Margaret Eby
October 09, 2014 2:35 pm

Unless you’ve been lurking on design corners of the Internet or at the Columbus College of Art and Design, you might not be familiar with an amazing anonymous art duo known as Dangerdust. Allow us to introduce you, because these folks, whoever they are, deserve some recognition.

Every week, the unknown student team, both seniors in the Advertising & Graphic Design major in the college, sneak into an empty classroom and create amazing, gorgeous artwork. Each piece is an inspirational quote, taken from such luminaries as Maya Angelou, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Steve Jobs, and Miranda July, framed by extraordinarily intricate chalkwork. The duo, who have chosen to remain unnamed, gave an interview to the CCAD website and explained that they started their work, which quickly spread all over social media, as a way of staying artistically inspired while pursuing their degree.

“When you’re working on long extended projects for graphic design classes it’s easy to . . . lose motivation,” they said. “I think we’re tired of the computer, and [chalking] gives us motivation.”

The whole thing started when they began drawing quotes on chalkboards around school after class hours. Their first chalking was a Banksy quote. No doubt inspired by the famously secretive artist, the duo’s name—Dangerdust—was born as a play on their covert (and dusty) late-night activity, and a way to keep their identities under the radar.

The two spend up to 11 hours on each masterpiece, and use nothing more than dollar store chalk. They choose their quotes from a list of suggestions from friends and Google searches, make a rough sketch, and then set to work.

“Every time we do it we try to make it look different from the last one,” they told CCAD’s student website. “We try to adopt the style [of the person we’re quoting.]”

The transience of the artwork is part of the beauty, like the sand mandalas poured out by Tibetan monks. They soon began getting recognized from their tag on Instagram, and grew to include a Twitter account, Facebook page, Tumblr, and even an Etsy store where you can buy prints of their intricate artwork.

The two are graduating in spring, but they aren’t planning on abandoning their chalk art anytime soon. “We have a lot of ideas for how we’re going to sign off,” they told CCAD.

Check out some more of their work and be amazed at what two artists can do with some chalk and a random chalkboard:

(All images via ddccad.tumblr.com)

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