The #ChalkBus

The #ChalkBus is a community-based, interactive, evolving mobile art project.

PeaCE, Love & Happiness, baby!

Since the iconic VW hippie Bus is synonymous with peace and love, it's fitting that the majority of what people draw on the #ChalkBus is a lot of hearts, smiley faces and "I love _____." Some warned me that people would draw boobs, penises and swear words on it, and while that happens, it is very rare. The vast majority of people are actually quite cool and that was what I was betting on when I did the project. I knew people would recognize it for what it was: Something cool for people to enjoy just for coolness' sake. I knew they would interact with it accordingly.

And it's nice to be right: People rock. The proof is in all their artwork below. 

And, of course, that's what my GREAT Relationship™ Work has always been about: Peace, love and happiness... and coolness. Peace through reducing conflict; love through restoring marriages and families; happiness with self and others as the result. Ain't nothing cooler that that, baby. Ain't nothing cooler.

Ya diggin' my vibe?

The #ChalkBus is in a Music Video

The Royal Engineers, an up and coming rock band from the Netherlands, and Salty Block Pictures invited the #ChalkBus to be a part of their new music video. My daughter Molly, our dog Pepper, and I got to join them for the day. Simply the nicest and most down-to-earth, friendly, and welcoming group of people (the band and production crew) I've ever been pleased to meet. 

Hit It & Do It Again - Official Music Video

OUT NOW: Hit It & Do It Again - Official Music Video! We are so proud, watch and share this awesomeness by Salty Block Pictures. More info: #Spotify: #Insta: #YouTube:

Posted by The Royal Engineers on Friday, February 3, 2017

Behind the Scenes videos:

Here's a little behind the scenes "BTS" of one small scene showing four takes. The singer here is Bu Tet of The Royal Engineers (Netherlands). My daughter, Molly, our dog Pepper, and I had the most unusual and fun Hookey Date: Josh Rowley of Salty Block Pictures invited the #ChalkBus to be a part of the The Royal Engineers' music video shoot for their new single, "Hit It & Do It Again."

Facebook Photo Album

Molly and I had the most unusual Hookey Date...

Posted by Jonathan D. Sherman on Saturday, January 21, 2017

The ChalkBus is on the Radio!

The Other Side of the News is a fresh look at some of the most interesting and strange stories out there! Mike Rogers brings you the award-winning segment weekdays on CBS Dallas/Fort Worth radio station KRLD! Aired December 17, 2014.


About the #ChalkBus

  • The #ChalkBus in the News!

  • The #ChalkBus is a community-based, interactive, evolving mobile art project.

  • Be Cool, Spread the Word and Enter Our Monthly Drawing!

  • The #ChalkBus History

#ChalkBus Galleries:

  • At AFJH #SuicidePreventionWeek
  • #ChalkBus on Instagram
  • At the Hospital
  • The Krishna Festival of Colors
  • January 2014 to March 2014

Events: Come See the #ChalkBus

  • Scroll down to see all the annual events where you can find the #ChalkBus 


The #ChalkBus in the News!

Read all about the #ChalkBus in this wonderful write-up that was done by journalist Krista Neubert for  "Revived Volkswagen Bus inspires impromptu art, positive messages".

#ChalkBus Makes UK Mag

Yeah, okay, it's a bit in the background, but I'm still counting it considering it's only a couple of pages with a handful of Buses shown. Yeah! This issue ran an article on the 2016 Utah VW Classic car show with over 300 Buses, Bugs and other vintage VW vehicles.... including the #ChalkBus peeking in from behind :-)  This show is what funds the awesome Bussin' for Santa event that provides Christmas for a family in need. 

Click the picture to open PDF and see if you can spot the ChalkBus in two pics... 

View and purchase it here: Eric Arnold's Utah VW Classic Magazine 

#ChalkBus on Instagram...

Events: Come See the #ChalkBus

These are many of the common annual events where you can find the #ChalkBus. See the actual Google calendar below for specfic dates Many of these events are associated with charitable and/or social causes, such as suicide prevention at American Fork Junior High's Red Ribbon Week and the Out of Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk.


See full FESTIVAL OF COLORS gallery below...

See full FESTIVAL OF COLORS gallery below...

  • The Krishna Temple's Festival of Colors
    A perfect setting for the ChalkBus: Chalk galore, peaceful, fun and festive people all having a good time... and they all swarm the ChalkBus (see gallery below). 


Main street cruise

Main street cruise


  • American Fork Steel Days Car Show & Main Street Cruise
  • Annual Wasatch VW Classic
    Vintage VW car show at The Riverwoods, Provo, UT


  • Out of Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk (see below)


  • Utah VW Classic
    An annual vintage VW car show.
  • Alpine Loop Fall Cruise
    Each year the gang from the Wasatch Vintage Volkswagen Group, Utah VW Classic, and Utah Transporter Association get together for a beautiful drive around the Alpine Loop to enjoy the fall colors. All VW's are welcome, members of these group or not. 
  • Chalk the Block at The Riverwoods
Em the elf & santa

Em the elf & santa


  • Bussin' for Santa
    Every year the Utah Transporter Association sponsors a needy family for Christmas and delivers their gifts via a convoy of vintage VW's to the families home. A real thrill for the kids and parents. Molly the Elf and I joined this in 2014.
  • Santa & Em the Elf at Central Utah Enterprises
    For the last few years my daughter Emily and I have been playing Santa and Elf driving up in our ChalkBus sleigh to visit the developmentally disabled adults at Central Utah Enterprises, which is a training school and part of the Provo School District. 


The #ChalkBus at the Out of Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk

The #ChalkBus at #AFSP Out of Darkness suicide prevention and awareness walk that our VW chums Jeremy Schooley and Julie Schooley are involved with and invited me to. A cause near and dear to my heart both personally and professionally. A lot of amazing, positive, resilient people here today!

Here's the KSL-TV news story about the Out of the Darkness suicide prevention walk...and the #ChalkBus got in briefly at the end! Yay :-)
#AFSP #outofthedarkness #suicidepreventuon #ksl #ksltv

Facebook Photo Album of all the ChalkBus art everyone did! 

The #ChalkBus at American Fork Junior High (AFJH)'s LIVE Suicide Prevention Week

The #ChalkBus at #AFJH #LIVE #SuicidePreventionWeek--a cause near and dear to my heart. Great kids writing great messages. #suicideprevention

Posted by Jonathan D. Sherman on Wednesday, October 28, 2015


The #ChalkBus at the Hospital

The Krishna Festival of Colors

The #ChalkBus was a hit at the 2014 Krishna Temple's Festival of Colors. Festival goers raved, "Cool!" "This is SO sick!" "Really, we can draw on it?!" "I love this bus!" "This is awesome." The bus has always been an instant friend-maker. :-) 

Click on one image to enlarge, then use your left/right arrows to scroll through them all. 

#ChalkBus Gallery: January 2014 to March 2014

Be Cool, Spread the Word and Enter Our Monthly Drawing!

Tag your picture of your drawing and/or you with the #ChalkBus on Twitter or Instagram. At the end of every month I'll hold a drawing of all pics tagged "#ChalkBus." The winner will get their choice of a $20 Chili's gift card for Date Night, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John Gottman or Parenting with Love & Logic, by Jim Fay and Foster Cline.

The #ChalkBus History

I've always been interested in guerrilla (or viral) marketing efforts for two reasons: 1. I started my biz with zero money, so free, cheap, creative, out-of-the-box was all I ever had access to and 2. It often tends to be more creative/original than big money marketing efforts. So a couple years ago in (2012) my youngest daughter was drawing cool stuff on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. I had been prepping the VW Bus body for a paint job, using a black, rust-converting primer. I called her over with her chalk and said, "Let's see if this works like a chalkboard." It did and the light went on. Then in 2014 I finally started the #ChalkBus.


This is what this particular model of bus, with the Westfalia camper package, looked like originally. This picture is from the VW catalog for that year: 1969. Mine was this exact same color and when I got it in college around 1993 (?) it still had all of the cabinetry, tables and seating. Unfortunately, that stuff is no longer as it got irreparably water-damaged. :-(

Pic of when we first got it.

Pic of it now.


#ChalkBus FAQ:

A bank teller asked me one day, "How did you come up with this idea?" I replied,

  1. I'm just like this. Creativity and the unusual and "not normal" intrigue me.  
  2. I'm a people person. And a relationship therapist. And a speaker. I like how people interact. This draws (unintentional but good pun) a lot of interaction.  
  3. Guerrilla marketing history.  
  4. I like marketing, graphics, design.  
  5. I like attention.
  6. I had the Bus. See #1.  

A note on vintage license plate status and requirements:

Stuff to add:

Thanks for the feedback on the ChalkBus. Glad you like it. It's really been a hoot. And I feel it totally captures the spirit of the VW thing in so many ways:

1. the old wildly painted hippy buses.. except this gets new and different art every day and is re-imagined over and over;

2. also the community engagement of it--it's truly "the people's car"--everyone feels they get to be a part of the ChalkBus--it's a hands on, "I can "own" a part of it just by personalizing it with my own art/thoughts"

3. The hippy "peace, love and happiness, baby" feel of it--which is a LOT of what people write on it: "peace", "I love so and so" "be happy" "I love this bus" and other happy messages. It's extremely rare for anyone to draw anything negative, offensive or crass on it. People seem to get it: It's a cool thing so be cool about it.

What people say about the ChalkBus:

I overhear people comment on the ChalkBus everywhere I go when they don't know I'm listening: "Awesome!" "No way! You can draw on it!" "Thats the coolest thing I've ever seen!" "This totally makes my day." 

It also starts conversations all the time. People come up and ask what year it is, where the idea came from, tell me about a VW they or their family had growing up. 

"I love the Chalkbus for it's very existence in being a vehicle that people can enjoy and touch and write on - how cool is that!!"
—The Pilch, fellow VW Bus enthusiast and owner of the yellow Magic Bus

Project Notes

Here's what I did on the inside:

  • Cheap vinyl from amazon stretched over foam and stapled onto OSB boards (the bench top on the right wasn't finished yet at the time of this pic) and panels;
  • L-shaped bench frames made from 2x2s
  • all interior paint is rattle can gloss white--going for the orange/white creamsicle look, that matches my MarriageEnvy branding of orange and white;
  • the bamboo flooring was from free scraps from my buddy's bathroom floor project;
  • the two VW emblems came with my bus originally in a box of spare parts which I hung onto all these years and finally used them for what I always wanted to do: speaker covers.

The outside:

  • The chalk paint is nothing other than Rustoleum Chalkboard spray paint you can get at Home Depot. I have to touch it up at least every 6 months as all the drawing on it wears the roughness of the chalkboard smooth, which you need the roughness to capture the chalk well.
  • The white is also just Rustoleum spray paint. This allows me quick touch-ups as needed.
  • It's all a rough paint job to say the least, but since it's such a hands on experience, to be honest I don't want to worry about constantly protecting a high end/expensive paint job. I just want the ChalkBus to be enjoyed by myself and others, which it is.

Holiday Decorations

The ChalkBus gets decked out for my two favorite holidays:

  • Halloween
  • Christmas

Others Get Into the Fun of the ChalkBus

My speedo clock....

Shared by others on FB

  • This is the clock I used: 
  • Asked for market pricing ideas: 
  • HEY EVERYONE! MARKET RESEARCH QUESTION: I've been pleasantly surprised by the interest this clock I made last night has generated... I just figured a few of my VW chums would think it was cool and that would be it and everyone would move on with their lives to the next thing. Fine. However, the pic has been shared over 30 times in one day and I've had several messages from people asking me to actually make them one. SO... My question is what would you pay for one of these clocks? I want to determine if there's actually a market for it and try to get a feel for if the cost/benefit is worthwhile to pursue.

    There are two options:

    1. Higher cost option: A speedo clock just like mine with an actual re-purposed vintage VW speedo. This option would be more expensive as they are rare and more time-intensive to modify to make it work. How much would you pay for such a clock?

    2. Lower cost option: A speedo that would have a high res image of the speedo for the clock face, that would look identical, but would not have an actual re-purposed speedo. This would obviously be the lower cost option. How much would you pay for such a clock?

    My oldest son is interested in maybe taking on this as a project as a side job while going to college. He is a real deal VW enthusiast and has spent many hours working on the ‪#‎ChalkBus‬ with me and drove it all over as a teen--in fact his and his friends' rock band in high school was called "Us and the Bus" (he played guitar).

  • Wasatch group:
  • Bay boys
  • vintage vw group:
  • MY FB posted this all on 4-17-16 btw....
  • When ready to sell can sell on my webpage and/or etsy... 
  • market on Vintage VW group, and all the other ones and as many other as I can find. 
  • Jacob bush PM Depending on cost for the old speedo's I would say like $25 to $30 would be fair, but I could see $50 or so as well. Kinda gotta gauge the demand vs your time and parts and such. You inspired me an idea to make a mantle type clock using a fan shroud. Haven't done it yet.. But it would be cool.
  • Julie coons said: Check etsy to get competitive pricing. And for option 2 i would say $35 -45.
  • Pilch: If someone provides a speedometer, I would say $39.99 is a good price. Like for example, I have a speedometer, and if I gave it to you and you made me a clock, I would be pleased to give you $40 for the finished product. If you have to buy and source a speedometer, a lot more that $40, because speedometers ain't cheap. 
  • Jonathan D. Sherman That's a great idea! I was thinking how am I going to find a bunch of old speedos--I don't want that headache, but if people are supplying their own (which would also have more personal meaning to them like mine does for me) then that solves that problem perfectly. Then for those who just want the look but don't need it to be an actual speedo then Option 2 would work fine for them. I'm liking this. Thanks man.
  • Jonny Soxx I would pay more for a quality clock. I think 40-100.00 depending on clock quality. It's very cool.
  • Josh Diamond I would definitely buy one Jonathan D. Sherman. I think making both styles would be a great idea. Gives people options to pay for a more detailed expensive one or a "just for fun" clock for the house.
  • Char Miller I would probably only be interested in the high cost version, Because that is the beauty of it. it's an actual speedometer. I'm kind of thrifty, (cheap) 🙄 but I would easily pay $50, probably more. I don't know if that gives you any room for profit but people could pay the own shipping. Maybe you could branch out to other older cars, too.

    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 mins


    Char Miller If your market audience is antique lovers, you could probably get $100 or more. Just a guess.

  • Steven Hartline My 50 Chevy truck has a really cool round one too, maybe there's an even larger market of car enthusiasts that would be interested.

    Rich Toponce what an awesome idea

    Shayla May Love it! 
    Option 1 $75-100 with a core speedo, then he could offer upgrades like polishing, new chrome rings, etc
    Option 2 I agree with around $40
    Melissa Ann Brown Faber Love it... I would buy it and others would for their vintage car... I'd buy them as a gift as well

  • Dave Ingram The option of supplying their own gauge would give them the more emotional attachment feeling to the clock. Would cost you less but would lose that portion of the mark up

  • My opinion is always quality.
    Option 1 = 150 €


    Karin Salsbury I too would like at least one, possibly three depending on price.

    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs


    Jonathan D. Sherman Great! Thanks. I'll keep you posted! smile emoticon

    Like · Reply · 11 hrs


    Speedy Hinshaw I'll bet you could put the word out, and maybe various shops from all over could give, or even sell you broken speedos in bulk.

    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs


    Jonathan D. Sherman Speedy Hinshaw great idea! Thanks man smile emoticon

    Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs


    Jonathan D. Sherman Karin Salsbury thanks for your interest. I'm trying to get a feel for setting the pricing--what would seem like a good/reasonable price for one... or for three? Thank you smile emoticon

    Like · Reply · 5 hrs


    Mason McCoy I'd pay 40 or so if it's quality

    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs


    Jonathan D. Sherman Mason McCoy thank you for that feedback. That's helpful smile emoticon

    Like · Reply · 43 mins


    Karin Salsbury 40/each would be nice

    Mark Pajak I'd say the lower cost option as it seems like it would be less labor intensive as long as its identical to the one pictured. I do have an old speedo where the odometer quit on it though

    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 21 hrs


    Jonathan D. Sherman Thanks Mark Pajak. Good thinking. I'll probably do as you suggested and then if people, like you, have an old speedo they'd like repurposed into a clock they could mail it in and I could do a custom clock for them for a bit more.

  • from brian hamrick (sp?) Sorry if I blew up your world posting that clock to Vintage Volkswagen Club of America. Almost 500 likes on that post alone, you might have a new job on your hands. Your son could probably fund college pretty quick making those. Getting the face printed in a high quality vinyl might shorten the process and allow him to just get a separate sticker for the odometer to cover the years.

    Oh and check with Gary of course on the graphic printing since his company has high end machines. Also since there are subtle differences in years of speedos offering the right type for buyers of certain years would add value to the clock.

    I like that you are thinking of it as a college funding deal for your son. He could probably go on Alibaba and buy those clocks for $2-3 each in bulk.

    Issue is that they have higher minimum orders than I would be happy with, but you might be able to buy them with the speedo pre-printed and then just add the year odometer. Sell for $20 each $15 or so profit each?

    Great idea. Thanks man. yeah, I was wondering about something like that, but with no money to fund a large order to get prices down. That would be nice. I'll look into what their min order would be. Great idea! I appreciate the brainstorming and encouragement smile emoticon

  • me: wow! alibaba has THE same clock in bulk $3 for 500 min, white box packaging.

  • Look, It's VW Time!

  • What people are saying: 

    • Love it.

    • I bought it as a gift for my vintage car lover.

    • What an awesome idea.

    • That is super cool!

    • I definitely want one!

    • Way cool!

    • I love this!

    • One more object of desire!
      Really beautiful, I wouldn't mind waking up every morning to this bit of nostalgia.

      What a great idea!

    • Wow! Perfect.

    • Be great for a camper.

    • Bad A!