Have chalk, will travel

From Agra to Antarctica, these siblings are seeing the world through drawings on their driveway

In March, when 14-year-old Macaire Everett began drawing on her driveway in Libertyville, Illinois, little did she think that her artwork would get her brother and her an invitation to Live with Kelly and Ryan, one of the most watched talk shows during the pandemic. What started out of boredom has since grown into a project on the ‘gram that is closely followed by an ever-growing online community (21,000 and counting on @macairesmuse).

Macaire began drawing to entertain her 9-year-old brother, Camden, after the pandemic cancelled their spring travel plans. Chalk sketches of balloons soon gave way to gondola rides in Venice and swimming with the penguins in Antarctica, with Camden stepping into each drawing, infusing them with life and motion. The children, who have never travelled outside the United States, have now gone on a spate of adventures thanks to her fertile imagination.

“I don’t think it is something we can get bored of, as there are so many possibilities for where Camden can travel and things he can do,” she says, of what was initially supposed to be a 100-day project. “We have many plans and we get requests from all over the world — India, Norway, Japan, Mexico, Scotland,” she adds.

A behind the scenes snapshot

The siblings spend a lot of time doing research on what they should create next. “We try and choose sights that are colourful, fun, interesting, and something we haven’t done before,” she says. Places with great architecture also pique their interest. Through Macaire’s drawings, Camden has visited the Taj Mahal and the two hope to feature one of India’s other sights soon.

Each drawing — measuring 12×16 feet — takes her four to five hours to finish. “Chalks are really good to draw with and it is easy to go over something that I don’t like,” she says. Once done, Camden gets into position and their father captures the scene using a drone. Dad is not only the photographer, but also in charge of power-washing the driveway to give Macaire a clean ‘canvas’ for her next inspiration. When it rains, they move to the basement of their house.

Have chalk, will travel

The duo enjoys interacting with children from across the globe. One of their recent highlights: interacting virtually with sixth graders from Norway. While all the attention is welcome, Macaire says they haven’t let it supersede their sense of wonder and adventure. “It’s grown on me,” she concludes.

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