Chalkboard ninjas lock the doors and leave art behind

Dangerdust, an anonymous duo of advertising and graphic design students at the Columbus College of Art Design, create weekly chalkboard designs with an inspiring quote, skillful typography and stealth delivery. Produced and edited by Jackie Shafer, shot by Ryan Schlagbaum, Stephanie Fields and Audrey Hasson, WOSU.

Wearing black hoodies, two figures enter a classroom and lock the door. For the next five to six hours, they work secretly on a new tag. Each week, these two anonymous advertising and graphic design students at the Columbus College of Art Design create their own temporary graffiti, meticulously illustrating a new inspirational message on a chalk board.

The duo calls themselves Dangerdust, and they have amassed quite a social media following.

The duo blends chalk with their fingers, q-tips, paintbrushes and cloth depending on the look they are trying to create. For this design, they experimented with sharpening the chalk for a better point.

"It's fun working with your hands and getting your hands dirty and feeling exhausted when you're done with it, putting your whole body into something," one of the artists told WOSU.

While their school assignments are largely computer based, as Dangerdust, the artists jump onto chairs to smudge dust on the top corner of the board or squat on their knees to stencil out an object, drawing with paintbrushes, q-tips and cloth.

Every week, Dangerdust comes up with a new concept, which usually takes about a day to design. Then, they erase the previous week's design and start chalking.

The work is short-lived, soon to be erased, which affords the anonymous duo a sense of freedom.

"The fact that it's only a week helps you just, like, let it go. Really, that's my favorite part of it."

"It's never going to be perfect. Breaking away from your comfort zone is a good thing."

Local Beat is a weekly series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation.

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