 3D effect in this mural was one of my most successful. Enjoy the photos of the process, and as always I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
Just don’t call me Julian, and we’ll be cool.