On a recent warm morning, Michael Clark draws murals made out of sidewalk chalk outside the Coffee Pot Cafe, just next to the Akron-Summit County Public Library. The sidewalk is Clark’s canvas as he regales pedestrians walking by.
Clark’s murals range from small words of inspiration to large subjects, and he says that he draws inspiration from social media like Facebook and Instagram, drawing from all of his friends who inspire him. He considers making chalk art murals as a celebration of life, to celebrate the things that he likes to do or the other people he finds are incredible.
In a recent interview with the Akronist, Clark said that he considers himself as a cheerer for others: supporting causes and spreading the word that great people and things are happening here in Akron.
When asked why he makes chalk art, he says he genuinely supports bringing the community together, putting a smile on peoples’ faces and inspiring others to do the same. On a recent warm afternoon, he was making chalk art and supporting the cause with a sign that said “Akron Be Brave” — the theme at the time for the Akron League of Creative Interventionists.
Chalk art is one medium of many in the artist’s palette. Writer, visual artist and juggler are just a few of his many forms of expression, as Clark considers himself a “life artist.” Along with encouraging kind behavior toward others, he wants to encourage people to do what their hearts are telling them to do.
“Listen to your heart,” he says. “Just because someone is not an artist does not mean they cannot still make art and maybe they will find they are actually wonderful at making art.”
Clark encourages people to listen to their hearts and not to do things that offend their souls. He says he also hopes to spread the message of kindness and bringing people together to be in a more connected community. When Clark was outside drawing chalk art, a few pedestrians that were walking by decided to stop and see what all the fun was all about. Some left unique marks on the sidewalks, while others wrote their names. A few stayed and created fantastic murals with him.
Clark also fundraises as an artist through patreon. Click here to find out more and to donate.