I always love when I get to take a trip down to New York City for a chalk art convention appearance. Not only is it a fun trip (and one of the easier ones I make because it is only 3 hours away) the people at the Javits Center and the fine folks at Reed Exhibitions always treat me so amazingly well that I don’t want to leave. I’ve been down there so much in the past few years that it really does feel like a second home.
So when I got to appear for my second time at the New York Anime Festival in September of 2008, I hoisted the old chalk bag and gladly drove down to make another 20+ hour chalk mural. This time, the guests of honor were Hideyuki Kikuchi and Yoshitaka Amano. Hideyuki Kikuchi is the author behind the famous Vampire Hunter D novels and stories, a huge hit with fans at the convention. Yoshitaka Amano is an artist most famously know for his paintings and character designs on the Final Fantasy video game series, and he also makes the paintings that go with Vampire Hunter D stories.
This was a challenge because Yoshitaka Amano’s paintings are amazingly detailed, and have this classic-yet-otherworldly feel about them. I hoped that it would translate well when recreated as chalk art. The piece that was chosen was a portait of Vampire Hunter D himself, so now I had better do it justice or else be subjected to the wrath of the fans.
Nearly 20 hours later, the finished piece was more than well received, it went beyond what I could have hoped. But above all the fan praise, my favorite moment was when Hideyuki Kikuchi himself stopped by. Though he speaks very little English, he simply said one word while nodding and smiling at the piece. It was the best praise I could have hoped for from the creator himself.
The word he spoke. Beautiful.
Enjoy the photos below, and get ready for New York Anime 2009 this September. I’ve already been asked to return, so I’ll see you there.