We had the good fortune of connecting with Chalk Twins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chalk, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Throughout our lives, I don’t think anyone would describe us as risk takers. We enjoyed having a detailed five year plan, thinking we knew every step we would take before we took it. But risk is inherent to both art and entrepreneurship. After graduating with BAs in Painting and Graphic Design, we both accepted 9-5 jobs unrelated to art to pay the bills. We could have easily stayed in those jobs, but we decided we wouldn’t be truly happy unless we committed ourselves 100% to try to pursue a career as artists.
Over the past 10 years of growing our own business as professional artists, we have completely changed our relationship with risk taking. We have become more confident in applying for jobs that seem out of reach, asking for compensation that we believe is fair for our time and effort, and stretching ourselves to grow artistically. We risk deciding to create art we are passionate about, sometimes going against the flow and current trends. While we are naturally more introverted, we have become comfortable talking to others about our process and creating much of our art live at events. Now to us, doing things that feel risky means that we are on the right track.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We are twin sisters and professional artists that specialize in creating large murals in soft pastel. We enjoy creating our murals live at events, especially at comic and pop culture conventions. We have been working together in soft pastels for over 15 years, but we became professional artists about 10 years ago when we decided to apply for an artist alley table at a small, local anime convention. No one expected us to move our table to the side and create a live painting throughout the convention, but that’s exactly what we did! Afterwards, we got invited to perform at other, larger conventions including Dragon Con in Atlanta and Anime Expo in LA.
In the short amount of time we have been creating art full time, we are proud of our growing clientele list including BMW, Fiat, The Gates Foundation, Hilton, Nars, Warner Bros and many cities across the country and internationally. All throughout we have faced many challenges, especially the past two years with COVID all but cancelling live and large group events. We have learned that staying hungry, being flexible, and always looking for opportunities are how we stay agile in an ever changing environment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living in Orlando, everyone’s first thought about visiting is always going to the theme parks or the beach. Both are great, and we would definitely spend time at both, but we enjoy showing a side of central Florida that mostly locals only know about. We love taking friends to the local natural springs around the area and getting to see the manatees when they are in town. Kayaking in bioluminescent waters at night is also something special that we would show our friends! We would also be sure to take them to our favorite coffee shop, Two Bells Cafe, and some of our favorite local restaurants like The Greek Village or Hollerback’s Willow Tree Cafe.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our shoutout is to our dad. He has always believed in us and encouraged us every step of the way. We wouldn’t be where we are now without his continued support.