Devon and Lexi Fulmer are The Chalk Twins, two 24-year-old sisters who travel the country to make large pieces of boldly-colored art. They head out to art festivals for competitions, where they draw on sidewalks. They take over spaces in convention halls and spend days creating fan art on a grand scale. This Labor Day Weekend, you'll be able to find the sisters at work at Dragon*Con in Atlanta.
Devon and Lexi’s fascination with chalk art began nearly a decade ago, when they were high school students. A teacher introduced them to the world of chalk art competitions. At their first competition, they were able to turn visual art into a performance. They also saw a community that accepted them despite their youth. They were hooked.
The sisters are from Florida, where good weather allows for competitions most of the year. Devon and Lexi took advantage of this and entered one event after the next, oftentimes coming home with prizes for their joint efforts. They cooled down on the chalk work when they entered college, mainly because they had to focus on school. After graduation, though, they returned to the circuit full-force and added fan conventions to their resume.
Shortly after the sisters finished college, they stumbled into the anime fandom. Lexi saw that a convention called Florida Anime Experience was looking for artists and decided to apply. “We had a lot of explaining to do,” says Devon. See, Devon and Lexi don’t work like your average convention artist. They don’t need a table. They work on the floor, drawing and coloring on pieces of board that will vary in size depending on the project. Fortunately, the folks at Florida Anime Experience were able to work with the artists. That gig lead to more convention appearances.
Devon and Lexi show up to conventions and contests prepared. The artists always sketch out their projects beforehand and project the drawings onto the board. They area also good at dividing the work in half, with Lexi working on faces, skin and hair and Devon handling things like fabric. That’s so that any stylistic differences between the two women are indistinguishable. As they point out in our interview, if two people draw two different hands, it will look like there are two artists. “We wanted it to be more cohesive,” says Lexi. They frequently work with Koss soft pastels. When they need more intense colors, they experiment with different brands like Rembrandt or Mountain Vision Pastels.
On Fourth of July weekend, Devon and Lexi headed to Los Angeles for Anime Expo. It was their first appearance at the massive anime convention and they had a particularly large-scale project in mind for the event. They decided to take on Fate/Zero, as they were smitten with the art and story in the popular series. As it so happens, Aniplex was bringing the anime to the convention, which made this piece a little more significant. Devon and Lexi decided to make take on all of the major characters in the series, 14 in all, in an 8′ x 12′ chalk drawing. Throughout the weekend, convention-goers could stop by their space and check out the progress. Overall, it took about 45 hours to complete and the finished product was a striking, richly-hued tribute to the show. Their live art was one of the standouts of the convention.
This year marks Devon and Lexi’s second stint at Dragon*Con. Last year, they fused together characters from various superhero movies, including The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, and Dark Knight Rises in a 4′x8′ piece. No spoilers on their Dragon*Con 2013 piece, but, whatever it is should be impressive.