Top International Street Artist is Tyler Alum

Chalk artist Tracy Lee Stum has kept busy since her time at Tyler. She is one of the top 3D interactive street painters, and her work is widely recognized.

She was recently commissioned by 20th Century Fox to create an interactive 3D street painting for the March 12 home entertainment release of Life of Pi.

“I was approached by Fox,” Stum said. “Usually the client first researches street artists. If they find several they like they contact us. Based on proposals, experience and quotes, they then select the artist they wish to work with. After the work is contracted I discuss the project with the client and start designing the project art.”

Her drawing for the promotion of the film featured a key scene where a giant whale appears and jumps over Pi and Richard Parker. For Stum, a lot goes into creating the final 3D design.

“The creative process involves planning an appropriate image for a given location. Anamorphic projection techniques and my grids are used to create the proper perspective needed for any image. I use photography to establish the proper viewing angle and sometimes use animation programs to create viewing grids that help layout the design,” Stum said. “Establishing a believable image in the correct place, from the proper angle, is the biggest challenge. You’ve got to assess your location to understand what sort of image would be optimal.”

Originally from Chambersburg, Stum studied at Tyler School of Art and then continued her education at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.

“My studies at Tyler provided a very strong foundation in critical thinking and process approaches to art making. While many artists in my genre may be strong in technique, however, strong conceptualization skills may be lacking. Tyler’s program really helped shape my way of approaching how I work, and that has proven to be extremely valuable to my own growth and development as a visual artist,” Stum said.

Stum began street painting in 1998, she uses mostly chalk and sometimes paint in her designs.

“My strongest creative asset is my imagination,” Stum said. “I ‘download’ all sorts of data from the world and my experiences here, which runs through my bran and eventually comes out as intuitive impulses. I listen to those flashes of insight and go with an idea that fits best with my project. It’s a very free organic process that I never question.”

It is also notable that in 2006 Stum set a Guinness World Record for the largest street painting by an individual.

“It’s not something I think about too much! It’s cool to know that work was recognized and I am grateful for that,” Stum said. “Guinness has a specific procedure in recognizing records so it does require applications, verification, etc. I’m working on setting a new record in another category later this year with a larger team of artists. That should be exciting!”

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