Make where you go a better place

This is week number three in the UK mission. I have been volunteering in three separate festivals over the the three weeks. My hours have been crazy. The time I spend talking with people, developing friendships, and discussing spirituality has been going at a relentless pace. I spent time with the homeless in Wrecsam, North Wales. I have been creating chalkboard signs for upcoming events at Hay-on-Wye, and I have been spending a significant amount of time in the Welsh langauge.

Below are a series of chalkboard signs I made for the BBC/Compass Studio stage during the last week of the Hay Festival ay Hay-on-Wye. The team at the BBC tent feels like family after three years of volunteering with them. There are two other stages that have guys making chalkboard art on their signs for upcoming events, and I figured I’d do the same and turn it into a little friendly competition.

The boards are not particularly clean and well-painted, so they are difficult to work with. The chalk is not necessarily high quality, so that didn’t help. But, chalk pictures come out nicely in photos. They look better than in real life. Partway through the week, Steve brought in some liquid chalk pens, and that changed the game. All of a sudden we had some really popping boards. Gerald and Steve (not the same Steve) helped with making a few of the boards as well, and pretty soon, we were being called the Picassos of the festival. Non of us are real graphic artists, but I can letter nicely, and copy or draw something simple and iconic.

Doing this board art was my way of encouraging quality and creativity in the festival. I was hoping others would jump on board in other venues on the site, and we could all together up the game of the event in a simple way. This is how Christians should enter the things they work and volunteer in. We should go beyond Burning Man’s “leave no trace” policy, and leave a trace of beauty and improvement if we can.

I am no artist, but below are the series of boards I created for the venue events at the BBC?Compass Studio Stage at the Hay Festival last week. I put them here to encourage us all to step boldly forward with the few skills we have, and share them to the best of our ability. By doing so, we can make the environment around us a more magical place.

Steve Eynon and I created this board together, and the author Tyler Shores who is from Hawaii loved it.


The event was filled with kids. They loved this board and danced and squealed and had their pictures taken in front of it.


This is Gerald. He made some great boards.

Emma loved this and wanted to pose with it.


Speakers John and Lucy appreciated the board as well, and posed with it.

This was the beginning of using the liquid chalk pens and you can see how it changed the game.


Emma was back again. This time with Lisa Thompson, and they both loved the boards.


Fariha was excited that the board illustrated elements of her talk.


This was one of my favorite boards to make. Death on the Third Floor is an award winning play by Eric Ngalle Charles.


This was based off the cover of the book Lanny. It was fun creating the hidden Green Man image in the sign.


This was for a cooking show. Another fun sign to create.

One thought on “Make where you go a better place

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