Art Walk & Roll Festival: How Failure Makes Great Art


This year’s Art Walk & Roll Festival in Culver City had a lot to offer for a small town affair–An e-vehicle ride-off (It was a blast!), live music, tarot card readings, hard-working elected officials promoting the latest local measure, sidewalk chalk, food trucks, fundraisers–and of course, a lot of art.

On a day of many successes, there were a few artists’ who shared stories of their perceived failure and how it shaped their expression. Art Walk celebrates artistic destinations but the stories behind the artistic journey are often equally compelling.

Paint.One Battles

For those that ventured off the main Art Walk path, up a two-story flight of stairs and into the welcoming environment of, were lucky to find a group of young digital artists participating in a very new kind of game.

Artists V and Moishe battle it out in a zen-like state–Art Walk and Roll 2018

Founder of Paint.One Battles, Paul Tsuchiya, describes this new phenomenon as “head-to-head competitive visual storytelling,” in which two digital artists have twenty minutes to visually interpret a random two-word theme such as “Star Wars Braids.”

As they draw, their progress is displayed in real-time on large screens in front of a captivated audience. Battles are judged based on creativity, speed, and technique.

The format originated three years ago, in Japan, and Tsuchiya now wants to roll out the Paint.One Battle craze in the United States, with the long-term goal of taking it global.

The battle is a fascinating watch, but equally fascinating is what the artists have to say about the experience.

“You’re failing constantly, says artist Moishe Ham, “As an artist, this is the worst-case scenario. You’re on the spot and you have a time limit. Your brain is going on over-drive and every little mistake, you’re like…CRAP!” Ham continues, “It’s nice to let go and just fail, and be okay with it.”

Paint.One Battles is in its early-growth stage and currently recruiting digital artists to join their troupe of Paint.One warriors. Tsuchiya explains, “What’s beautiful about this sport, it’s not your typical boy’s club, male-centric, testerone-infused gamer sport. Paint.One is for everyone and all ages–male, female, child or adult.”

Jenny Kallis

Artist Jenny Kallis, describes herself as “a craftsperson and innovator by trade and an artist by nature.” She has created her own technique of wood-burning and wax, with which she painstakingly burns images onto wood and combines the look with melted beeswax mixed with crystals and oil paints to create something uniquely her own.

(Photo courtesy of

Fun Fact: Encaustic is one of the oldest forms of art developed by artists in Ancient Greece dating back to BC.., The technique was used to paint faces on coffin exteriors of persons laid to rest within.”

Strongly inspired by nature themes, Kallis started creating wood-burning and wax pieces two years ago and had her first showing in May of this year. Kallis explains, “There are people who do wood-burning, which is called pyro-graphing, and people who do wax-painting, which is called encaustic.”

But Kallis believes she is the first person to combine the two techniques together and she explained how her innovation happened as a result of a mistake. Kallis botched up a wood-burning piece and needed to cover it up with some color. Paint didn’t do the job she needed, so she decided to cover it up with wax. As Kallis explains, “Mistakes lead us to learning.”

Art Walk and Roll 2018 Photo Gallery






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