The whimsical art of David Zinn

ByAmit Lerner Localish logo
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
The whimsical art of David Zinn
Professional sidewalk chalk artist David Zinn isn't afraid of his art getting ruined.

David Zinn never considered himself a real artist, preferring the term "compulsive doodler" to be much more fitting.

"I was an incredibly shy kid, and I learned very early on that a good way to avoid conversations was to always have my head buried in a sketchbook," says the Ann Arbor native.

That evolved as an adult when Zinn started to take his work breaks outside and discovered that there's something inspirational about children's sidewalk chalk.

"It's literal dust that will wash in the rain, which people think is a sad part, but it actually facilitates the ability to just enjoy making something for the joy of making it without worrying about whether it's going to hang on a gallery wall for hundreds of years," Zinn says.

His "doodles" are a variety of whimsical characters inspired by cracks in the sidewalk, manhole covers, stones, tree trunks and much more.

"There's so many inspirational things in the cracks and specs and bits of gum on the sidewalk that every ten feet there's a new thing that wants to be made into a piece of art. And you know, once it rains, you can use the same thing to make even more pieces of art," says Zinn.

Zinn started posting videos and images of his art to social media, first as a way to share with his brother, but soon went viral, gaining over 3 million followers on social media and over 23 million views.

Despite his success, Zinn still doesn't see himself as a "real" artist and wants to use his platform to encourage others to embrace their inner child and simply create art that makes them happy.

"We all have a creative voice and that voice is unique. Therefore, nobody has the same perspective on the universe that you have. That has walked the path that you've walked and lived the things that you lived. So, you have a point of view that only you can share. And maybe if we can get some people to get comfortable with the idea that there's no necessary judgement of the things you create. You can just create."

You can check out Zinn's artwork on Instagram.