David Zinn has been creating original artwork in and around Ann Arbor since 1987, serving all manner of commercial clients from small shops to major municipalities while simultaneously sneaking “pointless” art into the world at large. His professional commissions have included theatrical posters, business logos, educational cartoons, landfill murals, environmental superheroes, corporate allegories and hand-painted dump trucks. His less practical creations have involved bar coasters, restaurant placemats, cake icing, and snow.
David’s improvised street art is composed entirely of chalk, charcoal and found objects, and is always improvised on location. Most of these drawings have appeared on sidewalks in Ann Arbor and elsewhere in Michigan, but some have surfaced as far away as subway platforms in Manhattan and construction debris in the Sonoran Desert. Zinn’s chalk work began in 2001 as an excuse to linger outdoors, but has since achieved global notoriety through the sharing of photos on Facebook, Huffington Post UK, The Cheezburger Network, Street Art Utopia, and Archie McPhee’s Endless Geyser of Awesome. His most frequent characters are Sluggo, a bright green monster with stalk eyes and irreverent habits, and Philomena, a phlegmatic flying pig. As of 2013, there have been a lot of mice as well.
David is a self-taught artist with a degree in Creative Writing and English Language from the Residential College of the University of Michigan. He has taught creative writing and scenic painting, performed in and directed several Gilbert & Sullivan operas, recorded audiobooks, and hosted two children’s radio shows (The Rug Rat Revue on WCBN-FM and The Mud Pie Cafe on Michigan Radio). David is also an avid whistler, a haphazard ukulele player, and a dutiful shirker.