3D chalk art playfully interacts with street objects

Sidewalks are boring. If you live in the city, you’ll walk a lot of them and it’s usually not very interesting to look down. Usually. For nearly thirty years, Michigan-based artist David Zinn has created temporary illustrations with chalk and charcoal.


Stalking the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Zinn works with items and objects found on the streets. His improvised artworks use trompe l’oeil illusions. This technique makes his characters look as though they are flying, swimming and living within the walls of the street and sidewalks. Designed to fit in with their surroundings, when viewed from the correct angle they have a 3D effect.


If you’re trying to understand how 3D sidewalk art works, it’s best to look at the image using only one eye. Looking at the art with both eyes, your brain is able to tell where the light is coming from. With only one eye open, light and perception tricks your mind into seeing the image you think you’re seeing.


There aren’t any secrets to creating beautiful 3D chalk pieces. It simply requires a little planning, patience and an imagination. Check out some more of his adorable illustrations below, and follow him on his Instagram account.

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