Chalking with H: Still chalking!

It’s been almost a year since Shiphrah and I did our last chalk art piece together for Chalk With Me. But, I’m still chalking! I recently organized a chalk art event in Whitehorse, Yukon called Chalk Art Central.

Here’s the piece I did for it 🙂

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CLICK TO SEE MORE…

Cheers,

H

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Chalking with H: Storyhive Pitch

There is something I have been working hard on recently and I need your help & support. I have pitched my short film idea to Storyhive to try to get funding to produce it.

My 2min video pitch is open to community voting and I need your votes! So click on the picture below to access the video, then watch, vote & share!!

Voting ends tomorrow night at midnight!

Pressing Charges

Anyone can vote, you just need a valid email address! Then select your voting location as ‘Vancouver’ and vote up to five times for “PRESSING CHARGES”

Help me make a positive impact in our community via FILM!

Thanks,

HJL

Chalking with H: Comfort Zones

Do certain words and language make you uncomfortable? 

Do you avoid certain spaces because they’re scary, not because they’re physically unsafe, but emotionally, you’re worried about making a fool of yourself, or about looking silly, or dumb?

From the outside, a group or space, can seem daunting, unwelcoming, but if you step over the threshold, perhaps just a few feet past your comfort zone you might discover something incredible…

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Now, I’m not condoning facing all of your fears, some fears and anxieties are necessary (like there’s no need to face a cougar or grizzly bear head on just to nip that fear in the butt) but seriously, sometimes, it is important to be emotionally safe too. But trying something that scares you like going to an event where you don’t know anyone, or just going for it and chalking something on a busy public sidewalk even though you’re scared or feel weird about it…

I think some of the most exciting learning happens when you take down your armour, step outside the safety nets and squishy couch cushion walls you’ve constructed. I know, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. I struggle with this in my own life, I have comfort zones, trust me, but they are bigger and wider than they once were. Your comfort zones don’t stretch, they are not elastic bands or play dough that can be rolled out wider and wider. No, your comfort zones can grow but they grow with you. Like they’re an extension of you, living beings that start small and when you feed them new things they get taller and wider, and fuller. If you stay on the same diet, of work, friends, predictable social outings, your comfort zones won’t grow to big and strong. They will be feeble, and weak, a tiny circle of chalk around you-

Expand the chalk.

When we first started this project, Shiphrah and I talked  a lot about feelings of shame and inadequacy and how those feelings hinder our conversations and our experiences. We often camp out in our comfort zones.

Through this project I have been widening my comfort zones. For instance, showing people anything I drew used to be so far outside my comfort zone, now I post weekly chalk drawings online for the world see… Talking about my feelings of shame, embarrassment, and inadequacy was once out my comfort zone, I’d avoid the topic- who’s embarrassed? … never…

But, stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t something you have to do alone, or at least not always. Many of our comfort zones overlap. We can meet in the middle and take each other to the edges. Walk through the door hand in hand, up the stairs, take the elevator, or the escalator, together. I think it is important not only to challenge ourselves but to challenge and gently nudge and lead each other to places  we have never been before.

Last week I chalked my new years resolutions, to recap: this year I hope to try things I have never tried, go places I have never gone, chalk things, do things, and learn things that scare me.

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With an open heart, I will actively try to expand my comfort zones, by stepping away from them, throwing them a crumb, and seeing if they might one day follow me there.

H

Chalking with H: A New Year with Chalk

What do you hope to learn in 2014?

I have many hopes and dreams for the new year and some of them involve CHALK! 🙂

These are what I hope to achieve via CHALK in 2014:

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Chalk things that matter to me.

And chalk things that matter to you.

What Matters To You? 

Feel free to msg us on Facbook, Twiter, or email us at chalkwithme@gmail.com

Chalk with you soon, (I hope!),

H

Chalking With H: Festive Love

The chalk challenge for this week was to chalk about our favourite holiday…

Mine is Christmas!

So here is my festive chalking for the week…

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1st Kiss Under the Mistletoe… ❤

All I want this holiday season is LOVE, respect, and acceptance…

Love is Love,

and Love knows no gender.

Wishing you all a few good smooches under the mistletoe too 😉

H

P.S. the one other thing I’d like this Christmas is for you to TAKE OUR ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE, it will just take a couple minutes!

Chalking with H: That’s Problematic!

There are lot of different issues I want to chalk about and raise awareness for through Chalk With Me and chalktivism., but representing anything is difficult in a single drawing. Every picture and every piece of art can only depict so much. The problem (and the beauty) of art is that it relies heavily on the viewers own interpretations. Every picture will have its problems, its grey areas, its limits.

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It is only a partial vision after all. Each chalk drawing or painting or sketch or what have you is created through the lens or lenses of the artists who  created it. One picture will never represent ‘the whole picture’ of any issue, even multiple pictures will still be partial, and fragments of something bigger: one or more individual views on an issue only.

Shiphrah and I can collaborate on chalk poetry and chalk art that speaks to things we feel passionately about, and things that we have researched and/or experienced in are own lives (ageism, racism, homophobia, biphobia etc.) But having other voices and chalkers to share their experiences and help us represent issues fairly and more thoroughly is integral to our project. We want your help! Your experiences! Your ideas, and your chalk collaborations!

For instance, I would love to do some chalking on trans* awareness and chalk things to fight transphobia in public spaces. But as a queer, cisgender ally I don’t want to draw anything that might be problematic or offensive to the trans community. What kind of pictures could be chalked out to break down stereotypical gender norms and just create general awareness and respect for non-normative genders and identities?

I was thinking of doing some kind of picture where chalk people are asking each other their preferred pronouns. What do you think?

Please do let me know your thoughts on this!! Via Facebook, twitter, or email at chalkwithme@gmail.com

So far we have tried to make all of our chalk people gender neutral, but in doing so many viewers automatically see them as the default, as ‘male.’ We feel that delving into ‘gendering’ them with clothing, hair, chalk colour, etc. could also be hugely problematic.

Of course, I believe that any attempt of representation is in someway problematic, and offensive to someone, somewhere. Our job is to try to represent things as best we can, and consult others who have more knowledge and/or personal experience on the topic(s). We must also recognize and acknowledge that our drawings are and will always be partial visions. They will never be without problems. And they will always be interpreted differently by each viewer who look upon them through their own set of fragmented lenses, hand-crafted, cracked and stained from personal experiences, politics and identity.

H

Chalking with H: Virtual Chalking

The other day I when I was chalking outdoors, I had a great conversation with a passerby about getting outside and doing stuff OFF screen which in this day and age is reeeaaaally important and far too rare, (you can read more about that here: if you like) anyway chalking is such a great activity for that, for interacting with the REAL world and taking a break from the virtual world. But unfortunately this week I have been soo busy with everything that I haven’t had any time to actually chalk! And I sure have had a lot of screen time. I have been on my laptop reading, writing and sending emails all week! As well as attending events, interviewing subjects, and writing reviews and articles for Vancouver Weekly and working two jobs! While commuting to and from jobs, I’ve been passing the time on yet ANOTHER screen (my smartphone) and having a little bit of fun with my favourite app (Bitstrips). For those of you who don’t know, it is a trendy little app on which you can create cartoon versions of everyone you know and capture bits of your life on virtual comic strips! So I thought I’d share with you the story of Chalk with Me, via Bitstrips.

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questionnaire

SO TAKE OUR QUESTIONNAIRE! 

And then…

this next one never really happened (but we both have done a lot of cool chalking :P)

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We even did some chalking at Victoria’s international chalk art festival! How awesome is that?!

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And now we continue our chalking adventures from a far…

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Hope you enjoyed my ‘virtual chalking’ this week 🙂

Until next time,

H