Baylor alum spreading joy one sidewalk at a time despite serious injury

Posted at 9:40 PM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 11:17:13-05

CHICAGO — It’s a story of something beautiful coming from a very dark time, and a life lesson that it’s never too late to find a new passion.

Meet Rebecca LaFlure, a Baylor University alum, who turns the sidewalks of Chicago into works of art.

If you’re ever in Chi-town, you might see these bright joyful characters chalked on the sidewalk.

"People know me as the chalk lady," the 36-year-old mother said.

Like millions of other moms, LaFlure was shut in with her daughter during the pandemic. Then, she had an idea to beat the boredom.

"I was just trying to find something not stuck inside and we started chalking,” LaFlure said.

They started chalking and the art took on a life of its own.

"It just caught on and people just enjoyed stumbling on bright colorful chalk art," she said. "So, I started chalk drawings all over like at bus stops at libraries parks."

It’s something so beautiful and joyful to the people strolling by the busy streets.

Even more amazing — she brings these characters to life using a right hand without any fingers.

Back when LaFlure was studying at Baylor 15 years ago, she was in a serious car accident.

A friend was driving that night, and the vehicle flipped over six lanes and a concrete barrier on the interstate.

"My window was down and my fingers were amputated in the crash," she said about the accident.

It was a dark time for her. She wore a prosthetic and wondered if she’d be able to ever write again.

Not only can she write – LaFlure can draw these lifelike cartoon characters that greet the people of Chicago.

"I'm still able to grip. So, I grip the chalk like this and blend with my left hand, but most of drawing is with right hand,” she says while demonstrating her technique.

It’s an experience that has taught her not to be intimidated and just go for it.

"People can do a lot more than they think they can, and it’s never too late to find a new passion," she said. "A few years ago, I never thought art would just stumbled upon, this in my mid-30s, and I can’t imagine my life without it. “