How to Create a Gorgeous Chalk Mural Like an Instagram Pro
From writing and designing at Hallmark to creating unique artwork for an advertising agency, Instagram star Casey Ligon has always put an emphasis on her creativity. It was only a year and a half ago that she discovered a new talent in the ever-popular chalk art, which has since launched her to Instagram fame and enabled her to start a small business. Her trademark beautiful, ethereal chalk flowers often cause viewers to mistake her work for paintings. Lucky for us, Casey sat down to show us the step-by-steps for how to create a statement chalk wall. Read on to see how she did it!
— chalkboard wall (Casey recommends Rust-oleum chalkboard paint if you’re making the wall)
— chalk (the dustier, the better!)
— damp cloth
1. If your chalkboard is new, rough it up a little with a quick, messy layer of chalk — this will give texture to your final masterpiece.
2. Drawing very lightly, sketch out one big flower as your anchor. Then lightly sketch out a bulb and a smaller flower to accent.
3. Using heavy pressure, trace back over the edges of the flowers. Then, using the tips of your fingers, pull down the extra chalk residue to create streaks that mimic the organic texture of flower petals. Repeat over all of the petals on your arrangement.
4. To form the centers, forcefully stipple the tip of your chalk onto your surface. Then lightly pull down the chalk residue with your fingers to create tiny lines.
5. Next, draw some branches and leaves around your flowers. Use the pull-down technique to add detail to each leaf.
6. Outline each petal and leaf to pronounce the shape, and clean up edges with a damp cloth as necessary.
7. If you like, add dots or stars around your arrangement to make it really stand out. And you’re done!
If your chalkboard is brand-spankin’ new and shiny black, it’s actually best to rough it up a little. Chalk residue can leave behind a nice texture that can help add dimension to your flower mural. One artful way to do it is to draw a crazy spiral, preschool style, and then erase it with a damp cloth in a circular motion. It may not look like much now, but it will leave the perfect extra detail to help your masterpiece stand out.
First, you need to create your “arrangement.” Drawing very lightly, sketch out one big flower as your anchor. Then lightly sketch out a bulb and a smaller flower as accents. A good rule of thumb is to draw a center that isn’t perfectly centered and five petals. For the bulbs, you’ll want to sketch out just three petals. Ligon stresses the importance of letting yourself make mistakes during this stage. As experienced as she is, she often has to “make herself” make mistakes in order to achieve the organic feel of real flowers. “Flowers are natural,” she says. “Once you let go, suddenly they look like flowers.”
One you’ve sketched the base of your arrangement, use heavy pressure to trace back over the outline of the flowers. Then, using the tips of your fingers, pull down the extra chalk residue to create streaks that mimic the organic texture of flower petals. Repeat over all of the petals on your arrangement.
To form the centers, forcefully stipple the tip of your chalk onto your surface. Then lightly pull down the chalk residue with your fingers to create tiny lines.
Next, draw some branches and leaves around your flowers. Use the pull-down technique to add detail to each leaf. Then outline each petal and leaf to pronounce their shape, and clean up edges with a damp cloth as necessary.
Pro Tip: To create the illusion of light, make some leaves lighter on one half than the other.
If you like, add dots or stars around your arrangement to make it really stand out. Casey uses her chalky fingertips to dapple all over the chalkboard and create round smudges. She also uses the tip of the chalk to create star-like dots, something she started doing with a Harry Potter-themed piece, and adopted as a permanent part of her process. Whatever small details you choose to include, be sure to balance it out by creating some areas of higher concentration with the speckling than others.
And you’re done! That was easier than you thought, right? Thank you, Casey, for sharing your expertise!
Will you be trying out this DIY? If so, we want to see the results! Share your final masterpiece with the hashtags #britstagram and #iamcreative so we can take a look.
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.